In The News

If I Knew Then…

June 7, 2016

Crain’s Portland, Robert K. Elder

In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy. Read the thoughts of Scott Decker, HealthSparq CEO…

A Guide To Understanding the Cost of Health Care

April 7, 2016

NY Daily News, Paul Ketches

Patients utilizing healthcare today are being asked to take on a new role with a whole new set of responsibilities: Informed Health Care Consumer.

This poses a challenge to patients accustomed to a health care market where price information often isn’t known until after the service is rendered, and the patient simply receives a bill a month later. [Read more…]

Giving Consumers An Incentive To Delay Health Care is Shortsighted

March 2, 2016

Houston Chronicle via via Midland Reporter-Telegram, Chris Tomlinson

Insurance companies and employers want you to ration your health care.

For leverage, they have increased annual out-of-pocket costs by almost 230 percent between 2006 and 2015, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit health care research organization. Offering lower premiums in exchange for consumers paying a higher deductible is the latest way of forcing patients to think twice before seeking care. Read more…

Consumers Need Safeguards in High-Deductible Health Plans

March 1, 2016

Houston Chronicle, Chris Tomlinson

Insurance companies and employers want you to ration your health care. Read more…

The 2016 Leaders in Health Care Awards

February 26, 2016

Seattle Business Magazine, Karen West

As technology improves and Americans spend more on treatments to cure or prevent disease and injury, 2016 is likely to be a challenging year in health care. Doctors, nurses and clinicians are learning to work in new and innovative ways as consumers rely on video consults and their smartphones as diagnostic tools.

The 18 honorees in Seattle Business magazine’s 2016 Leaders in Health Care Awards, including HealthSparq who is recognized in the Outstanding Achievement: Delivery of Digital Health category, are up to the challenge. Read more about each of them…

Consumers’ Healthcare Power Growing

January 15, 2016

USA Today, Jeffery H. Boyd

The Affordable Care Act has made health insurance more affordable for millions of Americans, addressed the difficult problem of pre-existing conditions and mandated minimum benefit plans, all laudable goals. At the same time, I think it is fair to say that, in the six years since its passage, the law has moved through our health care landscape like a hurricane, cutting a wide swath of change (and no small amount of chaos) in every aspect of the most complex ecosystem in American commerce. In particular, these changes are adding fuel to a rising consumerism in health care, as more consumers are forced to directly purchase health insurance and pay out-of-pocket a larger share of their health care costs. Read more…

6 Healthcare Predictions for 2016

January 14, 2016

Electronic Health Reporter, Guest Post by Torben Nielsen

The past few years have seen record investments in digital health. More than $12 billion have been poured into digital health companies in 2014 and 2015 alone, according to Rock Health, and there’s no indication of any slowing in 2016. Here are my predictions for what’s in store for health care in the New Year: Read more…

2015 Portland Company of the Year: HealthSparq

December 30, 2015

GoLocalPDX, GoLocalPDX Business Team

The best companies accomplish two things: they generate plenty of profit and they provide a necessary and useful service to its customers and the community at large.

Portland’s Healthsparq reaches and surpasses both of those goals, helping to earn them the title of GoLocalPDX’s Portland company of the year. Read more…

10 Key Design Trends for 2016 (And How To Make the Most Of Them)

December 14, 2015

Fast Company: Fjord

Apps as we know them will disappear. Luxury will trickle down to the masses. VR will go mainstream. These are just a few of the major design and technology trends shaping the world in 2016. The trends we’ve identified focus on issues we—a firm with over 600 designers and developers—expect to tackle in the coming year. They reflect what clients are asking for, our experiences as citizens and users, and our well-informed guesses (we hope!) on the impact of emergent technology. Read more…

Health Plan Provider Directory Data Should Be Updated Monthly For The Patient’s Sake

December 4, 2015

Healthcare IT News, Staff Writer

On Nov. 13, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services updated guidance in the 2016 Call Letter and Medicare Marketing Guidelines that previously called for health plans to update provider directories on a monthly basis. Unfortunately for patients, the data is now required to be updated on a quarterly basis – leaving patients with data that is up to three months old when they need health care.

These regulations were initially set because provider directories were found to be inaccurate – with many patients reporting unexpected out-of-network fees after their provider was incorrectly listed as in-network. It’s why beginning Jan. 1, 2016, health plans will face fines of $25,000 per beneficiary for incorrect listings. Read more…