Everyday habits impact your employees’ lives significantly. These habits also impact your company significantly, since poor employee health is leading to increasing healthcare costs. The key to changing health care costs is changing health. The first step to a healthy company is awareness. The more aware your employees are, the more smoothly your benefits plan can be run.Once awareness increases, the next step is education. The more employees know the better choices they will make. Only 36% of employees feel educated about their benefits, according to a recent study. It is difficult for employees to make decisions on their healthcare use if they don’t feel like they know enough about it. Regular communication (through newsletters or surveys from a broker or wellness provider) is a great way to keep your employees educated.By educating your employees on the benefits plan, employees will know what they have. The same goes for everyday habits that lead to (or prevent) health issues.Once employees are aware of the role they play in their own health and care, the better decisions they will make. These better decisions – healthy decisions will lead to increased productivity, decreased medical costs and eventually lower insurance premiums. The moral of the story is: increase employee awareness, educate them on your healthcare plan and ways they can impact their own health and the impact they have on costs for everyone in your company.Healthcare is not just the responsibility of employers. While, health is not just the responsibility of employees. We are all responsible for both. Employees need to take ownership of their own health and employers need to help them do so. The more people know about their healthcare, the better they can use it and the better they can care for their own health. Companies that educate their employees are seeing the benefits in many ways. This is the way we have to go. Increased awareness and education with better decisions being made.
If you are part of the ever-growing array of healthcare facilities, you already know that your liability risks are great. You also realize that your exposure to liability demands a specialized commercial insurance policy. With the industry at the crossroads of expansion and modernization, you need tailored risk management answers that work with any protective coverage as well.Speaking to an experienced independent insurance agency will give you the clarity you require to best make decisions in procuring an appropriate related plan up to the limits that are available for your particular line – both in the business aspect as well as the commercial auto aspect.Healthcare Insurance Options – You need them if you are:• a home healthcare agency
• a hospice facility
• a medical staffing company
• a lithotripsy center
• a student health center
• a dialysis center
• an imaging facility
• a physical, occupational, or speech therapy center
• a county health department
• a medical school for doctors
• A dental center
• An ambulatory surgery center
• A community health center
• A rehabilitation facility
• A mental health center
• A medical or dental clinic
• A lab
• A pharmacy
• A cancer treatment center
• An optical company
• A durable medical equipment enterprise
• A blood bank
• A non-emergency transportation company
• A dieting center
• A health and wellness center
• A correctional health care facility
• A fertility center
• A stem cell therapy center
• A telemedicine facility
• A genetic, DNA, or forensic testing site
• A sleep disorder or sleep apnea clinic
• A humanitarian medical relief organization
• A related medical institutionAside from standardized coverage, the healthcare industry can benefit from the following plan options:• Management protection liability, employment practices liability, fiduciary liability and fidelity and private as well as not for profit organization crime insurance
• Healthcare privacy and network security liability
• Healthcare premises pollution liability insurance
• Property insurance coverage
• Mid-size and large construction project builders risk insurance
• Commercial automobile coverageOf course, your ultimate decision in procuring the right type of coverage should also weigh in with the financial strength of the company. Your healthcare institution should choose between the offered protective plans based on fiscal stability as well as the terms presented. In addition, your team should determine if the related business policy is backed by an experienced staff that highlights customer service and comprehends the distinctiveness and thorny challenges intertwined specifically with your industry. After all, in the best case scenario, the insurance company that you choose will end up being your long-term partner for time to come and that certainly means a lot.
