Archive for the ‘Healthcare reform’ Category

Have you looked into calling on community health centers? With the healthcare reform changes, community health centers will be a focal point, and are poised to see tremendous growth.

“Our expectation is to double the number of patients we currently serve, from 20 million to 40 million,” says Amy Simmons, spokesperson for the National Association of Community Health Centers in Bethesda, Md. “That’s beyond any expansion that has taken place in their 45 years of providing care.”

 

Repertoire’s September cover story “Doubling Up” profiles the rise in health centers, which have seen a spike in patient visits and increase in funding during the Bush administration and current administration.

“Over the past decade, community health centers have proven we can grow at a sustainable and efficient rate,” says Craig Kennedy, associate vice president of federal affairs for the National Association of Community Health Centers. They will continue to do so to meet the needs of the anticipated patient population they face, he says.

 

What does it mean for sales reps? For one, sales reps calling on community health centers should know that the centers are free to buy medical equipment and supplies from whomever they choose. “We are free to purchase on the open market,” says Warren Brodine, CEO of the Chicago Family Health Center. “But we are bound by provisions of the Buy American Act,” meaning health centers are encouraged to buy U.S.-made goods whenever possible.

Look for more in the September issue.

According to a New York Times blog, Castlight Health has taken a new initiative to provide patients and customers with something that no one else has in the medical field. They are giving patients the chance to compare prices and quality ratings on healthcare services.

As healthcare begins to change, workers have to pay more attention to the costs of medical procedures, not only for themselves but also the insurance companies.

When a procedure is being paid for straight out of one’s pocket rather than an employer’s or the insurance company’s, it stands to reason consumers will pay attention to rates between doctors and hospitals to get the best deal.

Obviously this is not the case when it comes to emergency healthcare, but Castlight Health (A start-up financed by venture capitalists and the Cleveland Clinic, according to the NYT) is making this service available for customers to evaluate a doctor’s service based on price and quality.

Price transparency could significantly change the way health care is bought in the United States. The notion “seems ridiculously simple and obvious, and in any other industry, you would say, ‘Duh, we already have that.’ But in health care, it’s revolutionary,” said Alan M. Garber, a professor of medicine and the director of the center for health policy at Stanford, as well as an investor in Castlight.

— Lauren Wages

Doctors and dentists are hoping Congress gets a little more specific with some proposed financial legislation. According to NPR, a provision of a bill pending in Congress would give broad oversight to the Consumer Financial Protection Agency — to make sure banks and other financial institutions don’t extend credit inappropriately. In its current draft, the bill “would exempt sellers of nonfinancial goods and those not engaged significantly’ in lending. So the measure’s supporters say the bill doesn’t apply to health care practitioners.”

Physicians and dentists are worried, however, because of the word “significantly.” Because that word isn’t well defined, they could eventually be regulated by the CFPA. Read the rest of this entry »

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