One year ago this week, Indiana introduced the Healthy Indiana Plan to the state and nation. By working in good faith with federal officials, the state shaped a homegrown solution to expand access to quality and affordable healthcare coverage for those who need it most. As a result, more than 370,000 previously uninsured residents now have health coverage under HIP 2.0.
As chief executive officer of St. Vincent, I’ve seen firsthand how HIP 2.0 has been a tremendous achievement for Indiana and proof to other states – and our leaders in Washington – that consumer-driven healthcare plans can empower the uninsured without adding undue burdens to taxpayers. In its first year alone, it’s clear that HIP is not only addressing Indiana’s coverage gap, but also helping Hoosiers achieve positive health outcomes.
As we continue to make strides in ensuring that more Hoosiers have access to the care they need, providers – of all types –have the opportunity to respond to increased demand in a way that puts the patient at the center of his or her care. That means listening to the needs of the individual and working with them to develop a holistic approach to their health – one that moves beyond episodic bursts of care and prioritizes prevention. This will not happen solely within the traditional four walls of a physician office, but requires providers in all settings to work together to ensure our community members receive the care they deserve.
One example of how St.Vincent is approaching these changes includes a new partnership we have developed with the Carmel Emergency Medical Services to ensure patients with chronic health conditions have the support they need. In this model, paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) will be sent into the community to work with patients who have been recently released from hospitals and provide them with augmented care. This may include assisting patients with refilling medications, reviewing discharge instructions, scheduling doctors’ appointments, and providing routine follow-up care and post-discharge education. In this partnership, Paramedics and EMT’s, become new caregivers in our model of care delivery.
Fundamentally, our goal must be to deliver compassionate, personalized care across the full-spectrum of a patient’s healthcare needs. As a member of Ascension, the nation’s largest nonprofit healthcare system and the world’s largest Catholic health system, St. Vincent is doing this by concentrating on programs that help people access the right care at the right place at the right time, allowing them to stay healthy and avoid preventable hospitalizations.
As HIP 2.0 marks its one-year anniversary, there is much to celebrate. However, with up to 200,000 HIP-eligible Hoosiers still uninsured, we need to re-double our outreach efforts to ensure that more individuals are enrolled in HIP 2.0 and accessing preventive care. I am confident that with continued outreach and a continued focus on quality and personalized care, we have the opportunity to help hundreds of thousands more Hoosiers on their way to better health.
Jonathan Nalli is CEO of St. Vincent Health.