Tag Archive for Insurance

Is Your Plan Ready for the Changing Face of Healthcare?

Not only are health plans facing reform, but as our population continues to diversify, language and cultural barriers continue to complicate matters. Health plans across the nation are preparing for what’s in store for the next two years. In order to succeed in this evolving environment, they need to reassess current strategies and find ways to turn challenges into new opportunities. The healthcare industry must redesign its business models to better capture, serve, and keep a growing class of empowered customers. Healthcare reform has brought more questions than answers, and there’s still much we don’t know. One thing that can certainly be said, however, is that the health plans of tomorrow will not be the same as today. Therefore it is vital they keep members informed, educated and engaged.

Join VIA on February 27 for our next healthcare translation webinar on 2013 Health Plan Preparedness. This complimentary event will highlight features of the health care law that pertain to language access, and will better equip health plans to serve their diverse members.

Attendees will also learn:

  • Trends around legislation, immigration and language populations
  • Prioritizing your budget for the greatest impact
  • Tips for managing content – from healthcare literacy, translation to cultural sensitivity
  • Using print, video and mobile to improve education and engagement

Time’s running out, so reserve your seat now and stay ahead of the curve!


Independent healthcare plan helping innovate in Minnesota

These days the issue of healthcare too often tends to devolve into a fractious back and forth about healthcare reform. Unfortunately, this means that all the great and innovative work so many healthcare professionals are doing to better serve patients can be overlooked.

I’m glad that as a part of the work we do at viaLanguage I get to be in regular contact with a great many of these innovators. UCare and its efforts with the Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP) is just one example.

An independent non-profit health plan, (and a viaLanguage client!), UCare provides healthcare and administrative services to more than 160,000 members. It partners with healthcare providers, counties, and community organizations to create and deliver innovative health coverage products addressing a variety of Medicare, special needs plans, and state public programs members.

Part of UCare’s efforts includes offering incentives to clinics and care systems that deliver improved quality of care. This means rewarding providers serving Medicaid beneficiaries enrolled in MHCP, and expanding pay for performance (P4P) to include providers serving Medicare members.

What’s more, UCare’s MHCP P4P Plan and Medicare P4P Plan reward providers that show, within certain identified areas, any improvement over the previous year. It analyzes member health outcomes, while identifying those areas where improvement incentives are warranted. In 2009, UCare made P4P payments to 60 percent of the eligible care systems serving MHCP members.

It’s stories like this that inspire the industry to continue think creatively about meeting patient needs. And that can be powerful indeed. To learn more, check out the full UCare case study.

Till next time,

Cheers to Texas for saving an important CHIP bill

I just want to offer a word of praise and thanks to the Texas Senate, which recently rescued a jeopardized children’s healthcare bill. The expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) sought to move 80,000 uninsured children to a government-subsidized health insurance program. But the bill sat paralyzed as House Democrats worked on defeating a voter identification bill.

Thankfully, Sen. Kip Averitt, R-Waco, attached the Senate version of the CHIP bill to a House bill on disease screening for newborns. The Averitt bill would raise the income limits for a family of four from $44,000 to $66,000 to buy in to the program, while limiting parents’ premiums, co-payments, and fees to 5 percent or below net family income.

The bill now returns to the House, which earlier this month passed a bill that expands the program to about $88,000 for a family of four. Because the federal government pays 72 cents of every dollar spent on CHIP, the hope is that the $43 million in state budget for CHIP will draw additional matching funds.

We also have to offer a thank you to all the child advocates, business groups, and doctors who worked hard to save the legislation last week. At a time when healthcare is in a state of flux, it’s inspiring to see such examples of dedication.

Good health!