Constantly under review and scrutiny, the issues on healthcare Systems have become international.Made up mainly of organizations and individuals, these healthcare structural systems are designed to meet a target population’s need for health care. On an international level, there is a diverse variety of health care systems. In some countries the planning of the health care systems are market driven and participated in by the private sector. In other countries the systems are composed of government and non-government entities such as religious groups, trade unions charities and or other coordinative bodies that are centrally run and planned, to enable the delivery of healthcare services to the populations they target. In other words, health care planning has evolved.According to a World Health Organization report in 2000, the main goals of health systems are the ability to provide a responsive health service alongside considerations of fair financial contributions. In order to appraise overall health care systems, a proposed two-dimensional approach was conceived. The first dimension consists of equity and the second is composed of efficiency, quality and acceptability.Several proposals have come from the Senate in the United States and the White House. Health care system issues according to President Obama are issues that should be addressed immediately and placed them on a top priority list. A universal health care system does not exist or is practiced in the United States. Some countries subsidize their universal healthcare directly from government coffers. This kind of universal healthcare is called socialized medicine, which is a combination of private and public delivery systems, with most countries spending public funds for this service delivery. Government taxes plays the role of funding this system supplemented and strengthened with private payments.The World Health Organization (WHO) report of 2000 ranks each member country’s health care system. Discussions on the positive and negative aspects of replacing health care systems with insurance systems use this report’s quotation. However, the WHO has remarked that as ranking healthcare systems is a complex task, these ranking tables will no longer be produced. Infant mortality and life expectancy are two main variables that are used in the ranking. Out of 198 countries, Canada ranks thirtieth and the US ranks thirty seventh. The World Health Organization ranks France, San Marino, Italy, Andorra, Singapore, Malta, Spain, Austria, Oman and Japan as the world’s top ten.With the founding of the UN (United Nations), there was planning and discussion on the need for a single entity to serve, observe and assess global health care system trends. Thus the World Health Organization was formed in 1948 on April 7th with headquarters based in Geneva, Switzerland. Annually the WHO is recognized by the celebration of a World Health Day. The WHO is the coordinative and directive authority for United Nations’ member countries individual health systems. Member countries of the United Nations are allowed WHO membership through the acceptance of the WHO constitution. To date there are a total of 198 member nations participating in WHO programs.
When we think of a career in health care, we think of the numerous positions that exist throughout the medical community. Health care careers conjure up visions of doctors, nurses, lab technicians, and others who provide patient care. We do not often thinks about healthcare management and what careers are available.The important patient care that the health care industry provides would not be possible without the proper supervision and administration. It is not easy for people to think of health care facilities as a business, but it is. Without the managers and administrators working to ensure the smooth delivery of health care services, and manage the budgeting and other administrative tasks, facilities would not survive.Managing health care services involves the planning, organization, supervision, and coordination of the delivery of the services. The health manager works in hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities and a number of other health services. Professionally trained individuals are hired to carry out these tasks to keep the facility or organization running efficiently.For those who are interested in working in the health field but do not want direct patient contact, managing and administration may be a good career match. This is also an area that is increasing in employment opportunities. Interested persons should research the academic programs that are designed for the organization and direction of health services.The individual who is interested in a career in health care administration will first need to obtain the proper education. Health care services managers must posses keen aptitude in administration and business, and the have the skills to clearly and effectively communicate verbally and in writing with others.These skills can be acquired through a good academic program. Most facilities are interested in hiring those individuals who meet the minimum education qualifications. The minimum qualifications are usually a Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Administration. For those who are interested in higher positions offered in this field, a Masters degree, or higher, in Healthcare Administration will be required.The many advances in technology and the complexity of medical regulations required by law, can be challenging to the professionals in the field of health care services managing. The planning and supervision of the delivery of health care services in any facility, involves a team of service managers working under the direction of an administrator. The daily tasks of the manager will involve supervision of personnel, finances or budgeting, operating functions, and admissions.Within the healthcare management field there are a number of career opportunities in clinical managing and health information managing. Clinical managers supervise specific clinical areas and must be experienced and trained in the particular area. The health information manager is responsible for the secure maintenance of patient records. Individuals interested in this area of administration must have an undergraduate or graduate degree in the management of health information. Regardless which area the individual chooses to work, this is a field that has the promise of employment growth for the future.
Consumer driven healthcare plans have proven to be an excellent solution to rising healthcare costs. Here are the two parts to true consumer driven healthcare coverage.The Catastrophic Health PlanSometimes referred to as a high deductible health plan, a catastrophic health plan has some advantages over a traditional health insurance plan. The first and largest benefit of owning catastrophic health insurance is the affordable price. Because the deductibles are higher and due to the very nature of the plans, they can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars per year over traditional plans.The other big advantage to these plans is that some of them cover 100% of your medical expenses after you meet your deductible. Find the right plan and you won’t have to worry about splitting medicals bills with the insurance company once your deductible has been met.The Tax Advantaged Financial AccountThe other component of consumer driven healthcare plans is the financial account. Having a qualified high deductible health plan qualifies you to open a health savings account (HSA). This account allows you to deposit money into your HSA pre-tax and pay for your medical, dental, and other expenses tax free. It’s a huge advantage if you are in a medium or high tax bracket.Together, a catastrophic medical plan and a tax advantaged financial account make up a consumer driven healthcare plan. Consider this solution for yourself or your family. Start saving thousands of dollars per year on your health insurance premiums and hundreds, if not thousands more on medical expenses if they arise.
