Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Most Americans are Willing to Fund Healthcare Reform that Works

A recent telephone survey poll conducted by Thomas Reuters found in this post on Reuters highlights that there is an underlying strong belief that Americans are entitled to the best healthcare, but there is skepticism that the government can deliver that. According to the survey, 63% are willing to pay for healthcare reform, but only 35% believe that Obama's reform agenda will lead to better service, and 41% believe that it will lower costs.

The survey shows that most Americans are ready to pay extra taxes to ensure that the country receives the best healthcare possible. What's your take on it?

Monday, September 28, 2009

E-Records Get a Big Endorsement

Steve Lohr of the NYTimes reports today that North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System plans to offer its 7,000 affiliated doctors subsidies of up to $40,000 each over five years to adopt digital patient records. That would be in addition to federal support for computerizing patient records, which can total $44,000 per doctor over five years.

The federal program includes $19 billion in incentive payments to computerize patient records, as a way to improve care and curb costs. And the government initiative has been getting reinforcement from hospitals. Many are reaching out to their affiliated physicians — doctors with admitting privileges, though not employed by the hospital — offering technical help and some financial assistance to move from paper to electronic health records.

This endorsement is a huge step in the movement toward e-records for hospitals. As medical offices look to reduce paper consumption and human error, e-records are getting more attention.

For more information, please visit the article mentioned in its entirety.

E-Records Get a Big Endorsement

Friday, September 25, 2009

Mandate minus price controls may increase healthcare costs

The Los Angeles Times reports that many experts believe an insurance mandate is vital to a healthcare overhaul. With everyone in the system, the nation's medical bill could be spread more broadly, alleviating pressure on those who have insurance to pay for those who don't. All of the major healthcare bills would penalize people who do not get health insurance.But Democrats have shied away from regulating premiums in the face of charges from business leaders and Republicans that controlling what insurers charge would be meddling too much in the private sector. As a result, while states have long supervised what companies charge for mandated automobile and homeowners insurance, the idea has been largely banished from the healthcare debate.

What do you think about the lack of price controls within the healthcare bill? Will this have a negative effect on healthcare costs for Americans? We'd like to hear your thoughts.

Mandate minus price controls may increase healthcare costs

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

White House Address - Eliminating Waste in Medicare Advantage Will Not Affect Benefits

Today the White House uploaded a new video on YouTube in which Mike Hash of the White House Office of Health Reform gets into deeper detail on how reform would eliminate wasteful subsidies to insurance companies in the Medicare Advantage program, without hurting benefits or care and leaving the trust fund intact. Do you agree? Watch the video below.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The current state of healthcare reform -- Are you ready?

The proof is here - when providers share their expertise and put their heads together, you get lower costs and more quality. Accountable care organizations and medical home models stand to transform healthcare structure and costs and health plans need to act now to effectively integrate them into their benefit offerings. However, how health plans can effectively integrate these new models of care into their benefit programs and benefit from these cost savings remains at the center of “the cost conundrum”. Attend Next Generation Health Delivery to learn how to integrate innovative healthcare delivery models into value based benefit design. Participants walk away with:

• Insights from the latest Medical Home Model and Accountable Care Organization pilot programs
• Understanding of novel payment structures and implementation tools that make integration possible
• First hand experience from the those already benefiting from these new models including Capital District Physicians Health Plan, Priority Health, Goodyear Tire & Rubber, California Association of Physicians and Barbara Starfield, Johns Hopkins University.

Join us in Washington on the eve of reform as the government looks to tackle excessive spending head on and convene with other Healthplan reimbursement and benefit design professionals to prepare for change that’s coming to ensure sustainability and profitability in the years to come.

We'd also like to share a free web seminar on this topic with you:
Free web seminar: Leveraging Health: improving health status and bending the financial trend through value-based designs

Presented by: Cyndy Nayer, MA; John J. (Jack) Mahoney, M.D.; and Jan Berger, M.D., M.J. of the Center for Health Value Innovation

Date: Thursday, September 24, 2009
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EDT

Find out more about the web seminar and register here:
Mention Priority Code: P1455W1LIBlog

To become more involved with other professionals working in the next generation healthcare delivery field, join our LinkedIn Group!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Canadian Health Care Tops U.S.

Bloomberg news reports today that as the debate for universal health care within the United States continues, some opponents are basing false assumptions about the success of universal health care in Canada. In a study released by Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says that Canadians live two to three years longer than Americans and are as likely to survive heart attacks, childhood leukemia, and breast and cervical cancer, according to the OECD, the Paris- based coalition of 30 industrialized nations.

Deaths considered preventable through health care are less frequent in Canada than in the U.S., according to a January 2008 report in the journal Health Affairs. In the study by British researchers, Canada placed sixth among 19 countries surveyed, with 77 deaths for every 100,000 people. That compared with the last-place finish of the U.S., with 110 deaths.

For more information about the success of health care in Canada, please click the Bloomberg article here.

Canadian Health Care Tops U.S. in Studies Showing Wait Worth It

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mobile Tools and Applications Can Help Patients Better Manage Their Health

According to this article in iHealthBeat which features research from the California HealthCare Foundation, mobile tools and platforms can help chronic disease patients manage their health at home or at other places.

The author of the report, Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, offers guidance to healthcare providers that are looking to promote these health tools and applications. Jane mentions that these health applications should:
  • Allow input on a full range of patient health activities;
  • Consistently monitor patient health status;
  • Continuously adjust recommended health regimens based on health status;
  • Interpret patient data according to individual treatment goals;
  • Proactively communicate tailored health advice to the patient; and
  • Repeat these steps as needed.
Take some time to read this informative report it is worth the read.

To network with health plan and pharma professionals involved in medication and treatment compliance initiatives, join our LinkedIn group.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Health care premiums on the increase

In the Business section of the New York Times, they look at how health care premiums are on the rise, and will continue to grow at steep throughout the next few years. According to the blog, the annual cost of a family policy is $13,375. This has doubled in the past decade. The prediction made in the blog is a family policy in 2019 will be $24,180. Click here for an in-depth look at what is predicted to happen to health care premiums over the next few years.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Report: Mobile Tools Can Improve Chronic Disease Management reports today that mobile platforms and applications can help chronic disease patients manage their health care at home or elsewhere, according to a new report from the California HealthCare Foundation, Mobihealthnews reports (Dolan, Mobihealthnews, 9/10).

The report, titled "Participatory Health: Online and Mobile Tools Help Chronically Ill Manage Their Care," describes several online and mobile applications that can help patients actively participate in their care management (CHCF release, 9/9).

In the report, author Jane Sarasohn-Kahn offers guidance for health care providers looking to promote participatory health tools.

For more information, please click here: Report: Mobile Tools Can Improve Chronic Disease Management

Friday, September 11, 2009

AHRQ Takes a Look at E-Prescribing Issues

According tot his post on FierceHealthIT the AHRQ wants to know how many medical practices have successfully implemented functional e-prescribing systems and what factors hurt and help adoption.

The biggest problem that the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has encountered is that most e-prescribing systems do not have the same features, and so rolling out with a national system might be difficult. Also, pharmacies are having trouble with e-prescribing software and integrating it into workflow. Because of this, the AHRQ is planning to conduct a 2 year survey which will include physicians, medical directors, IT administrators, pharmacists and other relevant staff members at 110 organizations as participants.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Obama's Health Care Proposal -- Are American's Ready?

In last night's speech by President Obama on the state of American health care, he said that the US was the "only advanced democracy on earth … that allows such hardships for millions of its people." So how can we, working within the health care arena work to enhance the lives of our fellow citizens? What steps can we take to ensure that our insurance, medical care and preventative medicine offer the best tools for a healthy nation?

