Treatment Timelines: When Your Health Care Requires More Than a Single Doctor’s Visit

When it comes to health care shopping, there is a lot of confusion out there – which isn’t surprising since health care is generally confusing. One way we at HealthSparq work to minimize that confusion is through a unique aspect of our software that presents health care costs in terms of both dollars and time. Called Treatment Timelines, this feature is unique to HealthSparq and offers critical information to people planning for care such as a surgery that requires tests, evaluations and recovery. Its purpose is to give health plan members the opportunity to dig into the details at every stage of care, so there won’t be any surprises along the way.

We recently expanded the types of medical procedures/care available within Treatment Timelines by almost one-third. And, we’ll continue to grow the number of treatments and our treatment guidance capabilities during 2019. Recently added treatments are based on what our users need and are searching for including sleep studies, weight loss surgery, laryngoscopy and skin removal.

HealthSparq also provides information on hundreds of medical encounters (one-time care) such as an X-ray or colonoscopy. But when a condition requires multiple doctor visits, labs, imaging, prescriptions, surgery and physical therapy people need to understand the full picture. Treatment Timelines displays costs for care in terms of total dollars and time to help people maximize their health benefits, lower their health care costs and improve financial and recovery planning.

Let’s take a look at an example. One of the new treatments in HealthSparq One is bariatric surgery – a procedure that has become more common given that obesity affects nearly 1 in 4 American adults. For individuals with 100 or more pounds to lose, bariatric surgery has proven to be a very effective weight loss method. When a patient is researching bariatric surgery, there is much more to understand and consider than the cost of the surgery itself.

The average end-to-end length of treatment for bariatric surgery (from initial consultation to the final nutritionist appointment/follow-up) is more than 250 days. HealthSparq’s Treatment Timeline uses real claims data to help people understand what to expect, and how much to expect to pay, throughout the process of preparing, receiving and recovering from surgery.

During that time frame, people should expect to be billed for an array of blood tests, office visits, nutritional counseling visits, facilities costs, etc. and while everyone’s experience is somewhat unique, our tool outlines what you can expect by giving you a reference of everything that could be involved, the possible costs, and the percentage of individuals undergoing the same procedure that received a specific lab test or imaging cost. You can also go in armed with key information to develop a treatment plan with your doctor and estimate the time frame and costs based on this extensive source of information.

HealthSparq is focused on helping people make smarter health care choices. Addressing the needs of everyday people is at the core of how we create and deliver our health care guidance and transparency solutions. We have tens of millions of users and we are listening to what health care needs people have, looking at health plan claims data, and using that information to optimize the information available to help people navigate their health care options.

To learn more about our tools and see our timelines in action, get in touch!