Healthcare IT Interoperability, EHR interoperability, Hospital Interoperability

Value Based Insurance

How Do Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplemental Insurance Differ?

by Thomas Beaton

Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medicare supplemental insurance, or Medigap, are both intended to enhance the value of traditional Medicare coverage for seniors and other eligible beneficiaries. Both offer payers a lucrative opportunity to...

Pros and Cons of Small Business Health Options Program Health Plans

by Thomas Beaton

Health plans offered through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) exchanges allow payers to provide the nation’s smallest businesses with affordable plan options that offer critical health benefits. SHOP health plans...

All-Payers Claims Databases May Increase Healthcare Price Transparency

by Thomas Beaton

Leveraging the data of all-payers claims databases (APCDs) could improve healthcare price transparency for consumers, according to testimony presented at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing. Jamie S. King, a professor at the USC...

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...

How Payers Can Succeed Under Updated 2019 HEDIS Measures

by Thomas Beaton

The Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) provides 90 percent of America’s health plans with the ability to directly compare performance across the national stage.   Currently, the HEDIS set contains 92...

BCBSA Adds Opioid Abuse Accreditation to Treatment Facilities

by Thomas Beaton

The BlueCross BlueShield Association has announced a new accreditation program for opioid abuse treatment centers as a larger part of the organization’s mission to combat the US opioid crisis. In 2013, only 22 percent of treatment...

Medicare Advantage Savings, Outcomes Exceed Fee-For-Service

by Thomas Beaton

The Medicare Advantage (MA) program has surpassed Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) in developing positive member healthcare outcomes and reducing care costs, according to an analysis of both programs from Avalere Health. Medicare Advantage...

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...

Medicare Advantage Star Ratings Tied to Member Socioeconomic Strata

by Thomas Beaton

Medicare Advantage (MA) health plans with a greater proportion of socioeconomically challenged members are more likely to have lower star ratings, according to new research from Brown University. Insufficient risk adjustment criteria in...

NCQA Updates, Adds HEDIS Performance Measures for Plan Year 2019

by Thomas Beaton

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) has released updates to its HEDIS performance measures for plan year 2019. The refresh includes several new measures to guide population health management initiatives, as well....

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...

How to Drive Enrollment in the ACA Health Plan Marketplaces

by Thomas Beaton

Payers and states wishing to increase enrollment in the ACA health plan marketplaces should  create targeted advertisements, benchmark silver-tier plans as their primary exchange plan, and help consumers navigate health plan...

Customer Satisfaction with Medicare Advantage Health Plans Remain Low

by Thomas Beaton

Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are not meeting their customer satisfaction goals, and tend to leave consumers feeling less-than-pleased with the way health plans communicate and the availability of financial information, according to a new...

Narrow Networks, Customer Satisfaction Contain Payer Spending

by Thomas Beaton

Payers can curb spending on medical care by investing in narrow networks and customer satisfaction tools, says a new PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Health Research Institute (HRI) analysis. PwC found that medical costs for...

Humana, Walgreens Offer Primary Care Clinics for Medicare Members

by Thomas Beaton

Humana and Walgreens have announced the launch of two primary care clinics, designed to meet the needs of Medicare beneficiaries, that will operate within Walgreens locations in the Kansas City area. The collaboration, led by a Humana...

Beneficiaries Want More Holistic Health, Wellness Benefit Options

by Thomas Beaton

Health plan beneficiaries are increasing their demand for holistic health and wellness benefits, which can help payers deliver value and improve outcomes, according to a new report from Aetna. The Health Ambitions Study found that...

Amazon, Berkshire, JPMorgan Name Atul Gawande Healthcare CEO

by Thomas Beaton

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase have named Atul Gawande, a surgeon at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, as the CEO of their joint healthcare company. The company will be headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. Gawande...

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