Health Care Customer Service and its Many Faces

by Cathy Miller on April 1, 2014

in Health Care Reform, Health Insurance

Cubes with Health Care sign on a white backgroundHealth care has a lot of services dumped on its plate.

  • The quality of care you receive from your doctor
  • The insurance you buy for that care
  • And the service you receive from both

Welcome to the many faces of health care.

Health reform’s Affordable Care Act tried tackling it all. That could be why there were so many challenges.

Perhaps health reform bit off more than it could chew.

Health Care Customer Service Redefined

Health care customer service is more than a toll-free number.

In its basic form ~

Health care customer service is any service related to
your health care.

For all the health care versus health insurance talk, the reality is we don’t differentiate.

Whether we sit too long in a waiting room or go through a system crash at Healthcare.gov, we blame health care in America.

Is that really any different from other services?

Health Care Disconnect

I spent over 30 years in the healthcare and insurance industry.

I had management roles in claims, customer service, provider relations, and employee benefits consulting. Talk about covering the gamut.

I often expressed the wish to come up with the magic solution to health care and insurance.

Wearing my different hats, I understood the insurance carrier needs, as well as those of the healthcare provider (I used to be one – a dental hygienist).

What I didn’t understand was the huge disconnect.

  • Both parties have employer sponsors of health benefits in common
  • Each party needs the other to deliver their product to that customer
  • Wouldn’t you think they would want to figure out how to make it work?

Instead, there was huge animosity. Not all, but that was (and is) often the case.

It’s everything I hate about politics.

This Pollyanna dreams of a better world. One where we all get along.

The Partnership

I understand physicians do not like to view their services as a product. However, I think most would agree that they need patients to deliver care.

Employers who sponsor health benefits and the insurance they purchase help refer patients to physicians.

But throw out unrealistic optimism and view health care from a success perspective.

Effective partnership produces success.

When that’s missing – or broken – customers suffer.

Until we connect all the facets of health care customer service, will we ever succeed?

What do you think?

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Notice of Disclaimer –Cathy Miller is not an attorney or health care provider and cannot provide legal or health care advice. The information provided is for your general background only, and is not intended to constitute legal or health care advice as to your specific circumstances. We recommend you review legislation with legal counsel and visit your physician for health care issues.

BigStock Photo Credit

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