Tag Archives: insurance companies

Obamacare Critics Said Obama Was 'Cooking the Books.' New Data Shows He

Obamacare Critics Said Obama Was 'Cooking the Books.' New Data Shows He
Another talking point against Obamacare just went poof. In the spring, as enrollment in the Affordable Care Act surpassed 7 million and settled above 8 million, critics said that the figures were an illusion. Insurance companies had warned that not …
Read more on The New Republic

Who can get Obamacare between enrollment periods
The first open enrollment period on the federal marketplace ended March 31 and was followed by a grace period that lasted through mid-April. The next open enrollment period runs from Nov. 15 to Feb. 15. But a qualifying life event creates a 60-day …
Read more on Chicago Tribune

Obamacare enrollment dips to 7.3 million
That's a 9 percent reduction from the government's May estimate of 8 million, which reflected only how many people had signed up, not how many had paid and were enrolled in the coverage. The number has been long sought by Republican lawmakers who …
Read more on Crain’s Chicago Business

Exigent Med Group, LLC to Launch SelfPayMD in September


Miami, FL (PRWEB) July 26, 2014

Exigent Med Group, LLC announced the scheduled September launch of SelfPayMD (SPMD), the first of five medical offices in Miami-Dade dedicated to providing deeply-discounted, “direct-access” to board certified Primary Care Physicians (PCP) to self-pay patients. Absolutely no health insurance will be accepted.

Even the best health insurance companies pay MDs only 20% to 25% of billed amount, while the latter shoulders rising overhead and labor-intensive collection efforts.“We do not accept any type of health insurance,” said Dr. Arroyave, MD, CEO. “Credit/debit card payments eliminate paperwork, billing and collection staff, and the huge savings allow $ 75 visits for the uninsured.”

As a direct result of diminishing reimbursements and rising overhead costs (long before the Affordable Care Act, aka: ObamaCare), some PCPs refused government or private insurance, opting for a 100% direct- access practice model. Currently in the US, direct-access accounts for 4%-6% of primary care medical practices – and growing. Even in England, with decades of socialized medicine, direct-pay is growing at 5% per year.

“Understanding our market of self-pay patients, we don’t stop there; we also navigate them (as needed) to a network of independent medical and surgical specialists, labs, imaging centers and even SurgiCenters offering deep discounts to direct-access patients – a free service to our patients. Patients are seen by appointments and walk-ins. “Membership is optional, at only $ 250 per year for individuals,” said Arroyave. “We will also offer special membership pricing to families and employers with less than 50 employees.”

Although ObamaCare provides health insurance for the poor, many in the middle-middle class who don’t qualify for subsidies will be unable to afford health insurance. Then there are those who will game the system, providing false information to get subsidies, and some young people who will opt for the small penalty rather than pay high premiums. Further, those with mandatory high deductibles of $ 5K – $ 9K may shop around for low, “out-of-pocket” prices. The government estimates that about 4 million people, or 1.2% of the population, will wind up paying the penalty tax rather than purchase health insurance. Healthcare experts believe that number is way underestimated, as there will be millions flying under the radar – without insurance.

Increased insurance rolls, a shortage of physicians, and more government control of healthcare access will result in long wait-times to be seen by a PCP. ObamaCare will add 32 million patients to the insurance rolls, and, by the government’s own admission, they expect a shortage of 52,000 PCPs by 2020. Even with the full implementation, they also predict that over 30 million people will remain uninsured (you read correctly)! This will lead to congestion.

Today in Massachusetts, with its mini-ObamaCare, the wait time to see a PCP is about two months; and, if patient care at VA Hospitals is an indication of things to come from more government involvement in health care, long appointment wait-times will be the norm. “Thus, many insured patients who want to be seen quickly will come to SPMD, even if they have to pay a small out-of-pocket fee,” said Chris Merlano, a senior executive with SPMD.

Corporate America is taking notice of direct-pay primary care models. “People will always need PCPs, regardless of recession or inflation. This is an opportunity for serious investors,” said Larry Chilson, a senior executive with DevelopMED since 2006.

For more information please contact:

Exigent Med Group, LLC

Marketing |Public Affairs | Communications

444 Brickell Avenue, Suite 51-121 | Miami, FL 33131| O 305.252.7921

contact(at)selfpaymd(dot)com | http://www.SelfPayMD.com







IPA Family Announces the Addition of SureBridge Insurance Products


Tampa, Fl (PRWEB) July 30, 2014

IPA Family, LLC, which is a member of The IHC Group, is excited to announce the addition of SureBridge supplemental insurance product solutions* to its expanding marketplace offerings. SureBridge supplemental insurance program is underwritten and administered by Chesapeake Life Insurance Company and currently offer up to 19 different products in 46 states nationwide.

