Healthcare Business News

IT can help patients become healthcare-literate, and other news

By Modern Healthcare
Posted: March 1, 2014 - 12:01 am ET

Regarding the article “We can't afford healthcare's continuing increases, Aetna chief says” , Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini is correct about barriers and the need to empower patients. Healthcare consumers are not only in a “rats' maze,” as he said, they are in a maze with different languages for healthcare, payment and wellness. Providing information technology that will facilitate the customer in becoming healthcare- literate is a major step in removing the barriers.

Lori Swanson
Quality and compliance officer
Physicians Immediate Care/
Physicians Urgent Care
Rockford, Ill.

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Telemedicine requires oversight, protection from exploitation

Regarding the article “Florida docs gear up for fight against telemedicine bill”, missing from this debate is any kind of scientific evidence about the accuracy and efficacy of telemedicine. Leaving it largely unregulated and not subject to state supervision is asking for trouble. Is anybody keeping tabs on patient outcomes or scams involving telemedicine? The Internet has been abused by doctors prescribing opiates to patients they have never seen. There will always be marginal practitioners ready to exploit an opportunity such as telemedicine.

Dr. Philip Levitt
West Palm Beach, Fla.

Need for living will isn't always part of the discussion

Great point in Peter Fine's op-ed regarding living wills and medical powers of attorney (“Make living will a requirement”). As a licensed financial adviser and financial planner, the discussion of both of these has always occurred in my practice, and many other advisers do so as well. Unfortunately, this discussion doesn't happen across the board. Further, even though we advise clients to have these in place, they don't always act on the advice and complete them. Awareness and education can only help.

Ken Koger
Ziegler Wealth Management

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