Consumers & PatientsFuture of Health CareMedical Decision-Making
November 21, 2019

How Aching Joints Can Teach Consumers to Question the Evidence

As explained in our last article, there’s more to managing personal health care costs than concentrating on insurance payments and uncovered costs. As health care consumers, we’d all benefit from learning how to determine whether the value of the services—as delivered by a given provider—is worth the cost, potential risk, and benefits. Here, again, are the four key questions: Request evidence for new or continued treatment; Ask about your providers' cost and quality performance and service standards; Question what doesn't seem right about your experience, diagnosis, and treatment; Request episode-based cost information. There's a good chance that some consumers will…
Read More
Consumers & PatientsFuture of Health CareValue-Based Health Care
November 13, 2019

How to Manage Your Health Care Costs – Beyond Just Coverage Costs and Gaps

Consumers are rapidly becoming aware that costs for health care coverage extend well beyond premiums, copays, and deductibles—costs such as additional charges for out-of-network physicians and facilities. There is also a growing understanding that different providers charge varying costs for services—and that other hidden variables can increase the final bill for treatment. But consumer health care costs are not only a price issue. The cost of health care is the final sum of many decisions that are—at least partly—controllable by consumers or providers. Unfortunately, most consumers don't know all the factors that make up health care costs, and why those…
Read More
ACOsConsumers & PatientsFuture of Health CareNarrow NetworksValue-Based Health Care
October 30, 2019

Is Patient Lock-In the Next Step in Value-Based Care?

Hoping to safeguard survival under financial risk, health care providers are courting a contentious issue: how patients select primary providers. During the HMO heyday , health care risk economics depended on patient selection of primary providers as part of coverage selection that “locked” them into those PCPs and their referral networks. PCPs operated as gatekeepers to the rest of the health care system, authorizing services (or not) for specialists and other care. It’s well known that the HMO’s Primary Care gatekeeper model generated a backlash among private sector consumers. In fact, the gatekeeper was so unpopular with patients that it…
Read More
Consumers & PatientsFuture of Health CareValue-Based Health Care
October 16, 2019

The Hedge Bet for Risk is Patient Experience

Creating a good Patient Experience in health care has gained little traction, despite being touted as one of the Triple Aim’s key goals in Value-Based Health Care. Health systems have been more focused on how to increase patients via health plan negotiations and consolidating regional providers, rather than focusing on the slower paced process of improving customer appeal. But now Patient Experience appears to be gaining some attention, and some forward-thinking providers are innovating to be more attractive to patients. Why? Because in the fiscal landscape of Risk, growing patient volume is essential. Providers are beginning to realize that there…
Read More
Consumers & PatientsFuture of Health CareMedical Decision-MakingValue-Based Health Care
October 2, 2019

How Consumers Can Choose Quality in Value-Based Health Care

In our last article on how Quality should be reflected in Value-Based Health Care, we looked at the problematic route of quality measurement and reporting. The intent to develop payment for quality has resulted in a complex measurement system that produced provider-specific performance scores across hundreds of measures, yet has failed to advance achievement of better health care outcomes. The system creates flexibility for providers by allowing choice of measures, which eliminates consumers’ ability to see differences among providers. The quality agenda needs to mature. In its developmental period, there was a need to achieve consensus on the standard of…
Read More
Consumers & PatientsFuture of Health CareValue-Based Health Care
September 25, 2019

Emergency Rooms Cannot Be the Only Option for “Regular Sick” People in Value-Based Care

I don’t normally write articles on health care based on personal experience. Fortunately, my health is good and my non-routine health care mostly involves orthopedic injuries. Those injuries have taken me more than once to hospital emergency rooms, where I usually am able to leave afterwards and not, instead, have surgery. No chronic illnesses and no prescription meds. I realize that I am a rarity. In the context of Value-Based Health Care (VBHC), most administrators assess emergency department use as optional. As if, except for traumatic injuries, orthopedic injuries, and heart attacks, doctor-office visits are an available alternative to going…
Read More
Consumers & PatientsFuture of Health CareValue-Based Health CareWomen and Health Care
June 12, 2019

Get the eBook “Not Second Best: Inject Value in Women’s Health Care”

Six months ago, I started writing about women’s health, in response to this simple question: What trends are emerging in health care for 2019? The New Year is filled with predictions about what is coming, and I thought this year’s list from health care leaders was too “last-year.” Artificial intelligence, medical science advancements in biologicals and genetic therapies, and business consolidation are not coming; they are already here and will simply go further. Witnessing the debate about health care rights in the country, and the increasing distrust of health care by consumers, I observed that most of those speaking are…
Read More
Consumers & PatientsFuture of Health CareValue-Based Health CareWomen and Health Care
May 15, 2019

How Providers Must Improve Value in Women’s Health

Writing the Roji Health Intelligence® series on gender disparities and other women’s health issues has been a revelation. As a woman who has worked in so many parts of the health care industry, I was already aware of basic gender disparities, risk levels, incidence of disease, and economic issues that are predominant among women. Most women in health care have had their knowledge and judgment doubted as both patients and professionals. Women everywhere encounter the economic barriers associated with affordable health care, some much worse than others, and every woman who is a mother struggles with balancing the interests of…
Read More
Consumers & PatientsFuture of Health CareValue-Based Health CareWomen and Health Care
May 1, 2019

Do “Women’s Health Centers” and Services Deliver on Value-Based Health Care?

Women make an astounding 80 percent of health care decisions for themselves and their families. But there’s a disconnect between what women need and how providers have organized health care for them. While Value-Based Health Care (VBHC) is struggling to achieve more value for every health care dollar spent, providers are simultaneously sabotaging women in their customer base. How? This might surprise you: through promotion of “women’s health” services. While providers may have good intentions for offering a dedicated place for women’s health needs, those services have actually fragmented care for women, especially those with more complex conditions. Let’s evaluate…
Read More
Consumers & PatientsFuture of Health CareValue-Based Health CareWomen and Health Care
February 27, 2019

How Gender Discrimination Against Women Physicians Handicaps Value and Patient Care

We need to get women’s health care right. This is not a parochial issue, important only to women, and disconnected from Value-Based Health Care. Gender disparity in health care is real, with significant ramifications for outcomes—for the patients, certainly, as well as for providers’ ability to succeed under risk. Just as quality measurement is necessary to improving quality, achieving the triple aim of quality, cost and patient experience must include both measurement and elimination of gender and gender-race impediments. ACOs and providers accept that they must help patients overcome social attributes of health if those patients are to improve. Yet…
Read More