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Patient Experience and HIX: An Underexplored Connection

Published: October 3, 2013 by Steve Millhouse

Americans who do not currently receive health insurance through their employers or a government program such as Medicaid or Medicare are now required to obtain insurance coverage or pay a penalty tax per the Affordable Care Act’s individual health insurance coverage mandate. These consumers can go to newly created health insurance exchanges (HIX) — offered through the state or federal government, depending on where an individual lives — to enroll in a private insurance plan.

It’s definitely a patient-driven process. So, how can healthcare organizations help? They can take advantage of this opportunity to improve the patient experience by connecting patients with much-needed insurance, while simultaneously mitigating patient payment risk.

Today’s patients want to be armed with as much information as possible. With this new initiative, healthcare providers can help patients navigate the various options offered through the exchanges by calculating how much patients might spend on insurance and by providing a comparison of plan benefits. However, it’s important for healthcare organizations to take this process a step further by screening patients to determine if they qualify for federal subsidies and beginning the enrollment process. Assisting patients in this way not only improves the patient experience, but also benefits the hospital by getting more patients enrolled with insurance, ultimately leading to higher reimbursement for services provided.

That leads to the next likely question: how can healthcare organizations successfully aid in this process? Solutions powered by data and analytics are the key. By using a data-driven approach to HIX screening and enrollment, an organization can identify patients that meet the income criteria for subsidy payments and tax credits, and automate the enrollment process by prepopulating the state’s HIX application form. In much the same way that data is used to screen for various financial assistance programs such as Medicaid or charity care, HIX screening uses key information about a patient’s unique financial situation to accurately determine if the patient qualifies for subsidies to help them pay for their insurance.

Interested in learning how you can improve the patient experience when it comes to insurance coverage? Check out our newest product, HIX Screening and Enrollment, and see how it can help support your patients as they begin to navigate the new aspects of healthcare reform.

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