IPA Family President and Chief Operating Officer David Keeler commented, “With the passing and implementation of ‘Obamacare,’ a.k.a. the Affordable Care Act (ACA), adding the SureBridge programs in conjunction with the supplemental insurance products we already provide through our internal IHC insurance carriers positions us to better serve the current and future needs of our ACA customers.”

IPA Family is proud that it is able to offer ACA compliant plans through some of the largest and most reputable insurers in the country. The SureBridge partnership will add vision insurance, critical accident, quick issue life insurance, non-insurance wellness products, and other solutions to the IPA Family product portfolio. Additionally, IPA Family represents three health insurance carriers through The IHC Group, which provide coverage for short term medical, critical illness, dental, fixed indemnity plans and its new Metal Gap supplemental series.

Keeler also added, “This special relationship allows us to collaborate with highly reputable industry leaders and, even more importantly, it provides us with the ability to equip our current sales advisors with enhanced solutions to market in states where we currently have no presence at all. As a result, we have immediate opportunities for high-level leaders who are willing to connect, invest and grow along with us.”

All sales advisors for IPA Family are licensed insurance producers. For more information about leadership opportunities with the organization, contact Dave Keeler to schedule an interview.

*Supplemental insurance products are not considered minimum essential coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

About IPA Family, LLC

IPA Family, LLC (IPA) is an established national marketing organization with a growing consumer direct sales agency numbering several hundred agents who distribute family and individual major medical insurance plans and ancillary products (including short-term medical, vision, dental, supplemental fixed indemnity limited benefit, critical illness, and hospital indemnity, and small group stop-loss) for The IHC Group, an organization of insurance carriers and marketing and administrative affiliates and the majority owner of IPA. In addition, it has begun to write major medical through well-known national insurance companies. IPA’s trained professional sales associates provide information and a product portfolio that can meet the needs of many small business owners and self-employed individuals and families. Headquartered in Tampa, Fl., IPA is accredited and has an excellent reputation with the Better Business Bureau (bbb.org).

About The IHC Group

The IHC Group is an organization of insurance carriers and marketing and administrative affiliates that has been providing life, health, disability, medical stop-loss and specialty insurance solutions to groups and individuals for over 30 years. Members of The IHC Group include Independence Holding Company (NYSE:IHC), American Independence Corp. (NASDAQ: AMIC), Standard Security Life Insurance Company of New York, Madison National Life Insurance Company, Inc. and Independence American Insurance Company. Each insurance carrier in The IHC Group has a financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) from A.M. Best Company, Inc., a widely recognized rating agency that rates insurance companies on their relative financial strength and ability to meet policyholder obligations. (An A++ rating from A.M. Best is its highest rating.) Collectively, the companies in The IHC Group provide insurance coverage to more than one million individuals and groups. For more information about The IHC Group, visit http://www.ihcgroup.com.







Baby Boomer Community Could Stand to Lose Millions, If Not Well Informed on Medigap Plans and Healthcare


(PRWEB) July 17, 2014

Millions of individuals will turn 65 this year, and start their Medicare Part B. Turning 65 triggers the clock on the time seniors have to get their medicare supplement insurance plan without having to go through underwriting.

It is best for customers to buy a medicare supplement policy when they are first eligible because this “open enrollment” period allows the consumer to secure a plan without medical underwriting. Medical underwriting is when an insurance company reviews an applicant to make sure they are a “good risk” under the company’s acceptance protocol. This process includes thorough physicals, interviews and other tests that often eliminates people with even the most minor medical conditions making it difficult to acquire a plan.

Many people don’t realize they have limited time to get this coverage, without underwriting. They often find themselves in a situation where they have missed their window and can only apply for medicare supplemental insurance with a company that will make them go through the full underwriting process. If a person is ill or has standing conditions that would keep an insurance company from insuring them under their insurance policy, they surely would not want to miss an opportunity to get coverage without underwriting.

There are various incidents each day where seniors receive medical bills in excess of $ 4,000 with no way to pay for them. These people are now being denied supplemental plan coverage for current health issues in addition to already owing copious amounts for past medical expenses.

