WHAT IS AN HMO?
Health Maintenance Organizations Aiding the Digitalization of Medicine by Providing “Big Data”, and Promoting Wellness
HMO’s are co-operating partners, possibly accidentally and coincidentally, with the Healthcare profession.. One way in which HMO’s helps the healthcare community is by sharing health data of their patients, what is called “Big Data”. (SOURCE) Analysis of Big Data occurs in gambling, and sports, and it is starting to be widely used in the health care industry, and HMO’s are aiding these efforts.
What is happening both in Internet Medicine and HMO’s is that they both have a common end; the well-being of the patient. Internet Medicine strives to do so with effective application of traditional medical practice, and new digital tools, with an increasing emphasis on prevention and wellness. HMO’s agree, because of the profit motive, on a goal of wellness, and prevention to attain well-being especially for the repeated care of the big five chronic illnesses; diabetes, stroke, heart disease, pulmonary conditions, and hypertension…” (SOURCE). And, if those big five can be lessened by focusing on wellness and prevention, everyone wins, especially the patient. Healthcare gets better, health costs go down. Win, Win.
See the following video of the CEO of Humana, Mike McCallister, discussing this approach of his HMO:
Mr McCallister stresses that a fact known to many doctors; that most diseases are caused by patients themselves, leading unhealthy lifestyles; smoking, drinking, eating excessively, and the wrong foods, not exercising, etc, and that these continued behaviors only overloads the healthcare system, and contributes to skyrocketing healthcare costs.
Furthermore, he says, “…With electronic medical information readily available to provider and patient, more efficient and cost-effective decisions may be made by healthcare providers…”. The patient has to get involved in a long term goal of good health, by changing behaviors, and he hopes that HMOs, like Humana, can give incentives to lead patients to do so. In this fashion, the numbers of the “big five” will decrease, and healthcare costs will also decrease.
Finally, he says something, that also may apply to the aversion of some doctors to adopt EMR’s:
“This is hard work because it really, fundamentally, requires a change in how people think.”