The Executive Director of National Product Development for Kaiser Permanente talks with icyou.com about the consumer-directed healthcare push.
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How will insurance companies evolve to work with Consumer-Driven-Healthcare? Neal Miller: Well, I think for us it's a financing difference. We as an organization focus on shared decision making with the physician and putting tools out on the web so that you can learn more about how to manage your care and conditions about your electronic medical record and also about the cost of procedures. So we are already providing information to all of our members. I think for us, consumer-driven-healthcare is really the addition of the financing tool, and we now have HSAs, High Deductible Health Plans with HSA available in all our mainline regions and we also have the HRA available in California. How do you engage those who are disinterested about Healthcare? Neal Miller: Well, what we are really seeking as an organization is the focus on health for everyone of our members to be their partner in health if you will. And so we do it through a variety of vehicles, we do it on the web, we send letters and email messages, use letters, and of course there is the interaction directly with the physician, with the nurse and the nurse practitioner where we move that forward. Something that's newer for us is we have had a total health assessment available for each of our members so that they can think a little bit about lifestyle and choices and beginning next year, we are going to have that available so that it can be included in your medical record at your choice, so that your physician can see that as well, and hopefully interact with you on issues around weight management, smoking cessation and the like. What incentives are you offering customers? Neal Miller: Small but growing number of rewards available and for our consumer directed healthcare plans, those include $50 and an American Express gift card, if you come online and do your health assessment, fulfilling that out. We also have an award available or incentive for you if you attend a health club, 90 times in the course of a year, we will send you a $150 gift card and we are looking at much, much more. What do you hope to learn from this congress? Neal Miller: Part of the value of being here for me is understanding more about how the world exists outside of Kaiser Permanente. The issues that we have stressed in today's sessions are really about a lots of the things that KP already is able to offer, about online tools, about the electronic medical record around how we share decision making with the physician and access to the physician electronically and in person, we are already able to provide that to the marketplace now that we have the financing options available as well, I think we really can represent ourselves as being fully capable and actually at the leading edge of providing consumer care and focusing on that consumer and the financing as well.