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Former HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt Joins Board of Healthcare Financial Services Company

Posted Apr 19 2010 8:25am

This is my opinion only but there’s something that just doesn’t sit right with me when I hear “healthcare” and “equity” used in the same sentence, as to me equity flat out means money.  We are coming back around to the Health Savings Account concept here and right on the front page, Aetna is listed as a partner.  The site image advertises 24/7 health equity specialists to help you, but as I have always said, humans can’t work 24/7 but the computers and algorithms do.

I guess I have never thought of my heart or my kidneys having “equity” but it appears this is the new swing of marketing and selling healthcare, and for that matter I guess my intestines, eyes, feet, toes, hands, fingernails, nose and everything about my body is just a big chunk of “financial equity”. We are now becoming a house with 1 one intestine, 1-2 kidneys, 2 feet, 2 hands, 1-10 fingernails and now you can look up and see what “upgrades” have been made to our bodies as well.  This body is taking statins to reduce cholesterol, exercises daily, eats food that is deemed healthy, reports their daily well being stats via a hand held device where real time “equity” can be assessed.

Do you feel like your body is being marketed like a house? 

The one marketing line about making employees happy is something right out of sales 101 I believe as nothing more than good affordable healthcare in my book makes employees happy.  If you missed it at HIMMS this year, the conference also had a “medical banking” focus too. 

I guess this move somewhat makes sense as Mr. Leavitt brought Medicare Part D to the table years ago and as we all know, that’s where the big money is today with government footing the bill.  I think back and logically insurance companies were indeed set up with the infrastructure to manage like an HMO, while sadly on the government side, infrastructure was not there or maybe the choice to build such an infrastructure was not chosen even as a back up, so here we are today with private healthcare organizations making the moves with managing via Health IT and no back up yet or alternative to manage anything like this from the government’s side but maybe some of this could be up for change with reform. 

I did a story yesterday about a conflict of a hospital system and insurer.  The hospital system is right out front and an early leader in technology and is working hard at cutting both costs and providing good care, but does that make any difference to one insurer, doesn’t appear to and and money still talks so as much as I see good efforts in Health IT being made and proven from the clinical side, do the payers really care and recognize this, apparently not when it comes down to contracts with facilities providing both good care and way above the normal with Health IT programs.  The insurers all say though that the do support these efforts but I find some of this to be a bit gray. 

I hope our current HHS Director takes some of this into effect here and perhaps looks at the many other sides of the coins with reform.  BD 

From the website:

“Administering CDH Accounts that Actually Make Your Employees Happy

Most of HealthEquity’s large employer customers have come to us after experiencing CDH account administration from a bank or another third party administrator. The reason they came to HealthEquity is because CDH account administration is all we do, and as a result, have built a reputation for doing it well.” 

“Through HealthEquity's carefully crafted consumer-directed healthcare solutions, employers may realize costs savings of nearly 15% year-over-year in delivering healthcare benefits while their employees are on average 85% more satisfied compared to traditional plans. In addition, HealthEquity helps consumers understand and manage the financial side of healthcare by aggregating consumer information, analyzing personal data, and advising consumers on how to best manage their health equity. Every HealthEquity member is supported by 24/7 access to a knowledgeable HealthEquity Specialist dedicated to helping people better save and spend their healthcare dollars.”

Former HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt has joined the board of directors of Utah-based HealthEquity, a healthcare financial services company.
Leavitt, who served three terms as governor of Utah and helmed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency before his career at HHS, currently chairs Leavitt Partners, a private firm in Salt Lake City that advises people who invest in healthcare and food safety.

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