Monthly Archives: January 2014

Uncategorized

“Consumer Website Aims for Price Transparency” and We’re a Part of It!

What we’re trying to tell you is that the consumer has the power to demand price transparency from the healthcare providers. It’s time to stop accepting the idea that you won’t know how much you’re spending until you’re leaving the hospital.

Independent radiology practices have come together and are represented on www.saveonmedical.com, a site where you can request an appointment right online, view the quality scores, and lock in the very clear price they have listed there.

Healthcare Payer News wrote an article about the site: “Americans can shop online for pizza, hotel reservations and lots of other goods and services, so why not for medical procedures as well?”

Matt Schneider, the vice president of marketing for Atlantic Health Solutions and co-founder of SaveOnMedical.com, is confident that the site can…

  • Help consumers find the best prices
  • Help radiology centers compete
  • Bring more price transparency to regional healthcare markets

Physicians who send their patients to get imaging tests done want to know these imaging centers aren’t ripping off their patients. It makes sense for both the patient and other medical professionals to have a side-by-side comparison of whom they’re working with.

“The company’s initial target population was uninsured patients…” because the price reflects self-pay pricing, but it’s a valid option for anyone looking to shop around, especially if they’re avoiding meeting their deductible.

You can see our Save On Medical page here.

 

Uncategorized

More Changes in Healthcare Coverage

It’s not exactly news that the healthcare market is changing. With ObamaCare, the Affordable Care Act, the Exchange and Marketplace, and Accountable Care Organizations, the market is growing in ways that’s hard to understand.

How does this affect me? What happens to my care?

Mark Cherry contributed this article to the Healthcare Reform Blog to help spell it out.

Insurers, specifically UnitedHealth, have “slashed hospitals and physicians from its AARP Medicare Complete plans for 2014,” and it’s happening throughout markets around the country.

But why? It actually saves the insurance company and the patient a lot of money, both on the plan and, more often than not, on what’s paid to the medical professional.

However, these changes are resulting in a standoff between insurance companies and hospital networks who usually get tied up in reimbursement negotiations, as that’s the main cost. In response, a lot of hospital networks are joining up with accountable care organizations to make up for the losses.

These changes look to be permanent, as they’re “part of the larger trend toward narrow networks in both the commercial and Medicare space.” The changes have also resulted in higher star ratings for insurance plans after dropping the hospitals.

“Whenever there was an impasse between insurer and provider, the latter always had the advantage because no one understood the actual costs of healthcare.”

Not anymore.

People are educating themselves and really learning to shop around and find the best price, and it’s resulting in better, quality care at an affordable cost.

Uncategorized

MRIs and Stem-Cell Tracking: Making Leaps and Bounds

“Intravenous iron can be used to safely and efficiently label stem cell transplants for tracking with MR Imaging in arthritic joints and other target tissues.”

What does this mean?

The stem cells being used here are called bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells, or MSCs. They are highly effective in tissue regeneration and cell-based therapy, meaning they can repair damage on joints through the connective tissue, bone, and cartilage.

So what’s the problem?

Stem cells often die or disappear after being transplanted to the recipient.

However, this new iron is a way to highlight and track these cells to make sure everything’s going well in the patient. The stem cells are taken from the donor, treated with the iron oxide solution, and placed in the patient, who can then be monitored with noninvasive imaging.

“The findings point to the ultimate clinical role of MR imaging for cell tracking: monitoring the accuracy of cell injection in real time with MR-compatible catheters.”

Because of this technology, we expect to soon have the ability to repair heart damage and brain neurons as well.

You can read the full article from RSNA here.

Uncategorized

How to Properly Construct a New Year’s Resolution

Did you know that only 8% of people achieve their resolutions? Research at the University of Scranton showed that only about 40% of Americans even make resolutions (that’s only about 1/3 of the Super Bowl audience), and of those, 8% achieve them.

How do those people meet their year’s goals? Forbes created a list of tips on coming up with the perfect resolution.

  1. Keep it Simple: “Essentially, shooting for the moon can be so psychologically daunting, you end up failing to launch in the first place.” The goal should actually be multiple small goals throughout the year instead of one that’s overwhelming.
  2. Make it Tangible: Being specific is what keeps you on track with things like that. Instead of saying “lose weight” or “workout,” lay out exactly what you want—no potato chips, fries, or ice cream, or attend a weekly exercise class.
  3. Make it Obvious: An easy way to keep your goal at the forefront of your mind is to keep it public: tell your friends, tell your family, start a blog.
  4. Keep Believing You Can Do It: “Simply setting a goal does raise your chances of achieving that goal, significantly.” You want this year-long goal to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Share your 2014 resolutions with us on our Facebook wall!