Professors research health care coverage and information technology

Five Georgia State professors published a study on June 17 titled Examining the potential of information technology to improve public insurance application processes: enrollee assessments from a concurrent mixed method analysis, according to the research article.

The study examined the readiness of people to use information technologies (IT) to process their health insurance, the abstract states.

“…To use information technologies (IT) in order to facilitate improvements in the application process for these public insurance programs,” the study’s objective states.

Abhay Mishra, Robinson College of Business associate professor, said the researchers were focused on making the application and re certification process better for Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) recipients.

“We learned that consumers need to be aware of and be able to use information technology in order to benefit from its transformative powers,” he said. “Those with need for personal interactions could be referred to case workers whereas more routine interactions could be shifted online.”

Transitioning routine interactions online could improve efficiency and reduce costs for the state and enrollees, according to Mishra.

He also said it’s important to provide alternatives to web-based applications for all potential populations who are eligible for Medicaid, CHIP and the Affordable Care Act.

“Such alternatives must include technology that is easily adapted to mobile devices and options for face-to-face and telephonic interactions. For the lowest income populations and for those living in rural areas, these alternatives are most important,” Mishra said.

Research revealed three themes in terms of people’s opinions on health care information technology. The first being most people use IT to apply for health insurance due to a majority of Medicaid and CHIP participants having internet access

Participants also said they didn’t like to resubmit personal information that doesn’t change over time, such as birth certificates and social security numbers, according to the study.

The study also showed participants faced difficulties when attempting to get their questions and concerns addressed by visiting local offices.

Abhay Mishra, Patricia Ketsche and James Marton conducted the research. Angela Snyder and Susan McLaren also participated.