Tag Archives: health care bill

The Impact of Health Reform Industry

The HealthInsuranceFinders.com News Center reported that under the rules and stipulations outlined in the new health reform law, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will be tasked with not only revamping current health coverage policies and procedures, but also restricting costs for health plans and ensuring that health insurance for individuals as well as for families is easily attainable. As our lawmakers begin this overwhelming task of streamlining health plans, it is critical for them to keep in mind the overall impact their actions will have on the health industry, children and e-health and patient care.

Health Reform Industry Impact

With all the changes and red tape surrounding the new laws, one might wonder if the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries will be affected during the transition. In the early 90’s, the pharmaceutical industry displayed some stiff resistance to restructuring and reforming America’s health plans and health insurance for individuals. However, in modern times, the sector has embraced and even encouraged the widespread reshaping of health coverage in this country. While motivating these changes, the industry also exercised a little self-preservation by outlining the terms of a deal for protection during the reform.

The medical technologies sector will experience a hybrid of new opportunities as well as never before experienced difficulties throughout the revamping of the current policies. In order for future medical progress to remain current and relevant, new payment methods and procedures must be implemented to streamline the process.

Children and Insurance Coverage

Results from recent studies really solidify the need for policy restructuring in an effort to best protect minors through Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid. These efforts must be in place as soon as possible to ensure a more seamless transition as we prepare to extend health insurance to individuals that have previously been uninsured.

Children currently covered under a private policy will often lose benefits within 90 days of a parent losing a job. This number is 6.5% higher than children who have parents that continue to stay employed. To eliminate this dilemma, Gerry L. Fairbrother of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, maintains local and federal officials need to eliminate waiting periods and eligibility restrictions to these children when their parents lose their jobs.

Also, despite being eligible for Medicaid or CHIP, approximately two million children enrolled in these programs still lost coverage in 2008. Benjamin D. Sommers of Harvard University noted this trend in his analysis spanning 2002 through 2008. He also made note that while retention rates for children in publicly offered plans have gone up, new matriculation has gone down.

Via EPR Network
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Physician Offers Own Brand Of Affordable Insurance Alternative

Cedar Park family medicine physician Melissa J. Urrea, M.D. believes taking care of your health shouldn’t be a difficult financial decision. And while the recently-signed Health Care Bill mandates that all individuals will be required to obtain health insurance by 2014, that still leaves several years of challenging options on how to best obtain quality medical care. That’s why she recently introduced through her practice, Trinity Family Medicine, a pre-paid package of medical services. Trinity HealthSpan ™ provides access to comprehensive health care to uninsured and underinsured individuals and families.

Nearly one in four Central Texas residents currently lives with inadequate or no health insurance — and that statistic is expected to rise as a result of the recession. Dr. Urrea’s plan helps to  bridge the gap between the need for and access to quality health care services.

For an annual fee of less than $800, Trinity HealthSpan ™ provides:

  • An annual examination (including prostate screening)
  • Lab work (including a complete metabolic panel, diabetes screening, kidney and liver function screening, electrolyte evaluation, complete blood count, anemia evaluation, thyroid function evaluation, cholesterol and lipid panel, urinalysis, urine protein evaluation)
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Tetanus vaccination
  • Influenza vaccination
  • Three routine office visits (including follow up for a particular disease/condition and sick visits)
  • Access to coordinated services (such as labs) at reduced rates

The concept for Trinity HealthSpan ™ originated when Dr. Urrea was challenged with managing the care of chronically ill individuals who had no or limited insurance or were self-employed. “For someone with a condition like diabetes, allergies or asthma, it is imperative to focus not only on disease management, but overall wellness,” said Dr. Urrea. “That involves multiple visits to a physician, along with moderate diagnostic testing to monitor the condition.”

As the recession affected more and more of her patients, Dr. Urrea consulted with her practice’s business manager to determine how they could assist their patients in maintaining regular access to care. The practice reached out to ancillary service providers like laboratories and negotiated reduced rates on behalf of patients who purchase the Trinity HealthSpan ™ package. Trinity HealthSpan ™ also connects patients with pharmacies offering low-cost, generic prescription plans. Local retailers like HEB and Target offer plans that provide medications for as little as $5 a month, which is actually less money than most insurance plan co-pays.

For an uninsured individual not participating in Trinity HealthSpan ™ , the cost of the pre-paid package of services would be $1,050. Similarly, if an insured patient paid an average of $400 per month (not including deductibles and co-pays) in insurance premiums, they could save more than $4,000 annually by enrolling in Trinity HealthSpan ™ . “Even if the patient needed X-rays or an MRI, it would still be less expensive than through their insurance plan,” said Dr. Urrea.

“As a physician and patient, I wanted to bring peace of mind to those individuals and families who can’t afford insurance but deserve state-of-the-art medical services,” added Dr. Urrea. Patients may also purchase “a la carte” customized care packages with fewer services or those related to a specific health condition. Plan financing options are also available.

Trinity Family Medicine provides care for the entire family, including pediatrics, women’s health, men’s health, general medicine, herbal medicine, sleep studies, and cosmetic medicine. House calls are also an option for established patients depending on location.

Dr. Urrea is a graduate of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB). She is board-certified by the American Board of Family Medicine, a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, and serves as an associate clinical professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

For more information or to sign up for Trinity HealthSpan ™, call Trinity Family Medicine at 512-258-1645 or visit www.urreamd.com.

Via EPR Network
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