Transparency

HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

PCABP, administrators of the Panama Canal Area Benefit plan, supports initiatives to promote the adoption of Health Information Technology (HIT) in the healthcare industry. We are committed to HIT to improve the safety, quality and efficiency of healthcare. We also expect that by educating plan members of the value of HIT, it can help the plan achieve improvement in quality and control costs over the long term.

PCABP is committed to a health care system that can assure greater patient safety, improved quality of care and increased efficiency. Recognizing the tremendous potential for health IT, PCABP is diligently working to advance Health Information Technology (HIT).

Following are examples of how the Panama Canal Area Benefit Plan is advancing in health IT:

  • Empowering Consumers through Personal Health Profiles (PHPs) - PCABP has collaborated on an industry initiative to offer some type of PHR to the Panama Canal Area Benefit Plan members. PCABP has offered the Panama Canal Area Benefit Plan members since January 1, 2008 a Personal Health Profile (PHP) that is auto-populated with data from processed claims, including a series of patient preventative benefits (immunizations, laboratory and radiology testing). Member may request their PHP online as well. The Plan website offers a definition and purpose of what PHP is to the member for educational purposes.
  • PCABP is committed to making the Panama Canal Area Benefit Plan membership aware of the value of Health Information Technology by the delivery of value messages from a variety of sources. For example, we have developed a Member Newsletter published quarterly as well as a Provider Newsletter published on a quarterly basis for both member and provider education and have begun to provide awareness of the value of HIT through these newsletters. We are also supporting awareness of HIT through our website by posting information on HIT.

    NOTE: PCABP provides diligent efforts to ensure compliance with Federal requirements to protect the privacy of individually identifiable health information. Please click on the Privacy and Security icon for the Panama Canal Area Benefit Plan’s Privacy and Security Policy.

TRANSPARENCY

PCABP believes an educated consumer will make better healthcare decisions. PCABP is working to strengthen the movement to greater healthcare transparency by providing increased detail about healthcare trends, quality and cost. Keeping healthcare affordable for consumers is one of the biggest challenges currently faced.

Following are examples of how the Panama Canal Area Benefit Plan is supporting transparency:

  • PCABP supplies its members, upon request with an annual statement that indicates complete charges not covered by the plan, mainly for tax return purposes.
  • Since January 1, 2008 members have the ability to view online, under providers search, quality indicators of those providers contracted as Primary Care Physicians (PCP) within the Plan to allow better informed decision making in cases where the patient requires changing PCPs. The quality indicators include medical education and educational associations/ certifications when available.
  • Since January 1, 2008 members have the ability to view online a table of over 10 most common medical procedures in the Panama Canal Area Benefit Plan together with a cost range for those listed procedures within the Panama City geographic area.
  • Since January 1, 2008 members and providers have the ability to view online our Diabetes Disease Management Program formulary as well as a comparisons chart of over 100 most common FDA approved drugs in the Panama Canal Area Benefit Plan, average market cost, average cost to the member and the plan for the medication and any available generic equivalent and/or brand name alternatives.
  • Members have the ability to view online the Panama Canal Area Benefit Plans’ Notice of Privacy Practice.  The Notice of Privacy Practice describes how the plan uses a member’s PHI, who has access to the member’s PHI, the plan’s operating systems security features that protect against unauthorized disclosure of PHI, and other privacy and security policies.
  • PCABP has two Patient Safety Committees, one for the City of Panama and one for Colón. We meet bi-monthly and discuss patient safety issues with the representatives of the Plan. The Committees consist of PCABP and the representatives of the membership. If you are a member of the Panama Canal Area Benefit Plan and are interested in attending the Patient Safety Committees, please call The Association of Retirees of the Panama Canal Area (AJAC) office at 229-3822 in Panama