Beginning Feb. 1, 2021 aPatientsPlace.com will launch the initial trial of a free health care coordination and advocacy service.
Services are accessed from any desktop or mobile device at https://aPatientsPlace.com. From the home page patients, caregivers, and POAs can schedule a 15 to 30-minute phone or video call to review and discuss the obstacles that are inhibiting their ability to get integrated and coordinated health care and support services.
Clients who are accepted for the trial receive 100% free services throughout their engagement with the healthcare system. This includes, but is not limited to, help with healthcare finances, insurance, Medicare/Medicaid, access to treatments and therapies, selection of primary and specialty providers, social support, emotional health services, medical equipment, healthy living environments, connections to other patients with similar conditions, and access to available community services.
Client privacy is protected by HIPAA compliant software and communication technology with the entire care team throughout the entire process.
Once the barriers to quality health care are eliminated, or all efforts to remove obstacles are exhausted, each case is closed.
Last Revision: Dec. 30, 2020
American healthcare consumers have won two recent and hard fought victories for hospital pricing transparency and an end to surprise medical bills from a practice called “balanced-billing” that enabled out-of-network providers to send bills to people for the amount that insurance did not cover.
Hospital Pricing Transparency
Once again the healthcare power players, this time the American Hospital Association (AHA), tried to block consumers from accessing transparent information about their prices. Fortunately, U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols in Washington, D.C. dismissed the AHA’s challenge to a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Price Transparency Final Rule requiring them to disclose the prices they negotiate with insurers. The rule will take effect beginning on Jan. 1, 2021. Count on the AHA to appeal to continue their efforts to block informed decision-making by consumers. You can follow the case “American Hospital Association et al v Azar, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, No. 19-03619.
New “Balanced Billing” Protections
While consumers will still have to deal with high prices for prescription drugs and certain health care services, at least they will now be protected against unexpected bills from out-of-network providers of emergency care, air ambulance transportation, and nonemergency care at in in-network hospital when unknowingly treated by an out-of-network provider, including anesthesiologist and laboratories. This bill does not cover ground ambulance services.
The bill does include provisions for consumers who want to use an out-of-network provider and are willing to forfeit protections to see the provider of their choice.
Consumers need to be aware that this new law does not go in effect until 2022.
The Nov. 23 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine published an observational study that concluded that hyperglycemia (blood sugar level) independently predicted progression from noncritical to critical condition and death, regardless of prior Diabetes history, among more than 11,000 patients with confirmed COVID-19, from 109 hospitals in Spain. This study informs how people admitted to a hospital even with mild hyperglycemia should be treated. Since it examines outcome by admission blood sugar level it eliminates the effect of any inpatient treatment.