Some think that the rise of high-deductible health plans and personal health accounts may be partly responsible for holding down growth in U.S. health care costs for the past few years.
Those signs of success helped energize vendors, session speakers and attendees with an interest in “health care consumerism” at the AHIP Institute 2013 meeting.
America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) appealed to meeting attendees with a wide range of presentations.
Justin Greis, for example, a senior manager at Ernst & Young L.L.P., gave a talk on the latest news in health information privacy and data security.
Health data protection has been a hot issue since the passage of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), but the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) added twists to the wrinkles, and Obama administration officials have been trying to come up with new regulations to knit HIPAA and PPACA requirements together.
Greis noted that new issues have been cropping up. One is the trend toward HIPAA-affected workers using “bring your own device” (BYOD) policies to use their own telephones and computers to work, rather than relying solely on company-issued equipment.
But Greis noted that plenty of old favorites — such as continuing plan reliance on Social Security numbers — remain unresolved.
Many other speakers talked about creative new strategies for slicing and dicing patient data. Asif Dhar and Mark Goldberg of Deloitte, for example, gave one of a number of presentations on creative new uses for patient data.
But some of the hottest sessions and booths focused on efforts to help patients get more of the information they need to shop carefully for care, and to give patients incentives to make effective use of that information.
HealthSparq, for example, a company that sells health care price and quality data, released a study showing that many health plan members still have to make do with basic provider search tools that lack any information about the cost or quality of care.