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Healthcare Costs and the New Cost Conscious Patient

Posted on June 30, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

My favorite health economist, Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, has put out a really interesting post on her Health Populi blog talking about what the SCOTUS ACA ruling means for health consumers (Side Note: Here’s the lesson I took from the ruling.). Jane offers an important perspective that we should think about as we look to the future of healthcare. Here’s an excerpt from her article:

There are still tweaks and adjustments to be made to the law, and market supports that must deal with the ever-rising price of health care. While optimists report health care cost increases moderated to 6.5% in 2015, this growth rate is nonetheless many times greater than peoples’ wage increases (relatively stagnant for a decade) and the Consumer Price Index which in the previous year was actually negative (due to lower costs of petrol and other decreasing costs in the household budget). The one cost households can count on going up, up, up is….healthcare.

And so with the growth of high-deductible health plans and health savings accounts, health consumers must become health care shoppers — that is, if people want to gain some control over their financial wellness.

What does this new cost conscious patient mean for healthcare? What systems are we going to need to be able to handle the patient? Will we be able to continue providing care to patients without any real idea on how much that care will cost? Or will we need systems that help us know what the cost of care will be so the patient can choose to buy that care or not? Will cost conscious patients want to be kept well instead of just having their current complaint treated?

There are these and a lot of other questions that are raised by this shift in patient consumption of healthcare services. Understanding these changes is going to be extremely important for healthcare organizations to survive.

Health IT List Season, The Unhealthy Side Effects of Meaningful Use, and My Coupon Doc: This Week at HealthCare Scene

Posted on July 15, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

EMR and HIPAA

Health IT List Season – A list of Lists

It is the season of Health IT lists, and #HIT100 is one of the most popular lists right now. This post discusses some of the logistics behind #HIT100, as well as some other health IT lists that are floating around the Internet recently. Have you seen a great list lately?

Kaiser’s Mobile Health Approach

Recently, John had the opportunity to talk with the head of the Mobile Center of Excellence at Kaiser Permanente, Brian Gardner. Gardner talked about Kaiser’s approach to mobile health, how physicians at Kaiser use mobile devices, and some video pilots that have been done. This post goes more into that conversation, and shows how Kaiser is working toward implementing more mobile health in their practice.

Wired EMR Practice

The Unhealthy Side Effects of Meaningful Use

There are all sorts of incentives to  Meaningful Use, and for implementing EMR. However, there is a downside to HIT. In this post, Dr. Michael Koriwchak, along with Dr. Hal Sherz, discuss potential adverse consequences to Meaningful Use. It may cripple innovation and prevent future technology from being developed. Be sure to read this post on the unhealthy side effects of Meaningful Use.

Smart Phone Health Care

My Coupon Doc Makes Health Care More Affordable

Medications and health care costs can be expensive, there’s no question about that. There are lots of discounts to be found, but finding legitimate discounts can be hard to do. Luckily, MyCouponDoc.com makes the process easier with its database of coupons and discounts. Next time you have an expensive medication to buy, don’t forget to consult My Coupon Doc first.

SCOTUS Decision Likely to Indirectly Affect mHealth

The recent SCOTUS decision is affecting health care in many ways. But many were asking the question, will, and if so, how, it affect mHealth? David Lee Scher, MD, recently talked about five ways mHealth will be affected. mHealth isn’t the sector of health care being affected the most, but it won’t be left untouched.

Also, don’t forget to check out EMR Screenshots and EMR and Health IT News! There’s a lot of great items on these pages that aren’t highlighted during the weekly roundup.

Obamacare Before SCOTUS

Posted on April 2, 2012 I Written By

Priya Ramachandran is a Maryland based freelance writer. In a former life, she wrote software code and managed Sarbanes Oxley related audits for IT departments. She now enjoys writing about healthcare, science and technology.

So the Affordable Care Act got hauled up before the SCOTUS last week. From the way the questions were framed it looks like the individual mandate portion might be struck down, though it is too soon to tell.

I have mixed feelings about the Affordable Care Act. On the one hand I can see why affordable health for all must be a priority. I know people who use the ER room as their sole point if contact with the healthcare system, and sadly some of them have paid the price with their lives. There’s also a selfish reason behind my reasoning. Each time someone uninsured turns up at the ER, and gets top notch care, it is MY tax dollars that fund the treatment. Surely there are better ways to use tax dollars.

And yet a mandate makes me queasy. If the government mandates health insurance today, will it start mandating annual exams and flu shots a few years down the road. I think the most succint response on this topic was summarized thus by a Twitterer: “The problem with the mandate is the insurance is private. Make the insurance public and call it a tax. Problem solved.”

I can hear Americans collectively go This isn’t Canada at this point. But think about it: directly or indirectly, we are paying for the uninsured with our tax dollars. Public health insurance might take away some of the worries we have around bouts of non-insurance resulting from unemployment or old age.