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Lack of Leadership is What is Wrong with Healthcare

1/19/2017 9:15 AM

I got up early this morning to attend to some things and noticed the regular email I get from EMR & HIPAA.  Today's installment is "Top 3 Tips for Taking on Digital Health" a guest blog post by Brittany Quemby, Marketing Strategist of Stericycle Communication Solutions as part of the Communication Solutions Series. Follow & engage with them on Twitter: @StericycleComms

Brittany's three tips are these:
  1. What does the patient expect?
  2. What does the patient want?
  3. Where does the patient go?
She states in her article that the patient will gravitate toward "consumer experience when it comes to interacting with their healthcare provider."  I take that to mean that they will do business with a practitioner who has the ability to receive and send them email, offers online scheduling, creates a paperless experience, and reading between the lines, grants them immediate online access to medical records.

This is another classic case of too many cooks in the kitchen.  Every one of the articles and blogs that I read and have read point out some thing or another that the medical industry should be doing but isn't.  They don't offer any solutions.  That is why this blog is different.  Here at Sentia, we don't point out a problem without pointing out and developing the solution.

I know my regular readers are going to know this mantra by heart, but it is true and not being heard: We have that solution that this industry is looking for and can't seem to find, but the noise generated by people like Ms. Quemby, a Marketing Strategist, is drowning out the one real message that will revolutionize and automate this industry.

Sentia's Electronic Health/Medical Records System (EMR/EHR) incorporates the consumer experience called for above, plus automates the entirety of the insurance industry with these consumer features:
  • Immediate online access to medical records from anywhere in the world with an internet connection
  • Secure email between patients and practitioners
  • Integrated, automatic prescription of patient education tailored individually and based on clinical findings
  • A practitioner configured Questionnaire generator so the doctor can design and build online questionnaires instead of having you sit in a waiting room (with sick and possibly contagious people) filling out reams of forms
While this sounds like what Ms. Quemby and the rest of the world is making noise about, we went farther and automated the health insurance industry.  We have associated procedures in our EMR/EHR with policies, and policies with patients, so the as the practitioner documents the encounter, payments for procedures performed can be transferred to the practice in real time.  We provide the entire service free to the practitioners and for a $10 monthly subscription fee (plus the true cost of the coverage) to the patient.

Let's contrast the subscription fee with the status quo today.  The Affordable Care Act (ACA) limits the amount of the insurance premium for Exchange policies the insurance company can keep for administration to 20% of the total premium.  That means that if your insurance premium is an average $500 per month, you pay the insurance company $100 for the privilege of managing your health insurance data.  If you have private insurance the percentage is not regulated and probably over 30%, meaning you are paying them $150 per month for something we'll do for $10, and do it better.  $150 is your electricity bill.  $10 is one trip to Starbucks for two. 

Further, as practitioners find Sentia's EMR/EHR they will realize that they won't have to spend that $32,000 per year average that they've been spending on a third party EMR.  Hospital administrators will realize they don't have to spend (literally) hundreds of millions of dollars on their Cerner or Epic installation. With Sentia's built in reporting capability the average doctor won't have to spend over $40,000 each per year  on compliance and efficacy reporting.  This new way of insuring people will further reduce costs by eliminating the medical coder, medical adjudication, and the entire billing department.

Those benefits alone should cut the cost of healthcare by 40-45% without affecting payments to practitioners at all.  Even better, due to reduced cost, this paradigm will become the standard, facilitating the move to a central repository of structured health data.  It will be available to the patient and practitioners anywhere at any time for research and analysis and allow us to calculate a true measure of population health and manage the overall health of that population one patient at a time to further reduce costs.

 As we found out with the failure of the ACA, automation of these mundane tasks, and therefore taking the business out of health insurance, and replacing it with a low cost subscription fee, while giving the patient the consumer experience they crave is the only way to  control costs in healthcare.

As we begin to control these costs we can tackle wasteful administration, big pharmaceutical companies, amazingly expensive medical equipment and everything else that the patient has pay for that isn't healthcare.  As for the title of this article, We believe we are the leaders necessary to solve this problem, the Henry Fords of our time, designing and building a new, better way to get the job done.

Call your senator.  Call your congressman.  Call your president.  Call your personal physician and show him or her this article.  Together, we can do what all the government and greedy insurance companies have been unable to do: cut the cost of quality healthcare.

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