The insurance companies want save themselves money by insuring low-risk, healthy, individuals who will not likely need medical help. Being in this condition is the ideal time to acquire a plan, but when in perfect health, medicare supplement insurance coverage is not always a top priority, and often then circumstances of being over 65 does not place many people in an ideal state of health.

1-800-MEDIGAP compiles the best plan options and helps to remove the time consuming hassle of shopping around for a plan. 1-800-MEDIGAP has professional agents that are knowledgeable, insightful, and ready to give guidance on which plan options are best for specific situations. People shopping around for plans could spend hours trying to compare supplemental insurance plans on their own. 1-800-MEDIGAP is here to make the insurance search smother and less time consuming. No matter what insurance carrier a consumer chooses to go with, the facts are the facts. Don’t miss your opportunity to sign up for medigap supplemental insurance today.

Take advantage of the benefits of entering the golden age of over 65 and know what is available. Get the facts here.







More Medicare Enroll Press Releases

Healthcare Self-Management Accelerated with Personalized Customer Dashboard


Colorado Springs, Colo. (PRWEB) June 10, 2014

CodeBaby, a leading intelligent virtual assistant (IVA) technology provider for healthcare insurance companies and providers, announces its next generation healthcare dashboard: Insyte. This unique customer healthcare solution will be introduced at AHIP’s Institute 2014 conference in Seattle June 11-13.

From the first day of the challenging 2014 enrollment period, CodeBaby has been better engaging consumers and gleaning firsthand information. One insurance company’s consumer-direct portal with a customized CodeBaby avatar went live the day Obamacare kicked off, making it one of the longest running consumer direct experiences tracked thus far. Statistics are early, but indicative.

This has uniquely positioned CodeBaby to have invaluable insight into the real needs of consumers and providers, as well as forecast healthcare technology trends for 2015.

Driven by this insight, the next generation CodeBaby Insyte gives consumers comprehensive visibility and “what if” scenarios to make informed decisions by providing a deeper understanding of their individual health picture. Payers can now provide this to their customers with the ability to serve up personalized data from multiple data sources into a single unified, interactive experience.

“Our customers anticipate a vital competitive advantage to providing consumers with greater visibility and control of their healthcare,” says Dennis McGuire, CEO of CodeBaby. “Having experienced reduced costs and increased consumer engagement during the 2014 enrollment period, they expect even more benefits by putting exactly the information consumers need at their fingertips. Items such as plan details, claims, health data, prescription refills and much more can be accessed in one place, allowing plan customers a clear view of their specific situation.”

Forrester researcher Skip Snow, who covers the Health IT space for CIOs, confirms that consumers and patients want more control and visibility into their healthcare choices. In his April 9 blog post, Snow indicates the new federal healthcare IT framework will require more health information data exchange, electronic access to clinical results, (online) medication management and electronic communications between patients and healthcare payer or provider networks.

CodeBaby has a proven ability to forecast demand and proactively deliver vital capabilities in the burgeoning movement of advocating for patients’ involvement in their own healthcare decisions. The company was awarded the 2013 Industry Innovator “Superstar” Award by The Institute for HealthCare Consumerism (IHC) for providing solutions to pressing health and benefit issues.

“CodeBaby brings a deeply engaging interaction between health and benefit companies and their end users, ensuring their customers and employees are able to take fully informed action,” said Douglas N. Field, CEO of The Institute of HealthCare Consumerism. “In a space that is undergoing tremendous transformation, this type of innovation drives improvements in healthcare consumerism.”

Demand for patient self-advocacy is a natural offshoot of the healthcare exchange environment, which is here to stay. CodeBaby’s rapid-response via Insyte provides customers with the capabilities to answer this urgent need and remain highly competitive.

About CodeBaby: CodeBaby is a global customer engagement and leading intelligent virtual assistant (IVA) technology provider founded in 2001 by two Canadian physicians turned gaming entrepreneurs (former CEOs of Bioware and executives of Electronic Arts). Leveraging emotional engagement and gaming expertise, CodeBaby’s solutions drive engagement and retention for Fortune 500 customers within healthcare, financials, banking, and eCommerce. CodeBaby was recently named a 2013 IHC Superstar Award Winner for providing innovative solutions in healthcare consumerism and benefits enrollment. Visit our website: http://www.codebaby.com or follow us on Twitter: @CodeBaby.







