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Putting Patients First

posted by Marilyn Tavenner

on January 15, 2016

Across the industry, innovators are driving change within the health care system to improve the health of the communities we serve. To me, this means putting patients at the center of the care model.

I’ve written about patient-centered health care here before but it’s worth repeating. Patient-centered care is more than a buzzword; it’s a must have if we are to improve the quality and value of care delivered. It involves giving patients the access, support, and information needed to take charge of their health. The health insurance community recognizes how important this is and is designing and redesigning coverage options that make patient-centered care possible.

For example, all health plans offer disease management and care coordination services that provide patients with online resources, medication reminders, and access to 24-hour nurse hotlines, which help patients make health care choices that are right for them. Patients also have access to health plan decision-making tools to navigate the complicated health care system. Using cost calculators and transparency tools to compare quality and price information on treatments and providers, patients can obtain the best quality health care services at the best value. All of these efforts are data driven – Health plans have the data to paint a more complete picture of each patient and tailor efforts to help them make healthy lifestyle changes, avoid gaps in care, and better manage their health conditions.

One way AHIP is engaging, empowering, and educating patients to make informed decisions about their care is through videos that explain important health care topics, like prescription drug coverage and drug prices, how premiums work, and in-network and out-of-network care.

Health plans will continue to focus on helping patients become active, engaged participants in their care, and we welcome opportunities to build on these efforts in both the private and public sectors to create a system that truly puts patients first.