The President said his plan would meet three basic goals: provide more security and stability to those who have health insurance, provide insurance to those who do not have it, and slow the growth of healthcare costs.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The current state of healthcare reform -- Are you ready?

Are you ready for the Healthcare reform?

If a bipartisan agreement is not reached by October 15th, a republican filibuster is not possible and healthcare reform is a done deal with 50 votes in the Senate. With the democrats holding 58 seats, it is irrational to think some level of reform will not happen this year. While it is difficult to predict what the final bill will look like, every reform proposal currently under consideration mandates individual coverage and ends barriers to coverage for people with preexisting medical conditions. If no other policy reforms are included in the final bill, the ramifications for the health insurance business are still tremendous.

How will Health Plans survive this direct hit on their current business model?

Through the vital restructuring of the healthcare delivery models they currently employ and the Next Generation Healthcare Delivery event, scheduled for October 26-27 in Washington, DC. This is your best opportunity to convene with other health plan leaders from across the nation to evaluate and integrate innovative healthcare delivery models to ensure sustainability and profitability in the years to come.

How will Health Plans expand coverage to previously uninsurable populations and maintain profitability?

Traditional medical management has been maxed out, if health plans want to survive, it is essential that they act now to incorporate value-based benefit design and outcomes driven provider structures that ensure that health and wellness are managed effectively and efficiently. At the Next Generation Healthcare Delivery join your industry colleagues at this critical crossroads and reshape your current provider model by taking simple steps to obtain measurable improvements in clinical outcomes.

• Utilize Shared-decision making and let patient choice lead to the use of less costly healthcare delivery options
• Incorporate Medical Home Models to support a better organization of care and gain ideas to make it more effective
• Implement value-based tools to manage risk and help members make better choices
• Leverage ways that e-visits can increase access to specialty care while maintaining lower cost structures
• Develop a value-based integrated health care delivery system for the future

The moment is now. Register for Next Generation Healthcare Delivery and evolve your business into a true partner in care delivery and improved health outcomes!

Healthplans must integrate these delivery models by redesigning their benefits and reimbursement structures. The Next Generation Healthcare Delivery event provides you with the tools you need to implement and integrate new delivery models into your program benefit design for better health outcomes, higher member satisfaction, and a greater competitive advantage.

Through pilot programs, case studies, panels and roundtable discussions, our expert speaking faculty shares best practices and RESULTS on new delivery models and how they can improve healthcare quality while maximizing ROI.

Register today!

To become more involved with other professionals working in the next generation healthcare delivery field, join our LinkedIn Group!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Study on e-prescribing to start

According to Government Health IT, the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality will begin the collection of information in order to help other agencies with the transition e-prescribing. They will be in contact with pharmacies and physicians who already use the process to find out their troubles and find other reasons many doctors aren't making the switch. They'll then use this information to work with health care organizations to work towards the adoption and valuable approaches to increase e-prescribing. Read the full article here.

To network with health plan and pharma professionals involved in medication and treatment compliance initiatives, join our LinkedIn group.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Funding Recommendations for President Obama's Health Care Reform

More and more people are beginning to disapprove of Obama's health care reform as time goes by. Les Leopold detailed in this recent article in The Huffington Post a couple of things President Barack Obama could do to gain back the trust of the public with his health care reform. Les mentioned that Obama has yet tapped into the wealthy in order to fund the health care reform, even though Wall Street has received a bail out. Here are some things Les believes the president should consider:

1. Increases taxes on those who have adjustable gross incomes of over $1 million a year.
By collecting an extra 10 percent surcharge for health care from these wealthy returns we can collect an extra $140 billion per year.
2. Place a 90 percent windfall tax on Wall Street profits and bonuses.
If executives are able to still collect bonuses from banks that we own, then the majority should be taxed back to us. It is only fair.
3. Install a very small tax on each and every financial transaction on Wall Street.
A fee on Wall Street transactions would generate nearly $50 billion a year.

Do you agree with Les Leopold's recommendations?