What Still Needs To Change

Regardless of the uncertainty regarding the Affordable Care Act and the Republican’s “repeal and replace” cry, there’s something that has been missing in health care.

Engagement.

I’ve written about this in the past and it continues to be an issue.

The ACA, passed with the support of the Democratic party, moved us down the path of universal coverage. Health and Human Services (HHS) stated in early 2016 that 20 million people now had coverage under the ACA. This doesn’t include the 2017 open enrollment numbers as we’re still in open enrollment. Having more people covered is a good thing.  Yes, there’s a question about adding people to a system that can’t control costs, but from a health standpoint, having insurance is arguably better than not having it (especially if you have a medical condition of some sort).

The Republican party has not yet agreed upon one approach, but they have options.  One item I’ve noticed is the push for transparency – the ability to know what you are paying for when you consume health care.  This is also an area that needs a kick in the pants.  It’s maddening to go to a health care provider and, while at the registration desk, agree to pay for any out-of-pocket expenses – WITHOUT KNOWING WHAT THEY WILL BE.

As maddening as this is, I still say that getting covered and having transparency doesn’t do anything without…say it with me…engagement.

I can have health insurance coverage. I  can have tools that let me see what things cost.  But if I don’t actively engage in my health – and I’m talking all facets of health – then problems remain.

So how would I define engagement?  I suppose there are many ways, but let me start with this:

Knowing how to choose the right health plan for you and your family, eating healthy, staying on a medication regimen when prescribed, questioning treatments prescribed by your doctor to prevent over-treatment, exercising, arming yourself with information before seeking care, utilizing all the great tools that employers offer to their employees to manage their health, understanding your chronic condition and actively managing it, knowing when to go to ER vs. urgent care vs. telemedicine visit, etc. etc. etc.

Yes, there’s a lot here.  But it’s our duty as consumers of health care to engage in our own health.  That’s not a small order, I know.  And sadly, a great deal of engagement is missing.

Understanding the Past, Building the Future: Health Care – from Xerox HR Insights Blog

I’m very excited to share a post from my employer related to the past and future of healthcare.

To celebrate our 100th anniversary, the consulting practice leaders from the UK, Canada, and the United States were asked the following three questions:

  • How have things changed in their fields in the past 100 years?
  • What are the biggest challenges they – and their clients – are about to face?
  • What’s the most exciting thing they speculate is coming along?

My friend and global health practice leader, Hope Manion, wrote a piece for this and she was kind enough to mention me.  She and I discussed some of these topics prior to her writing her piece – I’m pleased to have helped!

Welcoming back insurance exchange expert Dave Kerrigan

David Williams of Health Business Blog was kind enough to write a post about my recent return to the private sector. You can read his post below. Thanks again, David! By the way, if you’re not yet a reader of Health Business Blog, what are you waiting for? David’s posts are fantastic! In fact, his blog just celebrated 10  years!

Health Business Blog

David J. Kerrigan David J. Kerrigan

Health insurance exchange expert Dave Kerrigan is back in the private sector after three years working for the Massachusetts exchange. As a result he’s reviving his A Musing Healthcare Blog. The first new post is about the potential of health exchanges in a world where healthcare costs fall on employees.

Welcome back!

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Returning to the Private Sector – and a Private Exchange

In January of 2012, I joined the public sector as a senior team member of the Massachusetts Health Connector, the state-based insurance exchange set up by the Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”). My area of expertise was SHOP (Small business Health Options Program).  What an amazing experience it was.

Nearly 3 and a half years later, I’m returning to the private sector…and will begin blogging again.

On May 4th, I will join Buck Consultants, LLC, a division of Xerox as a Principal in their exchange known as RightOpt.

I am thrilled to be joining such a great organization doing amazing and innovative work in the exchange space. I also plan to blog more often than I have in the past three years…which shouldn’t be hard – I’ve barely blogged at all since I worked for the state!

More to come soon. But for now…May the 4th be with you…

The Blog Is Back

And by blog, I mean this blog – A Musing Healthcare Blog!

I recently accepted a very exciting position that will allow me to begin blogging again. For the last 3+ years I have been working at the state-based Health Insurance Exchange for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. During this time I have refrained from blogging at the request of my employer.

I’ll be returning to the private sector and plan to begin blogging shortly after I begin my new gig.

More to come soon! Watch for new posts beginning in May!

Dave

What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been

My last blog post was New Year’s Eve 2011.

In January 2012, I began a new job as the Director of Business Development for the state-based exchange (er…marketplace) in Massachusetts.  This was one of the Affordable Care Act pieces – marketplaces in each state to purchase health insurance.

Part of my employment agreement (albeit not formal agreement) was to stop blogging as I was now considered a state employee and my views and thoughts, though not reflective of the Commonwealth, could be viewed as such.

For this job – for the experience, learning, and exposure –  it was worth it to me to stop blogging for a bit.

Two and a half years later and all I can say is this: what a long strange trip it’s been.

More to come – just not quite sure when…