- Patient Experience: The biggest thing shaping patient experience is that patient experience now matters, due to satisfaction scores and financial penalties among the largest drivers.
- The Affordable Care Act: Insurance coverage expansion for millions of Americans, particularly those with pre-existing conditions has provided new opportunities for patients to seek care, but the ACA still faces challenges from a newly empowered GOP Congress and Supreme Court cases.
- Electronic Health Records Adoption: More doctors’ offices and hospitals have implemented their EHRs and are learning to use them, offering patients fewer opportunities to give the same demographic information over and over again, although multiple portal sign ins may fill the time.
- Access to Data: The number of pledgee organizations to the ONC’s Blue Button program continues to grow and Meaningful Use requirements that patients have the right to view, download, and transmit their data improves access to medical records and claims data.
- Contributing to Data: Whether you wear a wearable activity tracker on your bracelet, belt, or bra, patient generated health data (PGHD) is expanding the scope of what is considered health data by quantifying the 99% of our lives spent outside the doctor’s office.
- Framework for Big Data: Lots of “little” PGHD quickly becomes Big Data with the potential to revolutionize research, creating an active, adaptive learning health system once there is greater consensus on issues of privacy, security, and consent.
- Personalized Medicine: The realization that Big Data and genomic-based medicine are interdependent, each needed to facilitate personalized treatment delivering precision therapeutics trained on biomarkers and individualized care based on analytics.
- Defining interoperability: All this data stays data, rather than knowledge, and actionable information unless it allows care to be connected seamlessly, following the patient in a physician and practice-agnostic manner rather than captured in hospital system silos.
- Telemedicine and Retail Clinics: Bringing care to the patients whether around the corner at the drugstore, an urgent clinic, or through video consult, provides substance to concepts like access and convenience.
- Cost information: The advent of higher co-pays, deductibles, directly paid premiums, and shifts in the conversation to value in healthcare creates the demand for transparency in the cost and price of tests, procedures, and services.
- Expanding roles of nurses, PAs, NPs: As the medical complexity of patients, as well as the recognition of the behavioral, literacy, and other challenges creating barriers to patients co-developing, understanding, and implementing prevention and care plans and achieving goals for which medical practices are accountable, the role of non-physician clinicians will continue to expand.
- Online Patient Platforms: Online platforms and communities provide 24/7 information, support, and experience comparisons heretofore found only approximated in live support groups or phone hotlines.
- Research & Drug Development: Patient advocacy organizations are taking a more proactive role in developing research agenda, pulling together research consortia, funding targeted drug development through venture philanthropy models, and redefining risk/benefit and other determinants of the drug approval process.
- The Patient Voice: New positions in federal agencies, on medical boards and committees, and in hospital councils mark the transition from patients simply having a voice, but having a vote in essential matters shaping healthcare.
- Relationship with Doctors: The doctor-patient relationship is stressed, stretched, and frayed by all of the above, but more important than ever for the integration of scientific, clinical, and social information into expert counsel, deft surgical technique, and partnership in healing.
Posts Tagged ‘health insurance’
It has been interesting for me to watch the transformation of the term health insurer to health plan. Having been insured since in my mother’s womb, I have never been notified that any of my health insurance companies has a plan for my health. For a health insurance company to be termed a PLAN, in my mind, I would like to see:
1. Prompting and reimbursing me and my physicians to establish my baseline health metrics and specific health goal(s)
Enrolling in a plan as a new subscriber, a milestone birthday, or just the turn of the calendar could provide the incentive to create a personal plan for my health. Am I hypertensive? Am I diabetic? Do I want to lose weight this year, train for a marathon or have a baby?
2. Providing quality and cost assessment information so that I could select the best physicians for my circumstances
3. Facilitating information exchange between my team of physicians
I have a primary care physician, gastroenterologist, transplant hepatologist, gynecologist, reproductive endocrinologist, dermatologist, and from time to time an oncologist, across 4 different practices and medical centers. I would pay anything to have them talk to each other. Even to have them reliably and regularly share data and view one unified chart and come to a common assessment and plan for my treatment would relieve me of the huge burden of coordination, and no doubt reduce cost, waste, and error.
4. Suggesting, creating networks and reimbursing or providing discounts to complementary services to augment my health such as acupuncture, nutrition counseling, gym membership
90% of what I do to maintain and improve my health happens outside of a doctor’s office. Health insurer’s buying power and breadth can support my access and use of complementary wellness services to optimize medical treatments and prevent others.
5. Proactively sending me lab results, medication refill and appointment scheduling reminders
Health insurers could add real value by leveraging technology to facilitate my adherence to my treatment plan in the midst of a busy life.
6. Helping me track my progress against an integrated care plan that I create with my team of physicians and complementary providers
Whether building on success or highlighting areas for early intervention, an integrated health plan dashboard with alerts could encourage my focus and active pursuit of health.
Under increased scrutiny in this era of healthcare reform, health insurance companies need to decide and describe how they add value to the healthcare system. Their access to aggregate data on their members can fuel the integration of care across physicians, hospitals, and pharmacies for patients and support empowered consumer behavior.