If I told you that a third of consumers admit that their knowledge of health insurance is lacking, would you be surprised? As insurance and health care becomes more and more complicated, with High Deductible Plans, Health Savings Accounts, Point of Service Plans, Preferred Provider Organizations Plans, copays, coinsurance, deductibles, premiums, etc., it’s no wonder people can’t keep up.
When financial constraints force patients to choose lower level plans or use their insurance coverage less, healthcare providers lose valuable opportunities not just to treat a patient’s immediate need, but to engage in preventative health and disease management.
Why? Because most patient engagement takes place in person when the patient is in the office.
The Solution? A more well-rounded approach to health care – Total Consumer Health – the right care at the right place at the right time at the right cost with the right outcome.
TCH gives the consumer options to learn more about not only how their insurance works, what it covers, but also how to manage their daily health and any ongoing issues they may have. You aren’t just treating an illness or a symptom – the focus is on the consumer as a whole, and their whole wellbeing. It also allows health care providers the ability to stay in front of consumers aside from just scheduled appointments.
The goal of Total Consumer Health is to manage a population’s health across the care continuum, keeping patients healthy through preventive and primary care services, and out of acute care facilities whenever possible. The right place to provide the right care at the right time with the right quality, cost, and access increasingly will be in a setting other than a hospital or nursing home. By eliminating waste and redirecting patients to ambulatory centers, physician offices, clinics, and online and/or telephonic interactions, less work will be done in the hospital and fewer patients will be housed in nursing homes or rehabilitation centers.
When the majority of the population utilizes smart phones, the next step in the continuum of care is to take advantage of those technologies. Whether it’s providing them more options for self-care, appointment scheduling, reminders, or even phone or chat options to talk to a doctor vs. an appointment, if you want to keep patients healthy, and focus on total care, using these tools is the solution. Are we moving to digital health care? We may be, but there will always be a need to those face to face doctor/patient engagements.
Margret K. Warner
Vice President, Commercial Lender
Director of Business Services