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Top 10 Highest Performing Medicare, Medicaid Health Plans

February 1, 2018 - The top-performing Medicare and Medicaid health plans for the 2017-18 plan year earned exceptional quality scores based on the plans’ customer satisfaction, preventive care, and treatment outcomes of beneficiaries, according to the most recent National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) rankings. NCQA determined which plans in the public payer sector performed the best by aggregating...


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Top 10 Highest Performing Commercial Health Plans

by Thomas Beaton

The top performing commercial health plans in the US for 2017-18 exceeded expectations for customer satisfaction, preventive care, and outcomes of their beneficiaries, according to the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). NCQA aggregated...

How Payers Can Build a Successful Bundled Payment Strategy

by Thomas Beaton

Bundled payment models are a popular reimbursement option for payers because they present an opportunity to improve healthcare quality, lower costs, and participate in value-based agreements with limited financial risk.   However, if payers...

Affordable Care Act Changes May Bring a Rocky 2018 for Payers

by Thomas Beaton

2017 was a turbulent year for the Affordable Care Act.  Legislative battles in Congress, fluctuating support from healthcare stakeholders, and threats of repeal have left many payers facing an uncertain future. Even though Congress has not...

All-Payer Claims Databases Offer Insights into Healthcare Spending

by Thomas Beaton

All-payer claims databases (APCDs) allow payers, providers, and regulators to analyze claims from millions of beneficiaries to learn where spending is directed and whether or not spending on certain healthcare services is avoidable. State-level...

How Payers Can Streamline Prior Authorization for Prescriptions

by Thomas Beaton

Prior authorization may allow payers to limit unnecessary spending on high-cost prescription drugs, but leading provider experts suggest that payers could do more to boost the efficiency of prior authorization procedures for clinically valid...

How Process, Outcome Measures Contribute to Population Health

by Thomas Beaton

Payers rely on process and outcome quality measures to communicate healthcare performance to new and current beneficiaries. Quality measurements such as HEDIS, CMS Star Ratings, and standardized core quality measures (CQMs) are some of the tools...

How HEDIS, CMS Star Ratings, CQMs Impact Healthcare Payers

by Thomas Beaton

Quality performance metrics such as HEDIS, CMS Star Ratings, and standardized core quality measures (CQMs) can give consumers an objective indication of healthcare payer quality. Standardized quality measures aggregate how well a payer has performed...

Why Bundled Payments Are a Popular Option for Healthcare Payers

by Thomas Beaton

Bundled payments are ideal for payers that want to participate in value-based care. Bundled payments tend to have lower financial risks than other payment models for payers and are beneficial to providers as well as payers. In a bundled payment...

Member Engagement, Payer Spending Lead Top 10 Stories of 2017

by Thomas Beaton

The 2017 news cycle was a constant flurry of political and financial developments for payers. From the turbulent efforts to repeal and replace the ACA in the House and Senate to challenges with member engagement, population health, and cost cutting,...

How Provider-Sponsored Health Plans Can Find Consumer Success

by Thomas Beaton

Provider-sponsored health plans (PSHPs) are seen as a way for provider organizations to compete with commercial payers while lowering their own costs and improving care quality, because provider organizations can manage the cost of healthcare...

The Pros and Cons of Pharmacy Benefits Managers for Payers

by Thomas Beaton

Prescription drug spending is a billion-dollar problem for the payer industry. While pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) are often a positive way for payers to manage prescription drug benefits for their members, savings for payers can be limited...

How Payers Can Improve the Value of Small Business Health Plans

by Thomas Beaton

Payers offering insurance plans for the employer market need to provide flexible benefits and cost-saving strategies that create value for small businesses. Small businesses are an excellent market opportunity for payers because health plans...

Ensuring High Out-of-Pocket Spending Won’t Lead to Negative Outcomes

by Thomas Beaton

High deductible health plans (HDHPs) are intended to reduce payer and beneficiary spending on healthcare services, but untenable out-of-pocket spending for beneficiaries could lead to patients letting preventable conditions develop into catastrophic...

Top 5 Most Common Healthcare Provider Fraud Activities

by Thomas Beaton

Healthcare provider fraud is extraordinarily common and can be conducted at a shockingly large scale.  The largest healthcare provider fraud takedown in US history was announced just recently, resulting charges against 400 defendants in...

Payer Strategies for Improving Member Medication Adherence Rates

by Thomas Beaton

Payers are spending billions of dollars annually on medications that aren’t improving the health outcomes, with financial and health literacy proving to be the most common barriers to adherence. Avoidable healthcare spending totaling between...

Top 4 Consumer Wellness Benefits for Payers to Add to Health Plans

by Thomas Beaton

As payers explore innovative ways to improve beneficiary engagement and satisfaction, they may wish to consider adding enhanced consumer wellness benefits to their health plan offerings. Health plans that take a proactive approach to engaging...

Why the Generic Drug Market is a Growing Payer Opportunity

by Thomas Beaton

As payers try to ease the rising costs of prescription drugs, which account for 10 percent of national healthcare spending, they may wish to turn to the generic drug market to help curb unnecessary spending and improve profitability.   Generics...

How the Medicare Advantage Market Can Offer Payer Opportunities

by Thomas Beaton

Medicare Advantage (MA) market data from A.M Best and the Kaiser Family Foundation reveals that the MA market has remained profitable and provides financial opportunity, but payers looking to enter into the market should expect to address developing...

What are the Pros and Cons of Consumer Directed Health Plans?

by Thomas Beaton

In recent years, payers have been extending their consumer-directed health plan (CDHP) offerings as a way to encourage health plan enrollment and save on healthcare costs. Many healthcare stakeholders see CDHPs as products that create mutual...

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