IHC Specialty Benefits Announces Record Visitor Traffic on healthedeals.com During First Half of 2014


Minneapolis, Minn. (PRWEB) June 25, 2014

IHC Specialty Benefits is excited to report the latest analytics from healthedeals.com, comparing website traffic between January 1-May 31, 2013 and the comparable period in 2014. The number of site visitors to healthedeals.com jumped 1,166% during such period. While health insurance product pages accounted for a majority of visits, articles and blog posts on healthedeals.com accounted for 25% of traffic alone.

How to Calculate your 2014 Obamacare Tax Credit was the runaway article, responsible for over 5% of all visits, and Your Guide to the Federal Poverty Level collected nearly 4% of all traffic. The Health Care Calculator came in third with almost 3% of traffic. Other top ranking articles included:

1. How the Affordable Care Act Will Impact Individual Premium Rates in 2014

2. 4 Top Apps for Organizing Your Medical Records

3. 10 Things to Know About Obamacare in 2014

“At the end of March, as open enrollment on the federal health exchange was set to close, healthedeals.com web traffic spiked,” said Brian Dow, Chief Operating Officer of IHC Specialty Benefits. “People are craving information and tools to make a decision about purchasing health insurance, which can be a complex process.”

Dow continued, “The analytics show that we are accomplishing what we originally set out to do. Our mission is to provide health insurance and supplemental products to individuals and families across the nation. Our goal is to be the leading health insurance resource for useful information, simple tools and quality products.”

About IHC Specialty Benefits, Inc.

IHC Specialty Benefits is a full-service marketing and distribution company that focuses on small employer, individual and consumer products. Products are marketed through general agents online, telebrokerage, advisor centers, private label and directly to consumers.

About The IHC Group

The IHC Group is an organization of insurance carriers and marketing and administrative affiliates that has been providing life, health, disability, medical stop-loss and specialty insurance solutions to groups and individuals for over 30 years. Members of The IHC Group include Independence Holding Company, American Independence Corp., Standard Security Life Insurance Company of New York, Madison National Life Insurance Company, Inc. and Independence American Insurance Company. Each insurance carrier in The IHC Group has a financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) from A.M. Best Company, Inc., a widely recognized rating agency that rates insurance companies on their relative financial strength and ability to meet policyholder obligations. (An A++ rating from A.M. Best is its highest rating.) Collectively, the companies in The IHC Group provide insurance coverage to more than one million individuals and groups. For more information about The IHC Group, visit http://www.ihcgroup.com.







Find More Obamacare Best Press Releases

Nice Obamacare Problem photos

Check out these obamacare problem images:

THE NATURAL
obamacare problem
Image by SS&SS
YASSIR ‘N HE BE MAKIN’ ME NATURALLY SICK

Don’t believe the media. Obamacare is already adding to the unemployment rolls.

spectator.org/people/david-catron

Commenting on the mainstream media of his day, Thomas Jefferson famously observed that "The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers." Coming from the Sage of Monticello, whose credentials as an advocate of the free press were pretty darned solid, this is an arresting statement. And it is evident that the news business has changed little during the two centuries that have come and gone since he penned that uncivil passage. Even if one ignores the "reporting" perpetrated by the New York Times and other leading lights of journalism in the wake of the Tucson shooting, the continuing relevance of Jefferson’s comment can be verified by perusing the stories appearing in most prominent publications about the GOP effort to repeal Obamacare .

The new House majority incurred the wrath of the media by refusing to change the name of the repeal bill and ignoring their calls to "wait a bit longer" before bringing it up for a vote. In fact, the Republicans had the temerity to give the "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act" pride of place in their vote schedule. This affront has inspired a spate of "news" stories claiming that the GOP has misled the public concerning Obamacare’s effect on unemployment. The Republicans have, according to these articles, misrepresented a CBO report that suggests the new law will eliminate 650,000 jobs. A typical example is an AP "fact check" piece that includes this priceless quote from economist Paul Fronstin: "CBO isn’t saying that there is job loss as much as they are saying that fewer people will be working."

The irony of such verbal contortions is that they would be unconvincing even if they were not self-refuting. It isn’t necessary to invoke the CBO to demonstrate that Obamacare is a job killer. The ink was hardly dry on the new law when the layoffs began at the small insurance companies. Last year, HealthMarkets announced its plan to eliminate 250 jobs pursuant to "national healthcare reform." Likewise, Principal Financial Group said it would get out of the health insurance business and lay off 1,500 workers due to "the shadow of a lot of regulatory matters." The darkest of these regulatory shadows is Obamacare ‘s requirement that health carriers spend 80% of premiums on medical care. This mandate will drive many other carriers out of the market as well, and kill the jobs of anyone working in their health divisions.

