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CarevilleTV: Community Healthcare Clinics Can Provide Fertile Soil for Healthcare Improvements

I sat in on a gracious invite to moderate IPayX's Healthcare Improvement Webinar (positioned at MBProject as part of our "Banking on Better Healthcare Series" - see here), which collected opinions from participants for the Obama Healthcare Initiative. On the call sat a patient accounting executive from a world renoun academic health center, a large healthcare IT services firm and the IPayX team. It was small but the content was rich (see this SlideShare).

Douglas Braun, who runs IPayX, was able to describe the Obama healthcare plan in three bold strokes; (1) improve infrastructure; (2) expand coverage to all Americans; (3) improve prevention and public health. While we didn't get to the all important cost factor, we were able to hear a series of interesting observations, some from the Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs at Vanderbilt University, Dr. Harry Jacobson. Dr. Jacobson addressed the 2009 Medical Banking Leadership Forum, where some 55 banking and healthcare leaders attended to discuss the future of medical banking in a "credit-broken" economy. Some of his analyses were presented in the slide deck, comparing healthcare costs in the US versus other areas of the world. Looking at our healthcare "problematique" within a global context is very helpful, I believe, in forming constructive frameworks that could point to solutions.

Interestingly during the Forum, MBProject also focused on three key areas: (1) improving healthcare infrastructure and using those savings to expand coverage to more Americans (the mission of MBProject is to 'convert digital savings into charitable resources'); (2) how to extrapolate and capitalize on business intelligence running through medical banking platforms; and (3) implementing a personalized healthcare platform for increasingly sophisticated medical consumers - one that could include comparing healthcare resources in a community, educating consumers on wellness and prevention (a key issue arising in employer circles that talk about optimizing human capital), using a card-based system for managing a personal healthcare record and providing tools to better manage HSAs - a "health-wealth portal" play.

As I sat on the call and heard the opinions, (supplying many of my own), I saw more clearly that our areas of focus in the medical banking community align well with the stated objectives of the Obama Administration. We have much to offer former Senator Tom Daschle's (D-SD) new team as they sift through ideas...and a healthy dose of respect for the challenge that lies ahead that will require all stakeholder hands on deck.

One of my moments of clarity came from Obama's call for investing in communities. This is an agenda item for which we not only made a call for support among our bank members, noting that banks may be defined as good corporate citizens with access to credit (the latter being challenged today but still holding true), but an Action Plan called "Charitable Communities Network" and later rebranded to "CarevilleTV". After making an investment in this concept, that brings together so many of the community anchors and technologies that can support "healthier communities", I challenged banks to follow our lead in 2003. We got some bites but not enough to crank up the model and see if it really works...yet!

An article published by the The New York Times reads, reporting from Nashville,..."Although the number of uninsured and the cost of coverage have ballooned under his watch, President Bush leaves office with a health care legacy in bricks and mortar: he has doubled federal financing for community health centers, enabling the creation or expansion of 1,297 clinics in medically underserved areas." The IPayX webinar, this article, and our focus at MBProject lead me to a startling conclusion - that the community healthcare clinic setting should become an area of focus for the Obama Administration.

In the safety net setting we can test and deploy new technologies without the typical "game politic". We can get much done that is instructive to the greater healthcare establishment. I strongly believe that we must not race towards a digital economy in healthcare while leaving the safety net behind - nor should we! These "beacons of light" - community clinics dotting the American landscape - can serve a dual purpose to both help the underserved/unbanked as well as offering a critical testing and staging ground for the next generation of technology tools. Of course not all tools can evolve from this setting but my instincts tell me that many, many innovations can benefit from deployment in a real world, community clinic healthcare setting. My thoughts to Obama? Target this area with investment and a way to measure progress along the three critical fronts - cost, access and quality of care.

I have to admit, as I reasoned through these ideas during the IPayX call, and after having talked about CarevilleTV to my entrepenuerially-minded brother-in-law (and former pastor) over the holidays, the notion of moving forward on the Action Plan/Business Plan (yes, it is a self-sustaining business model) ignited once again. Along with other personal reasons involving the passing of my dear sister (see My Tribute here), I'd like to re-energize our "New Media Initiative" at MBProject. The idea was ahead of its time but that is no longer an excuse. We must push medical banking into the mainstream of our everyday community-oriented lives. CarevilleTV offers a plan to do just that. For more information on CarevilleTV (rebranded from CCN), see this.

John Casillas
johnc at mbproject.org
Chair, Medical Banking Institute
Executive Director, Medical Banking Project
401 Pond View Court | Franklin, TN | 37064
Phone: 615.794.2009 Ext. 114 | Fax: 615-468-7606

December 29, 2008 in A Bank-Driven eHealth Ecosystem | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Medical Banking Networking Group Launched on LinkedIn.com

Posted by ED

Medical Banking LinkedIn Group image

For those interested in using social networks to promote the latent integration of banking technology, infrastructure and credit with healthcare administrative and clinical operations, I have created a Medical Banking Networking Group on LinkedIn.com. The invite link is available here.

December 17, 2008 in A Bank-Driven eHealth Ecosystem | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

AHIP Board Backs Hill Reforms Plus 7

HealthWire reported today that AHIP is supporting the concept of a Federal Health Board among other policy goals.

The board of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) at a press conference in Washington today proposed 7 significant new health reform innovations as part of a package of ideas presented as a first-cut ‘comprehensive’ reform plan. While details were sketchy, a close reading of the new AHIP language shows it also endorses 13 out of 16 features of pending major Capitol Hill proposals.

The seven new health reform proposals from AHIP added to the mix include:

·         Congress will set a specific target for reducing national health spending over a 5-year period (from a 6.6% to 4.7% increase)

·         A new independent federal board (akin to the Federal Reserve) will develop a specific action plan for reducing health costs in the U.S.

·         A national multi-payer online portal will give all providers a uniform method to communicate with all health plans on eligibility and benefits

·         All payers will voluntarily adopt uniform national standards for quality, reporting and information technology versus today’s ‘piecemeal’ basis

·         Small employers will under federal law be offered an “essential benefits plan” available nationwide and exempt from state mandates

·         Emergency rooms will be replaced as a poor source of routine primary care for the uninsured by a planned and organized national system

·         Low-income patients will get bankruptcy protection from medical claims under a system of tax credits tied to percentage of income spent

December 4, 2008 in Medical Banking Blogging | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack