Healthcare Reform: Thinking small, Part 2

May 6, 2009

When people think of HIPAA, they think of the privacy provisions of HIPAA.  Yet privacy is nowhere in the title – the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, passed in 1997, was touted as a stake through the heart of one of the great evils of the health insurance market place – refusing to insure sick people.  The practice is called medical underwriting. 

“Portability”, the P in HIPAA, offered the promise that an individual undergoing treatment for a medical condition, would not have their treatment disrupted because of a “pre-existing condition” if they changed jobs and employer sponsored health plans.

 HIPAA has the same elements described in my recent post about Michelle’s Law: a good story line and a very narrow focus.  The Rube Goldberg fix over the simple, direct fix.

Anyone looking around at health care today might be surprised to learn that Congress even considered the subject. Read the rest of this entry »


Administrative Simplification

November 8, 2008

Sometimes people are magically teleported outside of their health care silo.

This happened to a group of our participants every month for several consecutive months.
At the beginning of each month one of the members of this group would call our office – “The doctor won’t treat me because he/she was told I have no health insurance.”
Our Plan had recently approved coverage for domestic partners.    Somehow, the computer system of one of our carriers could not properly interpret the code for a domestic partner.    The computer saw this adult as a child.   Read the rest of this entry »