The job losses have by no means been limited to health insurance companies. The actual providers of health care, including community hospitals, are beginning to eliminate jobs. Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Indiana, has had to cut nearly 50 jobs because Obamacare "has already started to cut reimbursement rates to hospitals across the region and the country and we expect that reality to get worse moving forward." Another small hospital, in Leominster, Massachusetts, will eliminate about 50 positions. The spokesman for that institution said the cuts were made necessary by "health care reform, with its reductions in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements." Yakima Valley Memorial, in the state of Washington, will also cut 70 to 100 jobs because "Under federal health care reform, Memorial must reduce its expenses."

In addition to the jobs it will destroy in the insurance and hospital industries, Obamacare ‘s new taxes will kill countless jobs in the medical device industry. The Massachusetts Medical Device Industry Council estimates that about 90 percent of member firms will be forced to "cut back on operational costs — and jobs — after [Obamacare ‘s] 2.3 percent tax on their products is implemented in 2013." And, lest you fall into the error of thinking that "reform" will bring enough new customers to offset the increased tax burden, 42 percent of the affected firms have indicated that Obamacare will not increase their business. The others are no doubt hoping that at least one of the promises made on behalf of Obamacare will actually be fulfilled. Inevitably, however, this addition to their cost of doing business will add to the unemployment rolls.

If you believe that all this carnage will somehow render health care more "efficient," as many progressive policy wonks have claimed, remember that reform-induced job losses will not be limited to the health care industry. As health care economist John Goodman points out, the various mandates imposed by Obamacare will effectively raise the cost of labor across the economy. He estimates that they will add ".28 an hour for full time workers (individual coverage) and .89 an hour (family coverage) for fulltime employees." Many businesses simply cannot absorb such increases without cutting labor costs. This is why we have heard so many cris de coeur from low-margin employers like White Castle, which says the financial hit "will make it hard for the company to maintain its 421 restaurants, let alone create new jobs."

And the government cannot simply "waiver" this problem away. Thus far, the Obama administration has issued get-out-of-jail-free cards to well over 200 employers and unions that screamed bloody murder when they realized how much devastation Obamacare will wreak on their operations. These waivers don’t cure the disease. They merely treat its symptoms. Even worse, they will eventually draw U.S. health care into an increasingly corrupt, Chicago-style political spoils system. Because these waivers are issued at the pleasure of the HHS Secretary, it is inevitable that the companies and unions with the most political power (i.e. those which have made the largest cash donations to the Democrats) will be given special dispensations. Less affluent employers will be forced to save money by cutting their labor costs.

None of the "reporters" peddling the CBO meme have shown any interest in the job losses already caused by Obamacare . They prefer to focus on the wickedness of the Republicans. As Paul Krugman phrases it, "The key to understanding the G.O.P. analysis of health reform is that the party’s leaders are not, in fact, opposed to reform because they believe… it will be ‘job-killing’ (which it won’t be). They’re against reform because it would cover the uninsured — and that’s something they just don’t want to do." This is the sort of dishonesty that prompted Jefferson to augment the above-quoted criticism of the Fourth Estate with the following: "Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper." Were he with us today, he would no doubt include broadcast media and many Internet outlets in this indictment.

spectator.org/

Shakopee (Spring 2014) – Insurance Continuing Education Class

Shakopee (Spring 2014) – Insurance Continuing Education Class
Event on 2014-04-15 08:00:00

AM – 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM – What's New in Insurance

MN Course # 1013456  WI Course # 68349

OBamaCare, Mega Data Mining, direct buying habits of auto insurance consumers, and the death of replacement cost for roofs are just some of the topics we will be reviewing in this half-day session. Underwriting, sales and marketing, and claims are all experiencing transformations. In these times of change an informed insurance professional can be an important part of the coverage product. This course is designed to bring you up to date on what you need to know.

 

PM – 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM – Ethics and Unfair Practices (Approved for Ethics!)

MN Course # 1009530  WI Course # 69007

The contractual rules of consideration and exchange apply to insurance policies. The information that is used to measure risk has to be given to the carrier if asked for or the contract can be void. At the time of loss, insurance companies have a responsibility to act in the insured's best interest. An insurance policy must indemnify a covered insured if the loss is caused by a covered peril. The entire insurance timeline is wrought with chances to behave in an unethical way. In this course we will discuss problem areas and what should be considered.

