Healthcare seminar addresses high patient deductibles

ITsource, as part of the Seattle Healthcare Network, recently hosted a half-day seminar on the changing nature of healthcare insurance and how it is affecting medical practice finance. This event was one of several presented by a group of local healthcare vendors for the benefit of local medical practices and hospitals.

The seminar consisted of two primary sessions. The first was a presentation by Rick MacCornack of Northwest Physicians Network (NPN) about population health and the transition toward results-driven medicine. The second session was a panel discussion of five veteran medical managers about the steps they are taking to manage the higher deductibles that patients are seeing these days.

Rick MacCornack, Ph.D, is a trained epidemiologist and is currently the systems integration officer at NPN. His background gives him a unique perspective in using technology to analyze and manage the health of a large patient group. Rick discussed the history of 20th Century American medicine and how we came to this point with the ACA and the need to focus on the end result of healthcare. The final portion of Rick’s talk focused on software tools that are available to pull information and organize from various Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems that can be used to closely manage certain important variables for individual patients that have significant effect on the overall health of a managed group of patients.

The panel discussion focused on the practical steps that clinic managers are implementing so they can control and manage the high level of patient deductibles that have emerged. A few key points came out of the discussion:

  1. Ensure that your patients are aware what their financial responsibility is from the time they make their appointments. Educate your patients.
  2. Pre-authorization is an important step that can save the practice and patients a lot of time and money.
  3. Collect deductibles during check-in.
  4. Some practices are offering financial counseling and payment plans.

Contact Pat Rowe at (253) 835-1210 or e-mail if you have any questions about this material or if you are interested in attending any future seminars.

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