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Ever Heard of Interoperability?

Jul 01, 2021
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Ever Heard of Interoperability?

Long word, long process; here’s the short story

Unless you work in the healthcare industry, you’re probably living your life without knowing what interoperability means. But soon, if you use health and wellness services at all, you’ll need to know at least a little bit about what it means.

 

Good to Know

Interoperability means that healthcare information and data can be connected among doctors, facilities, service providers, insurers, and others so that you have access to your health information wherever and whenever you need it. If you’ve ever changed providers or needed to see a specialist, you know that your medical records can take a while to catch up with you. That’s all going to change.

To get technical about it, this transfer of data will happen through application programming interfaces (APIs). Eventually, rather than waiting weeks for your medical records to move between providers’ offices, files will transfer almost instantaneously. That’s progress!

 

Need to Know

Opening these channels of information is actually a federal requirement for businesses in healthcare.  So, as an insurance company, we’re required to create a secure information network that gives you access to your health information in real-time. This kind of accessibility helps you get more efficient and accurate care. It will enable your providers to identify problems more quickly and allow them to make quicker and more informed decisions.

Interoperability is a huge change in how the entire health industry works, and it won’t happen overnight, but the first steps are about to begin. In early July, 2021, Health Options will support electronic access to your claims through third-party applications in your mobile device or browser. For additional information, please click here

But don’t worry. You’re still in control. Health data applications that you choose to connect will have access to your name, date of birth, plan information, providers used, medical, pharmacy and lab claims, and other data. See a list of the healthcare applications here. If you choose not to share your access – your information remains private. You turn data sharing on and off via your health and wellness application on your personal device. If you don’t download an app and turn on permission, nothing changes.

 

More to Know

You might never have given a single thought to healthcare data connections, or maybe you thought all your data dots were connecting behind the scenes already. Either way, knowledge is power. At its very basic level, this data sharing will help you and your providers make informed choices, eliminate wasted time and resources, and streamline healthcare services. This might mean fewer redundant blood tests and X-rays in the future, and we can all connect with that idea.

SEE ALSO

It's the time of year when Community Health Options files proposed 2022 individual health plan rates. Due to recent state legislation, next year's individual health plans will look slightly different than previous years. Maine insurance carriers will offer a handful of consistent Clear Choice plan designs to make it easier for consumers to compare health plans from different insurers. All individual health plans will now have a new name.

Click here to see a sample of our proposed individual health plan rates that are pending regulatory approval.  Please note that these rates do not account for any Advance Premium Tax Credit (APTC) subsidies that Members may receive.

Our 2022 plans also include some valuable new features that we have added based on Member feedback, including expanded telehealth services for all and a national provider network option.  We will continue to include coverage of COVID-19 vaccinations at no cost, access to our Site of Care program, and pharmacy support through our Script Savers program.

The Bureau of Insurance will hold a public forum on 2022 individual health plan rates on July 26, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. Read more and register at the State of Maine website.  For more information about proposed rates, you may also contact Member Services, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., at (855) 624-6463.