 

at Canterbury Park
1100 S. Canterbury Rd.
Shakopee, United States

Brainerd (Spring 2014) – Insurance Continuing Education Class

Brainerd (Spring 2014) – Insurance Continuing Education Class
Event on 2014-04-03 08:00:00

AM – 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM – What's New in Insurance

MN Course # 1013456  WI Course # 68349

OBamaCare, Mega Data Mining, direct buying habits of auto insurance consumers, and the death of replacement cost for roofs are just some of the topics we will be reviewing in this half-day session. Underwriting, sales and marketing, and claims are all experiencing transformations. In these times of change an informed insurance professional can be an important part of the coverage product. This course is designed to bring you up to date on what you need to know.

 

PM – 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM – Ethics and Unfair Practices  (Approved for Ethics!)

MN Course # 1009530   WI Course # 69007

The contractual rules of consideration and exchange apply to insurance policies. The information that is used to measure risk has to be given to the carrier if asked for or the contract can be void. At the time of loss, insurance companies have a responsibility to act in the insured's best interest. An insurance policy must indemnify a covered insured if the loss is caused by a covered peril. The entire insurance timeline is wrought with chances to behave in an unethical way. In this course we will discuss problem areas and what should be considered.

 

If you have questions please contact Dean Kilau at 1-320-240-0666. See our website for additional statewide continuing education session locations.

http://www.cityautoglass.com/CE_loc.html 

at The Lodge at Brainerd Lakes Red Sand Room 6967 Lake Forest Road Baxter, MN view a map
The Lodge at Brainerd Lakes Red Sand Room 6967 Lake Forest Road Baxter, MN
Brainerd, United States

Integrative Medicine Specialty Board Certification in 2014 Provides New Opportunities For Greater Health, Wellness Promotion and Preventive Practices


Key West, FL (PRWEB) March 06, 2014

A professional evolution is brewing in health care that will take a quantum leap later this year. A decades-in-the-making shift in medicine made a sudden turn in 2011 when the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine (ACIM) decided to pursue the establishment of a formal specialty in Integrative Medicine with the American Board of Physician Specialties. The first-ever certification exams announced by the affiliated American Board of Integrative Medicine (ABOIM) received overwhelming positive interest – causing a delay from May until November 2014 in scheduling for the numerous applicants who met the deadline for participation.

Dolly Garlo, founder of Thrive!! Coaching, Consulting & Training, sees this development as a win for patients and a significant opportunity for physicians called not only to treat illness, but to heal and promote health, particularly in collaboration with practitioners of numerous beneficial complementary healthcare practices. She adds, “It’s time for innovative health care leaders to step forward, build strong businesses around their professional practices, and sensibly market the availability of their cutting edge services so that regular people understand what they are and how to access them.”

The so-called “Towns vs. Gowns” debate (certification vs. academia) has resolved in favor of specialty certification, which gives both referral sources and the public more they can rely on. That move is further supported by the decision of the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine (ABIHM) to become an international academy called the Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine (AIHM) with a new mission “to implement the science of health and healing into practice by bringing leaders of medicine and the healing arts together into an academic and clinically focused community” including professionals from multiple disciplines. Not only MD’s and DO’s, it will support licensed and credentialed healthcare providers such as naturopathic physicians, chiropractors, acupuncturists, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dentists, pharmacists, psychologists, nutritionists, and dieticians.

Management consultant extraordinaire, Peter Drucker contributed two important principles to what’s needed in health care in this country today when he said: “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things[; and] business has only two functions — marketing and innovation.”

To take advantage of the opportunities these important shifts represent, and better serve the public, the following tips will assist interested practitioners:

1.    Get on Board, Lead and Recruit.

A greater focus on health, wellness and prevention coming from traditional mainstream physicians, as “captains of the ship,” is the leadership necessary to better support both people and health care economics. Those moving into the integrative medicine specialty are key to spearheading discussions in more conventional or mainstream settings. Board certified integrative physicians will bring a ‘whole-person’ approach to patient care: body, mind, spirit and environment, and can demonstrate through practice the benefits of health promotion, disease prevention and complementary health practices.

