Medical insurance companies can drive healthcare costs upwards and are less motivated to become involved in improving care if hospitals are paid per “executed task” regardless of necessity. Health insurance makes a difference in whether and when people get necessary medical care, where … A study published Tuesday in Health Affairs reports new evidence of health insurance's salutary effects on chronic disease, quantifying those effects down to changes in blood sugar control, blood pressure and a slight drop in cholesterol. Have a question about our comment policies? This process of reinvesting earnings into safety programs is an increasingly common solution in the insurance sector, especially if the organisation is a mutual. Insurers are also contributing through the sponsorship of research in the fields of patient safety and quality improvement. In Sweden for instance, our mutual national patient insurance company Patientförsäkringen LÖF (P-LOF) has run four projects in cooperation with 24 separate professional organizations and care-givers in areas of safe delivery care, infections after joint prosthesis surgery, abdominal surgery and medication practice in primary care. The analysis adds to a growing, if somewhat uneven, body of evidence probing health insurance's effects on health. Insurers must be accountable for patient care and use their resources and knowledge to create safer health environments for the future. One of the most basic assumptions underlying the Affordable Care Act is the compelling idea that people with health insurance will be healthier. "We know we improve health care coverage, but .... what are some of the other strategies to improve health?" People who find out they have high cholesterol or blood pressure early will get the medical advice and treatments to prevent heart disease. These new models are proving hugely beneficial for patient care. If you have questions about how the health reform law will affect you and your insurance options, please go to, or contact their Help Center at 1-800-318-2596 if you have … Among the results from this project are a new definition and terminology regarding CTG-interpretation, interactive web-based training programs on interpretation of CTG-curves and neonatal resuscitation. Financial Software Delivers Excellent Healthcare, The Healthcare Industry Adopts Social Media. Although this kind of remuneration is common in the medical community, it is increasingly being questioned and replaced by other reimbursement models where payment is based on objective or subjective results. Employer-sponsored health insurance. None of these studies say which is better: expanding Medicaid, or vouchers for private insurance.". It follows, right? But in Oregon, researchers tracked people who were randomly assigned, by lottery, to be eligible for coverage through Medicaid or not. … Similar joint projects aimed at eliminating prosthesis-related infections and promoting safer abdominal surgery are now also underway. This type of structured, collaborative model is proving effective because it is multi-professional, voluntary, self-rated, non-normative and focused on the system and the processes. Health insurance companies affect patient care indirectly by driving what tests, medications, and procedures doctors can use to diagnose and treat patients and even which patients doctors can care for. The individual health insurance market is vastly different today than it was before the ACA (aka, Obamacare) was implemented. Gathering & Analyzing Information Helen Levy and David Meltzer, scholars with an interest in healthcare, found that most studies that attempt to find a causal link between health insurance … Image via Flickrby Leader Nancy Pelosi A Gallup poll found that the rate of uninsured Americansfell to 11.9 percent in the first quarter of 2015, down from a high of 18 percent in the fall of 2013, before the ACA took effect. Long said. Questions around procedures and guidelines, measurements of staff compliance and suggested areas of improvement were all asked by the insurer and answered comprehensively by care providers. The new study comes with a raft of qualifiers, the researchers acknowledged. By offering rewards that are based on an agreed level of quality or service, they can help healthcare providers place more emphasis on outcomes. Research from Patientförsäkringen's projects will be presented at the Patient Safety Congress, 21-22 May in Birmingham, UK. Research examining the expansion of Medicaid to pregnant women in the 1980s and 90s found that insurance coverage was associated with less infant and child mortality. Handling and controlling risks is something that insurers are clearly good at and those in healthcare are learning from this system of identifying, describing and minimizing risks. When you purchase an individual or family health insurance policy through the marketplace, directly from an insurance … "Being on Medicaid is better than being uninsured," said Katherine Baicker, a professor of health economics at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health. In our safe delivery program for instance, all 46 Swedish delivery departments (and their teams of obstetricians, midwives, pediatricians and neonatologists) participated. Insurers are also taking active steps to collect and distribute information of risk-prone procedures and treatments to care-providers to improve safety and quality. "There's a lot of work beginning to look at what if we address air population, water pollution, what do we see? They found that insured people were more likely to have chronic conditions diagnosed. "What seems much less clear to me is how that option compares to other options. Might there be other strategies" than simply expanding coverage? How does lack of insurance affect access to care? Another Massachusetts study found that after health care reform, residents got more preventive care and reported better health. They compared health measures of those who had insurance with those who lacked it. Healthcare Global Magazine is the ‘Digital Community’ for the global hospital & healthcare industry. Where you get your health insurance from can make a big difference in its effect on your tax return. As a result, there are considerably more patients in the United States’ healthcare system than there were just a few years ago. Although insurer-led, these programs instigated the type of self-assessment that is needed to uncover latent risks that may be known about but not acted upon. "I suppose one of the major motivations for us in doing this study is there’s been so much debate about the Affordable Care Act and relatively little discussion of health, whereas there’s been quite a bit of discussion about financial outcomes," said Joshua Salomon, a professor of global health at the Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health, and the leader of the new study. Risk & Compliance People who learn they have diabetes will be prescribed drugs to  manage their disease. Although these improvements to patient safety must ultimately be implemented by healthcare providers, insurance companies are increasingly taking a role in encouraging, incentivizing and facilitating change.