Blackburn's keeps patients informed

Saturday, January 31, 2009

TARENTUM, Pa.--In order to keep patients current on industry news, Blackburn’s may take a page from the past.

The provider wants to bring back educational forums for patients, something it hasn’t offered since the early 1990s, said Georgie Blackburn. 

“I feel very strongly that we need to keep patients abreast of  regulatory and legislative changes so that if they wish, they can exercise their voice with legislators,” said Blackburn, vice president of government relations and legislative affairs.

Initially, Blackburn’s hosted educational programs for patients, referral sources, insurance carriers and other stakeholders once a year as a way to grow its business. The forums drew strong turnouts, sometimes more than 250 people, said Blackburn.

As business has grown, however, Blackburn’s has focused more on educating referral sources. It’s time to bring patients back into the mix, Blackburn said.

“It’s not to garner more business,” she said. “It’s to make sure our patients understand the climate we now live in and how we can deliver the best service to them, even with the new regulations.”

Blackburn would like to see the company offer forums on a quarterly basis, alternating between the company’s three regional offices in Pennsylvania and New York. She wants to help patients stay current on Medicare, Medicaid and national coverage determinations changes, as well as national competitive bidding.