2.    Include.

Doing the right things involves becoming more informed about and incorporating known and effective, evidence as well as science-based approaches. Many natural and more easily accessible health practices as well as treatment modalities have been successfully in use around the world for thousands of years without the need for synthetic pharmaceuticals. Encouraging the inclusion of more nutritious organic and pesticide/hormone free food-as-medicine, and utilizing approaches from sound nutrition counseling, to essential oils and natural plant-based supplements, to homeopathy and energy based practices, to structural and functional body work in addition to exercise, to de-toxifying environments, to enhancing well-being through meditation, yoga, hypnosis, relaxation techniques, and more, as needed, provides a much broader arsenal to address a given individual’s condition, situation and pocketbook.

3.    Build Conscious Businesses.

This developing recognition of holistic approaches and inclusion of complementary practices must be augmented with conscious business development. Team approaches to care and collaborative practice arrangements among physician and non-physician practitioners with advanced training in the myriad effective alternative options available allows better-tailored care and services to help people both heal and stay well, as well as actually comply with treatment regimens.

4.    Educate.

Conscious business practices should include ethical and educational approaches to marketing. That will allow these leading innovative practitioners to better inform both the public and conventional referring physicians about available options, as well as the intended results and possible benefits individuals might derive from utilizing them. A more informed public can make better health care choices, and using educational marketing approaches can help care providers build and sustain viable practices in order to deliver those services.    

5.    Better Understand the Health Care Marketplace.

Medicine has become big business even as many individual professionals shrink from the thought of professional practice as “business.” Non-healthcare professionals have all but destroyed the corporate practice of medicine prohibition, which was legally established for two important public policy reasons: first, to prevent the undermining of the physician-patient relationship and the physician’s exercise of independent medical judgment in the sole interest of the patient, and second to limit the intrusion into that decision making of influence by corporate non-physicians not subject to the same professional standards or regulatory control.

To maintain at least an appearance of support for these public policies, insurance companies and other corporate influencers quickly added physicians to advisory boards and as staff to review decisions for reimbursement and budgeting purposes, and limit financial fraud and abuse. Removed from the actual patient, however, this arm-chair decision-making has also limited patient access to medically necessary therapeutic services, as well as valuable alternatives, and has increased costs needed to review and deny insurance coverage.

Consequently, medical decision-making has been dissected, diluted and delayed, causing people to seek more readily available remedies. With the shift to insurance companies as gate-keepers (and related coverage exclusions) and away from direct payment fee-for-services practices, patients seek other means – including discretionary out-of-pocket payment and the use of health savings accounts – to fund complementary and alternative health care approaches.

6.    Create Innovative Service Delivery and Payment Options

Well-performed via reputable practitioners, wellness, preventive and restorative health care services not only help patients, but save the health care system money. Though certain wellness and preventive services are now mandated under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), a step in the right direction, they are limited in scope.

This environment – greater need for health promotion services (as opposed to primarily disease treatment) and a keener focus on a whole-person model that incorporates alternative approaches – creates a great opportunity. Using sound and ethical business and marketing strategies allows independent and small office integrative medicine and complementary health care practitioners to better offer their valuable services whether or not insurance reimbursement is available.

Ultimately, learning what is not taught in most academic training settings – conscious and collaborative forms of business structuring, marketing in the form of education and service delivery with alternative payment options – is necessary to expand these ever more available medical and complementary healthcare professional services to a healthcare marketplace hungry for health.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dolly Garlo, RN, JD, PCC-BCC, President of Thrive!!, founded the coaching, consulting and training company in 1997 to help other professional women build solid business foundations for successful delivery of innovative services, create successful and profitable businesses, design fulfilling business-exit or career change and personal lifestyle transformations, and use their considerable skills and resources to make local or even global contributions. On the web at http://www.allthrive.com.

Working exclusively with compassionate business minded professionals, Dolly Garlo is also on a continuing mission to change the way health care services are delivered in this country, particularly focused on the integrative medicine and complementary health care arenas. It has been her passion since graduating from nursing school 35 years ago and it’s what drives her work to this day as a former health care attorney turned board certified professional coach and legacy development planner, with additional certification in financial coaching and retirement life planning.

She earned her BSN from the University of Michigan, and her JD from the University of Utah. She practiced as a critical care registered nurse in Medical and Shock/Trauma ICU, followed by 16 years practicing civil and administrative law (building and running her own law firm advising professionals and health care businesses). An ardent environmental advocate, she developed her comprehensive legacy planning program as a result of experiences creating the Garlo Heritage Nature Preserve.