The Free Library of Philadelphia is among those offering assistance to patrons interested in enrolling in a health insurance plan through the Affordable Care Act. Library coordinator Nani Manion is one of 33 librarians in the Philadelphia Free Library system who have completed training to become certified application counselors, and some libraries have allowed federally certified agents who assist with applications, called navigators, to use library space for ACA information seminars. Millions of people seek health information from libraries each year, according to the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Policyholders, agents and prospects are among the stakeholders that many insurers are focusing on as they increase their portal capabilities, according to a report by Celent. Insurers also are fostering integration with legacy systems by adopting tools for collaboration and workflow management, the report said. "With such an emphasis on user experience within the industry, the burden to produce a quality entry into an insurer's system has become much higher. No longer can a carrier simply put up a minimal amount of content and expect it to gain and/or maintain interest in its various stakeholder groups," the report said.
Craniofacial surgeons at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia have enlisted the help of a French bulldog puppy named Lentil to help patients with facial abnormalities feel as normal as possible. Plastic surgeon Jesse Taylor advised surgeons at the University of Pennsylvania's veterinary school on correcting the puppy's cleft palate, but they left the cleft lip alone. Lentil has since visited hundreds of patients and is very popular.
Health insurer WellPoint tapped Spanish-language television network Univision and marketing firm HolaDoctor for an outreach effort to educate Hispanic patients about the Affordable Care Act's forthcoming online insurance marketplaces. The campaign includes town hall meetings, newscast content, TV and radio ads, and an online insurance resource.
Companies may need to update their business practices to address changes that went into effect with the enactment of the final HIPAA Omnibus Rule. Companies could have to enact additional protections for patients when they access protected health information under the rule, which could also change how health care providers use or disclose the information. The rule also requires that HHS conducts compliance audits on a proactive basis, rather than solely in response to complaints.