The Affordable Care Act passed by Congress and signed into law on March 23, 2010 has made preventative care services free for 47 million women. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released this information back in July of 2012 detailing eight new prevention-related services that must be covered by health plans allowing women to take control of their health. Insurance companies did not cover these services before under their health plans which made women responsible for the co-pays and deductibles for the care they need to stay healthy.
According to HHS, the eight new prevention-related services are:
The coverage of these services began on August 1, 2012 for most health insurance plans. However, Health plans that existed before the health care reform law (grandfathered status plans) do not have to comply with the ACA coverage requirements just yet. Furthermore, the Obama administration is not requiring certain nonprofit religious organizations to cover these services.
Per a recent survey, most U.S. companies anticipate their grandfathered status to dissolve by 2014 primarily due to the changes to health plan design and company subsidy levels.-Stephen Miller, Society for Human Resources Management, Nine of 10 Big Companies Expect to Lose Grandfathered Status (Aug. 20, 2010),
Women, men, and children all benefit under the Affordable Care with screenings for cancers, high blood pressure, flu shots, depression, cholesterol, and other various immunizations all being covered at no extra charge under the health care law.
How to Notify Your Patients
Your patients are now eligible for free preventive care but they may not be up-to-date with the changes. According to a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive for the Optum Institute, forty-one percent of U.S. adults are either interested or very interested in receiving text message reminders about upcoming medical appointments. The Columbus Dispatch recently reported how hospitals such as Mount Carmel and OhioHealth that have successfully used patient data to send out reminders on mammograms, colorectal screenings, and health fairs and seminars on join replacement (Sutherly, Columbus Dispatch, 11/12). Patient confidentiality is of course top priority and all planning and marketing is in compliance with health-care privacy laws.
A doctors’ relationship with the patient needs to go beyond the medical practice doors and offer engagement and resources at the patient’s convenience. Putting the patient in control of their health while the doctor manages the care is the ultimate goal to help lower healthcare costs and stop health problems before they start.
eClinicalMessenger is a care management tool within eClinicalWorks that enhances communication between the physician’s office and the patient. Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology allows practices to send voice messages to patients and gives the practice the ability to send SMS text messages. eClinicalMessenger is a part of the comprehensive eClinicalWorks EHR solution. The bi-directional capability of eClinicalMessenger allows patients to respond to a message and have their response change the status in the EMR system therefore reflecting that response. It is more than an appointment reminder and can help your practice save time, money, and most importantly build healing relationships with your patients.