iLoveBenefits: Industry News Blog

Emergency Doctor’s Perspectives on Getting and Paying for the Care of their Patients

As you look at this survey keep in mind who they are asking and how they are responding. For example, 8 out of 10 are seeing patients…who are foregoing or delaying medical care. While it seems to say that 80% of physicians are seeing at least one patient who is delaying health care, it is not providing the detail about how many patients on the whole are delaying medical care…

And what percent of patients understand their health insurance coverage and how it works?

According to a recent nation-wide survey of emergency physicians:

  • 96% said that emergency patients do not understand what their health insurance policies cover for emergency care
  • 8 in 10 are seeing patients with health insurance who have forgone or delayed medical care because of high costs
  • 62% say most health insurance companies provide less than adequate coverage for emergency care visits
  • Over 60% have had trouble finding in-network specialists to care for patients in the last year
  • A quarter of them say they have trouble finding in-network specialists on a daily basis

Source: “Insurance Companies Mislead Patients By Selling “Affordable” Policies That Cover Very Little,” American College of Emergency Physicians News Release, May 9, 2016,

The importance of having one’s own medical information is growing

In 2013, more than half (54.9 percent) of patients said it was important to them that they get their own medical information electronically, a jump from 2008, when 44.3 percent of patients said so, according to recent findings from AHRQ’s newly released Chartbook on Care Coordination.  Having electronic access to their medical information mattered more to younger patients (18 to 34) than to patients 65 and older. However, having their doctors and other health providers share medical information electronically with each other for care coordination was most important to older patients, followed by middle-aged (35–64) and younger patients. Patients across all ethnic groups and educational levels want their doctors and other health care providers to be able to share medical information electronically, the chartbook shows.  From 2008 to 2013, the percentage of Black patients who said sharing medical information electronically was very important grew from 37.2 percent to 47.6 percent; among Whites, the percentage grew from 42.6 percent to 54.6 percent; and Hispanics, from 40.1 percent to 53.2 percent. For more information on the Chartbook on Care Coordination, part of AHRQ’s National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports, please visit:

% of Patients Experiencing Cost-Related Healthcare Access Problem by Country

infoGraphoid: % of Patients Experiencing Cost-Related Healthcare Access Problem by Country

November 20, 2013 | Categories: Cost,healthcare,International Healthcare | Tags: , , | Comments (0)

First-Ever Local Area Health System Scorecard Reveals Stark Differences Across U.S.

Health care access, cost, quality, and outcomes can vary greatly from one community to the next—both within states and across states—depending on the performance of the health care system available to residents, according to the first-ever local health system scorecard, released today by The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System.

The report, Rising to the Challenge: Results from a Scorecard on Local Health System Performance, 2012, measures how 306 local U.S. areas are doing on key health care indicators such as insurance coverage, preventive care, mortality rates, potentially avoidable hospital use, and costs. It finds significant differences between leading and lagging localities, and wide disparities among major cities on many key measures of health care system performance. An interactive map accompanying the report allows comparison of cities and communities across the U.S.

Join the conversation on Twitter about the new local scorecard by using the hashtag #localhealth.

March 16, 2012 | Categories: Cost,healthcare,quality | Tags: , , , | Comments (0)

When all is said and done, health care costs ARE the number one issue

On the Republican campaign trail, the health care debate has focused on the mandatory coverage that Mitt Romney signed into law as governor in 2006. But back in Massachusetts the conversation has moved on, and lawmakers are now confronting the problem that Mr. Romney left unaddressed: the state’s spiraling health care costs.

After three years of study, the state’s legislative leaders appear close to producing bills that would make Massachusetts the first state — again — to radically revamp the way doctors, hospitals and other health providers are paid.

Although important details remain to be negotiated, the legislative leaders and Gov. Deval Patrick, all Democrats, are working toward a plan that would encourage flat “global payments” to networks of providers for keeping patients well, replacing the fee-for-service system that creates incentives for excessive care by paying for each visit and procedure.

Read more here:

Provision of care and utilization of care is trending positively

Proportion of Americans Reporting Going Without or Delaying Needed Medical Care





 All People        
 Unmet Need 




 Delayed Care 




 Insured People        
 Unmet Need 




 Delayed Care 




 Unmet Need 




 Delayed Care 





Source: Mixed Signals: Trends in Americans’ Access to Medical Care, 2007-2010, Center for Studying Health System Change, August 2011

August 31, 2011 | Categories: healthcare,insurance | Tags: , , , | Comments (0)

Health care teamwork can improve quality

ED, primary care doctors need better teamwork, study finds
Emergency department physicians and primary care physicians often fail to effectively work as a team, which affects patient care, according to a report by the Center for Studying Health System Change. The study found problems included failure to send pertinent chart information during patient transfers, which could lead to a duplication of tests. Medscape (free registration) (2/25)

Report finds slow improvement in U.S. health care quality
A report on U.S. health care quality found it improved overall in 2010, by about 2.3%, but found little to no gains in reducing variations and improving access to care, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Improvements were seen in some acute-care and preventive health areas, such as immunizations. Modern Healthcare (free registration) (2/28)

Can You Get Care and Pay For It?

People’s confidence in their ability to access and pay for health care services has declined by about 5% since December 2009, according to a recent poll.


September 1, 2010 | Categories: Cost,healthcare | Tags: , , | Comments (0)

Access to Health Care Coverage

Number of States Taking Action Affecting Access to Health Care Coverage, January 2009 – December 2009

States That Improved Access States That Restricted Access
Total 26 15
Eligibility 18 4
Enrollment Procedure 15 1
Premiums 2 14

Data Source: Based on a national survey conducted by Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 2009.

Publication: A Foundation for Health Reform: Findings of a 50 State Survey of Eligibility Rules, Enrollment and Renewal Procedures, and Cost- Sharing Practices in Medicaid and CHIP for Children and Parents During 2009. The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. December 2009.

December 29, 2009 | Categories: healthcare,insurance | Tags: , , , | Comments (1)

Ignagni Statement On The Release Of Proposed Senate Legislation

America’s Health Insurance Plans
November 20, 2009

Karen Ignagni, President and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), released the following statement today on the release of proposed Senate legislation:

“The promise of health care reform is that it will provide all Americans coverage, allow them to keep their coverage if they like it, and bends the cost curve to put the system on a sustainable path. These are the standards by which any reform bill should be judged, and the Senate bill falls short of meeting them. We believe that these issues can be addressed and improved to achieve these goals, and we will continue to work with policymakers toward that end.

“We believe that all Americans, regardless of health status or medical history, should have guaranteed access to affordable coverage. We have proposed guarantee issue coverage with no exclusions for pre-existing conditions in conjunction with a coverage requirement and adequate subsidies for working families. We also have made a commitment to do our part by proposing far-reaching administrative simplification reforms that improve efficiency, reduce costs, and free up time for physicians to focus on patient care. We stand by these commitments, but agree with a wide range of health policy experts that market reforms will not work if there is not an effective coverage requirement.

“This proposal encourages people to wait until they are sick to purchase coverage, which will significantly drive up costs for those who are currently insured. The legislation also imposes rating rules that will raise the cost of coverage for millions of young families in more than 40 states.

November 20, 2009 | Categories: Federal Government,healthcare | Tags: , , , , , | Comments (0)
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