When you visit your doctor, it’s common to spend 10 or 15 minutes answering questions about your health before you ever see the physician. Many times, the patient answering all those questions isn’t a new patient—and may have been seeing the same physician for years.

While asking every patient a list of questions may simply be standard procedure for many doctor’s offices, the process likely doesn’t make the patient feel well-known and may not inspire his or her trust in the doctor’s records. In fact, research from the Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP) shows that patients expect medical teams to have their current and complete medical information, regardless of where they receive care.

In an era when technology makes it possible to easily collect data, and electronic medical records and patient charts are practically spilling over with information that is continually added, it’s unfortunate that many patients continue to feel that their healthcare providers don’t know them well. In the words of one survey respondent: “If you go to an office, you don’t want to have to tell them everything. ... They should have records and a system where all your information is there and they don’t have to ask you.”

In this data-confused healthcare environment, the healthcare providers and the health plans that are able to harness their data and make good use of it are winners. With good data, providers have the information they need and don’t have to ask a lot of questions. And with good data, health plan participants and their care managers can make smart, informed decisions about their care.

Self-Insured Plans Need Good, Consistent Data

Healthcare providers aren’t the only ones who need clear, complete and timely patient data. In order to provide the best care for employees and effectively manage costs, self-insured health plans also need that data. That’s why the right third-party administrator (TPA) will provide needed information almost in real-time, allowing health plan providers to take action on new information before it’s too late.

For instance, Lucent Health pulls data from providers nightly, keeping plan administrators informed about potential issues. If an employee misses a refill on an important prescription, his plan administrator will know about it the next morning and can contact the patient to see if he needs help getting that prescription filled before an adverse event occurs. If an employee receives a cancer diagnosis, her plan administrator will know about it the next morning and can reach out to help guide her next steps, such as choosing the right surgeon and understanding her medication options.

That ability to reach out immediately to answer questions and provide assistance helps employers provide the best possible care for their employees, ensuring that no employee or family member falls through the cracks. It can also be a crucial tool in managing costs; research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows that when employees have more information about cost and quality, they will search out the least invasive and least expensive option.

At Lucent Health, nightly data, integrated well into care management, is helping employees navigate chronic illnesses and serious diagnoses—and guaranteeing employers achieve savings. For more information, click here.


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