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“Let’s fix health care” – by embracing better technology

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With the buzz about health care reform having relaxed recently, we would like to share our response to an overlooked statement from America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) that was released on August 11, 2009, right in the thick of the most heated debates.

AHIP, one of the foremost organizations to ensure quality and affordable healthcare across the country, published a Statement on Health Insurance Reform that they believe will assist in achieving universal access, affordability, and cost containment in healthcare.

In summary, they propose a public-private advisory group be formed to weigh in on ways to reduce spending across the entire health care system, “change the way we pay for care” to reward for quality rather than volume, and streamline administrative processes to increase efficiency and reduce costs.

As experts on technology for the insurance industry with a special interest in health insurance, we feel that technology will play a pivotal role in executing these recommendations and objectives. Streamlining administrative processes is nearly impossible to achieve without the active involvement of Information Technology departments within organizations, whether they be hospitals or health plans.

Historically, a burden has been placed on IT managers to respond to the organization’s needs at the lowest cost possible. Often this necessitates in-house systems development and an inadequate attention to ‘best practices’ across the technology industry. Numerous problems result, including the ubiquitous administrative inefficiencies which AHIP acknowledges must be wiped out.

However, a strategic investment in the right tools and technology solutions yields not only a desirable ROI but also the more important adoption of uniform standards and quality, making improved care possible nationwide.

As AHIP states in its Comprehensive Healthcare Reform Proposal,

“Achieving the broad goals of universal access, affordability, and cost containment – in ways that are fair to all Americans – will require dedication and commitment on the part of everyone with a stake in the outcome.”

All Americans have a stake in the outcome of health care reform. Those of us at VUE Software pledge our dedication to reform by continuing to help health plan information technology programs effectively reduce wasted resources and assist health plans in providing the best possible services to all Americans.



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