Healthcare IT Interoperability, EHR interoperability, Hospital Interoperability

Healthcare Costs

How Capitated Payments Prompt Payer, Provider Innovation

by Thomas Beaton

The challenges of lowering care costs and improving healthcare quality may lead payers to consider the use of capitated payments as part of their value-based payment model strategies. Capitated payments are pre-arranged payments for...

Payers See Cost, Quality Gains with Value-Based Payment Models

by Thomas Beaton

Payers and providers participating in value-based payment models are seeing reduced costs and improvements in care quality.   Value-based payment, which is expected to account for 59 percent of all healthcare payments by 2020, helps...

CMS Tells States to Curb Silver-Loading with Off-Exchange Plans

by Thomas Beaton

CMS is asking state insurance departments to offer more off-exchange health plans in order to reduce silver-loading of qualified health plans (QHP). Silver-loading is the practice of raising premiums so that payers can earn larger federal...

Google Invests $375M in Oscar Health for Medicare Advantage

by Thomas Beaton

Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has invested $375 million in Oscar Health to help the tech-focused payer enter into Medicare Advantage markets by 2020, according to multiple news outlets, including Reuters. Oscar Health said in...

Nearly 20% of Employees Have Inpatient Out-of-Network Claims

by Thomas Beaton

Approximately twenty percent of employees with insurance had at least one out-of-network claim for inpatient care, according to a Peterson-Kaiser Tracker analysis. Employees with out-of-network provider bills may experience increased...

Managed Care Accounted for 38% of Medicaid Spending in 2012

by Thomas Beaton

Medicaid managed care accounted for 38 percent of total Medicaid spending in 2012, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis. The report found that the majority of states in the US have implemented some form of a managed care...

Provider Market Concentration Outweighs Payer Concentration

by Thomas Beaton

Healthcare provider systems tend to be bigger, more consolidated, and have more market share than payers in the same metropolitan areas, leaving some payers with less power to negotiate pricing and other contracts, according to the...

Insurance Coverage Rates Dip by 12% Due to High Premium Costs

by Thomas Beaton

Individual health plan enrollment between 2017 and 2018 fell by 12 percent as high premiums and a scarcity of subsidy assistance force consumers out of the market, according to an analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). Health...

How to Improve Cost Sharing to Enhance Chronic Disease Management

by Thomas Beaton

A tailored cost sharing program that helps beneficiaries pay for chronic disease care can reduce wasteful spending and increase access to chronic disease management services. However, relying on one-size-fits all cost-sharing plans can...

CMS Proposes Site-Neutral Payments, Drug Price Negotiation

by Thomas Beaton

CMS has proposed a rule that would expand the use of site-neutral payments and improve the drug price negotiation process with manufacturers in order to reduce Medicare’s overall spending. The new rule would allow Medicare to...

Generic Drugs Could Have Saved $3B for Medicare Part D Program

by Thomas Beaton

Using generic drugs instead of their brand-name equivalents could have saved the Medicare Part D program approximately $3 billion in 2016 alone, according to new data from HHS. A relatively small number of brand-name therapies is...

Emergency Physician Group Sues Anthem for ED Payment Policies

by Thomas Beaton

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) have filed a lawsuit against Anthem BCBS of Georgia contesting an emergency department payment policy that makes patients responsible for...

High Dollar Claims Rise by 87% in Employer-Sponsored Stop-Loss Insurance

by Thomas Beaton

The number of employer-sponsored stop-loss insurance claims of $1 million or more grew by 87 percent from 2014 to 2017, according to a new analysis from Sun Life Financial. Over the four-year period, 634 employees with $1 million claims...

Health Plan Cost Sharing, Deductibles Outpace Members’ Wage Growth

by Thomas Beaton

Health plan cost sharing and deductible spending have outpaced employee wage growth in the last ten years, according to data released by the Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker. Employees’ total financial responsibility increased...

CMS Suspends $10.4B in Risk Adjustment Payments to Payers

by Thomas Beaton

CMS has temporarily withheld $10.4 billion in risk adjustment payments for 654 healthcare payers, citing a ruling in the US District Court of New Mexico that invalidated the agency’s risk adjustment methodology. The ruling, which...

Medicare, Medicaid Home Health Benefits Stabilize Care Costs

by Thomas Beaton

Providing extended home health benefits for Medicare beneficiaries is likely to stabilize care costs for public payer programs, according to a new analysis from the Commonwealth Fund. Researchers from the Hilltop Institute and Johns...

Highmark BCBS Saves $260M Using Value-Based Reimbursement

by Thomas Beaton

Highmark BlueCross BlueShield has saved $260 million in avoidable care costs by using value-based reimbursement and provider performance standards to hold healthcare organizations accountable for improving beneficiary...

Can Retail Clinics Improve Patient Access, Reduce Costs for Payers?

by Thomas Beaton

Retail clinics are gaining in popularity among patients looking for quick, convenient care for minor ailments. Kiosks and no-appointment-needed offices located in corner pharmacies and big box stores have the potential to keep patients...

Partners HealthCare to Self-Insure 100K Employees

by Thomas Beaton

Partners HealthCare has announced it will self-insure 100,000 of its employees, transitioning coverage from BlueCross BlueShield of Massachusetts to its own Neighborhood Health Plan, according to The Boston Globe. “Neighborhood...

MedPAC: Value-Based Payment, Post-Acute Care Boost Medicare Savings

by Thomas Beaton

MedPAC has advised Congress that value-based payment reform and encouraging the use of post-acute care can help the Medicare program increase savings and improve beneficiary outcomes, the group said in a new report. Revisions to payment...

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