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PHI: An Acronym for the Next Big Thing in Health Insurance?

Posted by Joe Antle on September 18, 2017 7:10 AM EDT
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Two weeks ago I shared an article that had been published by my favorite local newspaper, The Virginian-Pilot.  The article announced the fall-out from the announcement that Anthem was leaving the Virginia marketplace....

...and it dealt primarily with the impact that decision would have on the individual and family health insurance marketplace.  The scenarios are not pretty and the impact on many people, especially those who don't qualify for governmental assistance based on age or income or both with Medicaid, Medicare or tax credits will likely face draconian pricing increases on already enormously aggressive prices.  My blog asked the question, what's the next big thing in health insurance, healthcare and in employee benefits.

This past week, my favorite newspaper published another announcement by Anthem that will have the health insurance carrier returning to the Virginia ACA health insurance market in selected geographic areas where the carrier's previously announced departure, along with Optima Health's announced "selective geographic departure" would leave huge gaps in coverage.  It's more like a humanitarian act by the carrier, not a sign of the "next big thing".

Now, I want to share with you loyal readers what could very well be something looking like "the next big thing".  And I will build on our sometimes prop of using acronyms as a way to describe and make memorable a concept in the whole healthcare, health insurance, employer-sponsored employee health benefits and geographically-driven collective impact projects.  

It's "PHI".  But this acronym of PHI isn't the one that is so often found throughout the healthcare ecosystem-"personal health information".  However, this new "PHI" acronym builds heavily on the former healthcare "PHI".  Confused,  well don't be because when I share with you this new, additional healthcare acronym, I think you will be puzzled and curious, but it may not be confusing.  (I won't' unveil everything about this new acronym here in today's blog because it is so early in the stage that it would only add to the confusion aspect of it.  But I do promise to share more of what I find out in blogs to follow).

This new acronym is called PHI:  Population Health Improvement.  But to give it clarity and to distinguish it from the former, very well-known and often-used acronym PHI: Personal Health Information, let's give it a more pronounced label and one that builds on what it is and how it relates as an appendage dependent on the former acronym, and as a follower concept.

So, drum roll please, here it is:  PHI 2.0-Population Health Improvement 2.0.

And, ironically, soon in another blog I will share with you another article which was published a short while ago by my favorite newspaper The Virginian-Pilot.  You will see in this article an interesting announcement of a statewide initiative that is being managed by a state government agency and involves not only the carriers mentioned in previous articles (Anthem of Virginia and Optima Health), but four others including Aetna, United Healthcare and a couple of others.

So, I'll stop and let this soak in a bit.  There will be much more to learn about this and the initial details have not resonated yet in the many circles that care deeply about the current health care crisis and that of its financial underpinning, health insurance.  But if know something about industry disruption, the notion of collective impact and the idea that people helping people help each other help themselves to become healthier, then you will be fascinated, as I am, about the possibilities.

Just whisper the words-Population Health Improvement 2.0.  Imagine the long term collective impact those words can engender and ignite!

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