Healthcare IT Interoperability, EHR interoperability, Hospital Interoperability

Healthcare Spending

HHS Must Address Adverse Selection in Medicaid, Medicare Renal Care

April 19, 2018 - 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 asserted that steering Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries into commercial coverage may create unsustainable premium and care costs for current commercial...


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High-Deductible Health Plan, HSA Enrollment Reached 21M in 2017

by Thomas Beaton

High-deductible health plan (HDHP) and health savings account (HSA) enrollment reached 21 million members in 2017, according to new research from AHIP.  These health plan options are expected to see continued growth in the near future. In...

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 increase...

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 CVS...

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 lower...

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 the Aligning...

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 Progress Report...

Policy, Market Changes May Harm Employer-Sponsored Insurance

by Thomas Beaton

Significant changes to the employer-sponsored insurance market, such as increasing medical costs, policy changes, and improvements in other payer markets may cause employers to stop providing health insurance An analysis from the American Health...

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 beneficiary...

Payers Will Face Individual Health Plan Market Challenges in 2019

by Thomas Beaton

Payers participating in the individual health plan market will face challenges in 2019 based on the planned expansion of association health plans (AHPs), increased competition, and changing provider negotiations, according to the Urban Institute....

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 low...

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 Medicare...

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 first of...

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 information. Answers by...

HCSC Invests $1.5B to Develop Insurance Affordability Solutions

by Thomas Beaton

HCSC is investing $1.5 billion to develop health insurance affordability solutions including employee wellness programs, ways to address social determinants of health, and collaborative care. Dubbed Affordability Cures, the initiative uses a...

Aetna Highlights Emerging Drivers of Value-Based Care

by Thomas Beaton

Payer-provider collaboration, holistic healthcare approaches that address the social determinants of health (SDOH), and the use of health IT tools will be among the most important drivers of value-based care, Aetna says in a new report.  ...

Medicare Wellness Programs Promise Better Health Outcomes

by Thomas Beaton

Medicare wellness programs have the potential to improve physical and mental health for beneficiaries with chronic conditions, according to a new report from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). Medicare members that participated...

Apple to Launch Healthcare, Wellness Clinics for Employees

by Thomas Beaton

Apple is launching a new healthcare venture, called AC Wellness, that will deliver healthcare and wellness services to the company’s employees, according to major news outlets. The health and wellness clinics will primarily serve Apple...

Payers Address Opioid Safety Via Education, $0 Narcan Co-Pays

by Thomas Beaton

Commercial payers are addressing the nation’s opioid crisis and promoting opioid safety by funding patient education programs and waiving Narcan co-pays to reduce barriers to access. Patient-centered strategies have allowed payers like...

UnitedHealth Offers Data Analytics to CMS Bundled Payment Program

by Thomas Beaton

UnitedHealth Group will help support a new Medicare bundled payment program by offering data and analytics services to participating providers. The payer announced in a press release that it will contribute data and analytics, technology, and...

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