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Nov. 8—In a state extolled as an enrollment leader, one hospital is using a custom approach to drive patient insurance sign ups.
Norton Healthcare in Louisville, Ky., is undertaking its own enrollment strategy to sign area residents up for coverage under either private insurance coverage offered through the state-run health insurance marketplace, called Kynect, or through Kentucky’s Medicaid program.
The enrollment efforts of the five-hospital, not-for-profit health system are separate and apart from the state’s enrollment push. But the combination of state-led and private enrollment efforts have produced one of the largest sign-up rates in the nation and garnered an endorsement from President Barack Obama as an example for the rest of the nation. More than 40,000 Kentucky residents have enrolled for coverage since Oct. 1.
While Norton officials believe they have assisted in that enrollment effort, the health system has not taken part in enrollment initiatives backed by the federal government, such as the navigator or certified application counselor programs, through which staff are trained to help people sign up for coverage using the state’s website. The health system does plan to use state-provided enrollment kiosks, but those have not yet arrived.
Primarily, the health system has relied on Shelley Gast, system director, managed care for Norton, and an assistant to help people understand their coverage options. In mid-September, Norton launched a publicity campaign for the coverage expansion authorized by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that included radio, bus stop, and postcard advertisements with the state marketplace’s website and phone number. Those ads also included Gast’s phone number, an approach that has generated about 30 calls each day. “Adding my phone number to the ads was important so that people in the community could call me and I could help walk them through what the site looked like and ask me if they had any questions specifically about Norton,” Gast said in an interview with HFMA.
The assistance Gast has provided includes helping callers identify the providers in various health plans offered through the site. Although Gast’s callers reported that the state website worked well for all but the first few days of enrollment, it has been a challenge for some to determine whether plans cover care from particular providers.
Questions surrounding the size and scope of plan’s provider network have been the focus of many callers, Gast said, because preferred provider organizations were the dominant insurance arrangement in Kentucky before the public marketplace, which includes many narrow network plans.
Norton is included in some narrow network plans and will promote them as part of public seminars it will cosponsor with Humana, which is offering some of those plans. The four seminars—the first of which was Thursday evening—outlined the various benefits available through the ACA were intended primarily for previous self-pay patients at Norton but are open to the general public, as well.
The public seminars were a recent addition to the health system’s ACA outreach campaign after similar sessions proved popular with Norton’s staff.
“A lot of these folks truly have to talk to somebody,” Gast said. “You can’t really educate someone on the exchanges via a billboard because there is so much to the exchanges.”
The outreach efforts could change in the next open enrollment season. Norton plans to re-evaluate its outreach plans after the final coverage sign-up numbers are known following the March 31 end of open enrollment, she said.
Publication Date: Friday, November 08, 2013
Tom Myers, chief strategy officer, The SSI Group, discusses the shifting payment environment and how it affects providers' patient access and claims management processes.
Jeff Chester, senior vice president and chief revenue officer at Availity, shares his thoughts on "Revenue Cycle 2.0" and how to best meet its challenges.
Mitch Morris, vice chair and global leader, healthcare, Deloitte, and Michael O'Rourke, senior vice president and chief information officer, Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), share perspectives on the need for transformational IT in health care today.
Brian Kueppers, founder and CEO, Apex, discusses the importance of a robust patient payment strategy in boosting organization revenue and enhancing patient satisfaction.
Brian Grazzini, CFO, HealthPort, describes the importance of efficient and compliant information exchange and audit management in helping HIM staff spend less time on paperwork and more on mission-critical projects.
Cindy Matthews, executive vice president, Community Hospital Corporation, discusses how rural and community hospitals can use collaborative partnering to position for success through tough market conditions.
Rick Heise, senior vice president, revenue cycle, at Cerner Corporation, discusses the importance of integrating clinical and financial data to excel in health care’s changing payment environment.
Russ Graney, founder and CEO for Aidin, and John Laursen, head of business development for Aidin, share insights on how to improve care transitions between acute and post-acute care settings and incentivize high-quality patient outcomes.
Scott Elston, strategic accounts manager, GE Healthcare Services, describes how substantial cost reduction in health care requires rethinking business strategy and asset use.
Robert Williams, MD, director, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and Arielle Freiberger, product strategist, ConvergeHEALTH by Deloitte, explain how sophisticated retrospective, real-time, and predictive data analytics can inform decision making to reduce costs and improve care.
Stuart Hanson, director of business development (healthcare solutions) at Citi Retail Services, discusses how improving the payment experience can benefit consumers and healthcare providers.
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