With candidates battling to satisfy the needs of their constituents in this Presidential election season, the topic of healthcare is coming up regularly. In fact, it’s tied for second place (after the economy) in the list of issues Americans are most concerned with in 2016, according to a Gallup poll.
So, if we can get past the mudslinging and focus on the issues, most Americans want someone in the White House who will help 1) save them money, and 2) keep them healthy. Care Coordination does both.
What is Care Coordination?
Care Coordination is a relatively new concept in healthcare coverage, and a blanket definition hasn’t been agreed on by everyone who uses the term. But, for our purposes, we will define Care Coordination as:
The use of communication technology and organizational processes to deliberately optimize a patient’s healthcare services, so as to provide the most efficient, cost-effective, and beneficial care possible.
Essentially, care coordination takes the status quo of healthcare and revolutionizes it.
Normally, obtaining needed medical care and having it covered through insurance is a complicated snarl of red tape that can be frustrating at best, and dangerous at worst. Even with the best of intentions on all sides of the equation, miscommunication and a lack of transparency can result in billing errors, missed opportunities, even ineffective or harmful care.
Care Coordination, on the other hand, allows a third party advocate working directly with the insurance provider, healthcare professional, and patient, to eliminate waste from these complicated arrangements. The goal is to ensure the patient receives the very best care, the healthcare provider has all the information she needs to provide that care, and the insurance company pays everything it should - but not a penny more.
How does Care Coordination help your company?
If you’re in charge of employee benefits for a small to midsize company, you may have heard of Care Coordination as an option that’s only available to larger enterprises. That’s changing, (more on that later!) and making Care Coordination a powerful option for your company to consider.
Care Coordination automatically saves money right off the top of one of the fastest growing cost centers in any company’s operating expenses: employee healthcare. It eliminates the waste inherent to any medical procedure and subsequent billing arrangement under legacy practices.
Here is a very simple example to make this clear:
Imagine your employee has been having chest pain. He goes to his primary care physician, who orders an EKG and refers him to a cardiologist. The cardiologist, not yet having received the results from the EKG, orders another EKG at his own facility.
In this common scenario, the insurance company - and, by extension, YOU - end up paying for one completely unnecessary test. Or, if the insurance company happens to catch the accidental duplication and denies payment on the second test, your employee gets stuck with the bill, making them hesitate to call their doctor six months later when they again feel a twinge of pain in their chest.
With a professional Care Coordinator involved in the situation from the start, the duplicated test would have been caught prior to completion, the original test results provided to the specialist, and all of the problems stemming from that duplicate bill eliminated.
That’s the power of Care Coordination.
How does Care Coordination help employees?
Employees are concerned with the overall rising cost of healthcare, as well as their own welfare and that of their family.
Patients who can rely on a professional Care Coordinator as an advocate and guide through the potentially complex and cumbersome healthcare system are far more likely to have a positive experience. Not only do they feel reassured that they are receiving excellent care, they have a clear understanding of how and why that care is being provided and no fear of receiving unexpected bills in the mail. These qualities make patients more likely to take full advantage of healthcare coverage for themselves and their families in the future.
Additionally, one of the key factors that Care Coordination professionals focus on when designing healthcare programs is the cost-saving and life-extending value of wellness and preventive care. As a result, each member of the plan is potentially healthier, and can enjoy a higher quality of life, than they would through a traditional health insurance program - ultimately making them a better employee as well.
What is the future of healthcare?
The money-saving and quality-boosting results of Care Coordination are catching on fast around the country.
Previously, this valuable coverage option was only available to large enterprises of 2500 employees or more, but this trend is changing.
Through Apta Health, you can get all the benefits of Care Coordination for your small or mid-size company today. This truly is the future of healthcare in the United States, which is why we like to say that Apta Health offers “the last healthcare plan you’ll ever need.”
For more information or to obtain a quote, contact Apta Health today.