The healthcare industry is notorious for its severely disconnected practices. Often, a patient finds herself caught in the middle of the shuffle. If you’ve recently received medical care or attempted to schedule a doctor’s visit, you are certainly familiar with the headaches associated with the process. The article “If Air Travel worked like Health Care” from the National Journal, accurately and humorously sums up the issues we face.As a patient, interacting with the healthcare industry feels overwhelming and disconnected. Unfortunately, we are forced to tolerate a high level of absurdity when trying to complete relatively simple tasks. As a consumer, we would rarely accept such circumstances in any other industry, but it seems when it comes to healthcare, we have limited recourse. Patients seeking care face repetitive lines of questioning and seemingly unending wait times as the entire industry suffers from a lack of interoperability.The patient in the National Journal article, after being sold a flight departing months past his desired travel date, after he is required to fax in a consent form, and after he must call a separate company to handle his baggage, informs the customer service representative that in a modern system, he would be sold “a safe round-trip journey, instead a series of separate procedures. It would have back-office personnel using modern IT systems to coordinate my journey behind the scenes. The systems and personnel would talk to each other automatically. At the press of a button, once I entered a password, they would be able to look up my travel history. We’d do most of this stuff online.” He’s describing the way most industries operate today, from air travel to banking to freight transportation, all of which are able to successfully communicate between systems, companies and types of data.This article highlights, in a light-hearted way, the tension created by trying to coordinate answers to simple questions like appointment scheduling or billing inquiries while on the phone with a provider or health plan. All the healthcare stakeholders, patients, providers and health plans, are frustrated by the lack of interoperability and the high administrative costs to accomplish simple tasks like scheduling an appointment.Providing healthcare in this disconnected manner is expensive and unsustainable. As we look to the future, health systems and health communications will need to be integrated across IT systems, providers, specialist offices, labs and health plans. Data will need to be mobile, secure and efficient. It will need to be accessible when and where it’s required by authorized personnel.
With the constantly-rising cost of healthcare and health services, many healthcare organizations are concerned about providing quality and affordable care for their patients, while still being able to make a profit.As with any other business, healthcare organizations are concerned about the return on their investments, or their ROI. Any time a new piece of equipment is purchased, or a new system is adopted, the ROI must be considered.One question that is currently being debated, in terms of its potential ROI, is the adoption of electronic record-keeping systems such as EMRs and EHRs.EMRs, or electronic medical records, are used to store all of a patient’s information in an electronic format, and are designed for use within a single organization where a patient receives long-term care. EHRs (electronic health records) are intended to store a more comprehensive and all-inclusive patient history, and to be shared among several organizations which have access to the system.That way, caregivers always have access to a particular patient’s information (including diagnoses, test results, treatments, etc.), even if they visit multiple providers, without patients and caregivers having to concern themselves with the transfer of paper records.Doctors and hospitals are slow to adopt these systems, however, because there is a high initial investment required; the equipment and software must be purchased, and then they must learn to use the systems.The time and effort spent, by caregivers, on learning the new systems detracts from that which can be spent on patient care, and they must also pay their staff extra for the time they dedicate to mastering the technology.However, despite the large initial investment, the ROI for these systems is high according to many experts, and more organizations are choosing to adopt the technology.The organized and neat format eliminates time wasted trying to locate files and decipher notes that are often nearly illegible; the system can also help to eliminate medical errors, which saves money on malpractice insurance and lawsuits.Unnecessary tests and repetitive treatments can also be avoided, which saves time and effort, but also a great deal of money.Paper records also require a great deal more storage space than electronic systems, and use up a significant amount of supplies, which means that while the initial investment for these systems is low, the cost to maintain them over time can be much higher than many practitioners realize.