News

Study finds savings, care improvements in Blue Cross global budget model

A global budget reimbursement model improved the quality of patient care and lowered costs in its first four years, according to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers...

Feds sue Honeywell over wellness program that requires blood, medical tests

The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against New Jersey-based Honeywell over its wellness program, which requires employees and their spouses take medical tests or face financial penalties.

Enroll America updates model to find uninsured Americans

Enroll America--alongside Civis Analytics, a technology and research firm--recently updated its model to find the uninsured Americans and where they live.

Uninsured consumers need help with literacy skills

Signing up for health insurance this upcoming enrollment period will be a huge challenge for many uninsured Americans because of low levels of health literacy and numeracy skills, according to a new report from the Urban Institute, which was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Highmark's medical home boosts patient care

Through its patient-centered medical home, Highmark has been able to improve patient care, including lowering emergency room and prescription drug use, according to data released by the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based insurer.

Proposed copper plan making headlines

Seven Democrats continue to push for Affordable Care Act reform by introducing a new bill, entitled the Expanded Consumer Choice Act, which introduces copper plans, reports Vox.

Study: Individual market customers pay higher premiums after ACA

Individual market enrollees are paying higher monthly premiums on average after Affordable Care Act implementation, according to results of a new HealthPocket study.

Insurers figure out ways to cover pricey treatments

To help defray the high costs of certain treatments and prescription drugs, like hepatitis C drug Sovaldi, insurers are figuring out different ways to cover the drugs and services by limiting who can have access to them, reported Kaiser Health News.

Aetna CEO: Mixed feelings leading into open enrollment

It's going to be a long time before insurers start seeing healthy consumers enroll in the health insurance exchanges, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said in an interview with CNBC.

Trial-run for small-employer health plans opens

After a year-long delay of the healthcare reform law's online marketplace for small-employer health plans, the exchange went live in five states over the weekend, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Some ACA plan enrollees struggle to find docs

Some people who bought Affordable Care Act plans might have a hard time finding doctors willing to accept them as patients. Doctors cite payment concerns, already-full practices or administrative hassles related to exchange products as reasons for turning new patients away.

3 key elements of a successful wellness program

There are many aspects to creating a successful wellness program, but none are more important than these four factors--assessing and screening consumers, helping consumers make behavior changes, engaging consumers and measuring results, reported Employee Benefit News.

Payers, providers disagree over how to lower healthcare costs

The largest insurer and hospital system in Maine each have their own opinions about how to best lower healthcare costs in the state. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maine thinks there should be more community-based primary care options, while MaineHealth wants to focus on economic development and growth, reported Government Health IT.

New site could confuse consumers seeking Healthcare.gov

Healthcare.gov may have competition this upcoming enrollment period, thanks to HealthCare.com, which looks very similar to the federal government's site, reports The Washington Post.

An Affordable Care Act report card

With a year of implementation experience under its belt, the Affordable Care Act has delivered on some of its promises but fallen short elsewhere, according to an analysis by The New York Times. Excerpts from that analysis highlight ACA effects on health insurance affordability, performance of the exchanges and the healthcare industry.

Hidden fees plague consumers and insurers

Hidden fees continue to plague both consumers and insurers. "It's probably easier to get into the FBI confidential files than to see a hospital charge master. We should know the price of a procedure before we do it," Shaun Green, chief operating officer of Arches Health Plan in Salt Lake City, tells FierceHealthPayer

 

Will insurers ever cover medical marijuana?

Can you imagine a time when you go to the doctor and he or she asks, "Would you like some weed to help ease your symptoms?" Obviously, that scenario isn't occurring now, but it's possible that it will be a common conversation happening in doctors' offices in the near future--especially if insurers start covering medical marijuana.

Insurers get more time to disclose exchange enrollment data

Although the Affordable Care Act requires insurers to disclose information about the number of people enrolled in their health insurance exchange plans, the number of claims denied and consumers' costs for specific services, the Obama administration said it won't be enforcing that provision.

4 ways medical homes can focus on patients

Patient-centered medical home have become increasingly more popular as they help insurers and providers lower costs and improve care. But one challenge that continues to face medical homes is building strong relationships with participating patients, especially taking into consideration individual needs and desires, according to a new report from the Louis W. Sullivan Institute for Healthcare Innovation.

States hope to copy Arkansas' private option success

Arkansas has declared its experiment with the "private option" a success--the state's decline in uninsured was among the best in the country, dropping from 23 percent to 12 percent. Other states have taken notice.