Healthcare IT Interoperability, EHR interoperability, Hospital Interoperability

Healthcare Costs

Medicaid Spending Drops When Members Transition to Community Care

by Thomas Beaton

Medicaid spending declined when beneficiaries transitioned from long-term institutional care into community care, a new report conducted by Mathematica Health Policy found. Researchers observed cost outcomes of Medicaid’s Money...

Medicare Advantage, Premium Revenues Drive Q1 Payer Profits

by Thomas Beaton

Healthcare payers experienced strong first quarter profits in 2018 because of sharp growth in Medicare Advantage (MA) enrollment and premium revenues, according to newly released earnings statements. The reports confirm the stability and...

Short-Term Health Plans Lack Mental Health, Prescription Benefits

by Thomas Beaton

Short-term health plans generally lack mental health and prescription drug benefits and may create financial-based health insurance barriers for unhealthy beneficiary populations, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF)...

HHS Appoints James Parker to Address Health Insurance Costs

by Thomas Beaton

HHS Secretary Alex Azar has appointed James Parker as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Office of Health Reform to address healthcare challenges related to health insurance costs and health plan availability. Parker previously served...

HHS Must Address Adverse Selection in Medicaid, Medicare Renal Care

by Thomas Beaton

AHIP is urging HHS secretary Alex Azar to address adverse selection related to Medicaid or Medicare end stage renal disease (ESRD) in order to ensure that vulnerable beneficiaries continue to receive appropriate healthcare services. AHIP...

CVS Health Offers New Tools for Lowering Prescription Drug Costs

by Thomas Beaton

CVS Health has launched new cost-saving initiatives that aim to lower beneficiary prescription drug costs through co-pay adjustments, pricing transparency technology, and increased promotion of generic drugs. The initiatives follow a CVS...

Regional Differences Seen in High-Deductible Health Plan Volume

by Thomas Beaton

Regional differences in high-deductible health plan (HDHP) volume and other health plan offerings may help employers adjust insurance offerings in ways that are more valuable to their employees, according to a new report from...

Rising Medical Costs Created Health Plan Enrollment Shifts in MN

by Thomas Beaton

The Minnesota of Council of Health Plans (MCHP) associated rising beneficiary medical costs in 2017 to irregular health plan enrollment shifts in both the private and public market. The Council said in a press release that a three percent...

CVS, Aetna Merger May Face Antitrust, Consumer Protection Issues

by Thomas Beaton

The American Antitrust Institute (AAI) has warned the Department of Justice (DoJ) that the proposed CVS and Aetna merger would violate consumer protections and damage competition in the healthcare industry. AAI believes that the merger of...

Aetna Will Apply Pharmacy Rebates to Prescription Drugs in 2019

by Thomas Beaton

Aetna has announced plans to automatically apply pharmacy rebates to eligible prescription drug benefits by 2019 in an effort to increase pricing transparency and control costs. Nearly three million Aetna members are likely to experience...

Payers Form Coalition to Address Social Determinants of Health

by Thomas Beaton

A group of commercial payers and other healthcare organizations have formed a coalition to explore how addressing the social determinants of health can lower care costs and improve outcomes. A number of large payer companies have joined...

Humana Bold Goal Targets Members’ Social Determinants of Health

by Thomas Beaton

Humana is improving the overall physical and mental health of its Medicare members by addressing social determinants of health and targeting problematic community health behaviors under its Bold Goal initiative. The Bold Goal 2018...

Urgent Care Center Utilization Skyrocketed by 1725% in Last Decade

by Thomas Beaton

Healthcare payers saw urgent care center utilization grow by 1725 percent from 2007 to 2016, indicating that urgent care may the one of the fastest-growing choices for receiving healthcare. A white paper from FAIR Health found that...

Member Engagement is Key for High-Deductible Health Plan Success

by Thomas Beaton

Payers and employers who offer high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) to attract low-cost members may need member engagement strategies to generate higher value for these beneficiaries. Member engagement is critical for HDHP success because...

Payment Cuts Drive Medicare Advantage Plans to Contain Costs

by Thomas Beaton

Medicare Advantage (MA) plans contained beneficiary costs and remained profitable despite reductions to federal MA payments from 2009 to 2014, according to new research from the Commonwealth Fund. The report found that as Medicare reduced...

BCBS Launches Institute to Address Social Determinants of Health

by Thomas Beaton

The BlueCross BlueShield Association has created a new subsidiary called the BlueCross BlueShield Institute to help identify and address the social determinants of health (SDOH) for its beneficiaries. BCBS credits the Institute as the...

Payer Input is Key for High Performance Provider Networks

by Thomas Beaton

Payer input is critical for developing high performance networks (HPNs) that are efficient and cost-effective while delivering high quality care, says the Academy of Actuaries in a new report.   HPNs are narrow provider networks...

Cigna, Amazon Alexa Offer Voice Control Beneficiary Education

by Thomas Beaton

Cigna is entering the voice control product space with an Amazon Alexa feature called “Answers by Cigna” that educates beneficiaries about complex health insurance terminology and customizes health benefits...

UnitedHealthcare Finds Value-Based Care Closed 50M Gaps in Care

by Thomas Beaton

Value-based care helped close 50 million gaps in care between 2013 and 2017 while reducing care costs, lowering ED utilization, and increasing provider care quality, according to a new report from UnitedHealthcare (UHC). UHC examined data...

Cigna to Acquire Express Scripts for $67B to Expand Consumer Value

by Thomas Beaton

Update 8/24/2018: Cigna shareholders have overwhelmingly voted to approve the acquisition of Express Scripts.  Approximately 90 percent of shareholders voted in favor of the deal, which is anticipated to close before the end of...

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