Kaiser Permanente Announces that Virtual Visits with Providers Have Surpassed Face-to-Face Appointments at Meeting of Nashville Health Care Council Members

Should this milestone be an indicator that more patients are willing to use telehealth to interact with providers, then clinical laboratories and pathology groups will need to respond with new ways to collect specimens and report results Telehealth is gaining momentum at Kaiser Permanente (KP). Public statements by Kaiser administrators indicate that the number of virtual visits (AKA, telemedicine) with providers now is about equal to face-to-face visits with providers. This trend has many...

To Handle Increased Bad Debt by Patients in High-Deductible Health Plans, Hospitals Are Offering Loan Programs

Even clinical laboratories and pathology groups are reporting increased patient bad debt because more patients have high annual deductibles, often $5,000 or more Hospital executives are anticipating a deluge of new patient debt associated with a dramatic increase in high-deductible health plans. Some hospital systems have even launched loan programs to help patients pay for their share of the cost for care provided and to stem the rising tide of uncollectible patient debt. Patient Bad Debt...

Federal Government Agrees to Open Access to Medicare Data about Individual Doctors

Experts predict employers will use this data to create “report cards” on individual physicians In a big step forward for public access to data about provider outcomes, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will make its enormous Medicare claims database more broadly available to the public. Both the press and the public will be able to search for information about individual physicians. It is likely that information about pathologists will be searchable in this manner....

Aetna, Humana, Kaiser, UnitedHealth Put Five Billion Medical Claims into Database for Healthcare Cost, Utilization Research

Data represents $1 trillion in spending since 2000 and contains clinical laboratory and pathology data In what may turn out to be a positive development for clinical laboratories and pathology group practices, four of the nation’s five biggest health insurance companies will collaborate and put their medical claims data for billions of transactions into a single data base. Researchers say this database will give them an unprecedented ability to assess utilization trends and the clinical care...
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