2.8 Trillion U.S. Healthcare Market Threatened By Disruptive New Entrants Like Those That Reshaped Retail, Banking and Travel, According To PwC’s Health Research Institute

NEW YORK, April 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — New entrants are poised to draw tens of billions of dollars in revenue from traditional healthcare’s $2.8 trillion revenue pie as these market disruptors rapidly develop

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 products and services like the innovations that transformed banking, entertainment and publishing, according to Healthcare’s New Entrants: Who will be the industry’s Amazon.com?, a new report released today by PwC’s Health Research Institute (HRI). HRI found that consumers are ready to embrace new options being developed by new entrants from the retail, technology and telecommunications sectors, from smartphone otoscopes to online evaluations of digital photos of rashes. Continue reading

Humana Appoints Christopher Kay as Chief Innovation Officer

LOUISVILLE, Ky.–()–Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM), one of the nation’s leading health and well-being companies, announced today that it has appointed Christopher Kay as Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer, effective March 17. Kay will report to President and Chief Executive Officer Bruce Broussard and serve on the company’s Management Team.

In his new role, Kay will lead the company’s innovation strategy. Among other priorities, he will focus on innovations in personalized health designed to simplify the health care experience, leading to better health outcomes. Continue reading

Aetna and Medtronic Collaborate to Help Members Take Better Control of Type 2 Diabetes

HARTFORD, Conn. & MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Beginning this month, Aetna (NYSE: AET) and Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE: MDT) will work with doctors in a new program to reach up to 300 fully insured members with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes who may improve their health using insulin pump therapy. Eligible members will receive targeted education, case management and other patient support to help control blood sugar, which also may lower their health care costs. Information gathered from the program also is expected to help doctors and other health care providers more easily identify and support those who can benefit most from this therapy.

“We want to help members with type 2 diabetes to enjoy a more flexible lifestyle and have better glucose control. Improving education and assistance for those learning to use insulin pumps may help increase consideration and successful use of a proven therapy that can help them achieve these goals,” said Ed Pezalla, M.D., Aetna’s national medical director for pharmacy policy and strategy. “We also are excited to create value-based arrangements with companies like Medtronic who are ready to share accountability for the role their products and services play in improving members’ health.” Continue reading

Fallon Health Partners With Cognizant to Become the First Massachusetts Health Insurer to Provide Quotes for Merged Market Plans Under Affordable Care Act

TEANECK, N.J., Feb. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – Cognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH) today announced that it has enabled Fallon Health, a Massachusetts-based not-for-profit health care services organization, to become the first Massachusetts health insurer to provide quotes for merged market plans mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Continue reading

Humana Teams Up with CoverMyMeds to Improve Prior Authorization Process for Members

LOUISVILLE, Ky.–()–Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) and CoverMyMeds, a leading health care innovation company, have recently teamed up to implement an electronic prior authorization model that allows providers to streamline prescription authorization requests, giving patients expedited access to the medications they need.

“Depending on the prescription, some medications require prior authorization before coverage which, as of now, is a time-consuming process for all parties”

Under the new agreement, physicians can submit drug prior authorizations directly to Humana via an online portal. The requests begin processing immediately and providers receive a notification of the status of the member’s prior authorization, often before the member even leaves the doctor’s office. Continue reading

Kaiser Permanente joins Veterans Affairs Center for Innovation Partnerships Program

OAKLAND, Calif., and WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Together, the Veterans Health Administration and Kaiser Permanente provide care and service to nearly 18 million Americans. Today the two organizations announced they will pool resources and ideas to solve some of the largest and most complex challenges in health care.

As part of the Veterans Affairs Center of Innovation Partnership Program, the two organizations will research and share best practices in four specific areas: Continue reading

Priority Health Becomes Michigan’s only Health Plan to Earn Wellness Accreditation

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.–()–Priority Health has become the only health plan in Michigan to receive wellness accreditation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). The accreditation from the NCQA, an organization focused on improving the quality of health care, certifies Priority Health as a leader in implementing wellness programs in the workplace. This recognition comes as Priority Health renews its commitment to improve the health and lives of the people it works with by enhancing its employer-based wellness programs. Continue reading

Independence Blue Cross Launches Center for Health Care Innovation to Foster New Ideas and Partnerships to Improve Health Care

PHILADELPHIA, PA., Feb. 3, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Independence Blue Cross today announced it has created the Independence Blue Cross (IBC) Center for Health Care Innovation, an important milestone in the company’s groundbreaking efforts to transform the Philadelphia area into a national magnet for health care innovation. At the 5,000-square foot center at 1700 Market Street in Philadelphia, the company’s associates and external partners will innovate, collaborate, and implement path-finding new concepts in health care. The center will also be the home for the company’s widening range of innovation initiatives, including its partnership with Penn Medicine and DreamIt Ventures on the region’s first health care accelerator, DreamIt Health Philadelphia, which last year brought ten promising health care startups from across the country to Philadelphia and today eight are still located in the region. Continue reading

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Recognized for Customer Experience Improvement

DETROIT— Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan was recognized this week by Forrester Research’s January 2014 report, “The Customer Experience Index, 2014,” as earning the biggest improvement across multiple industries in overall “customer experience.” This ranking advances the company to a second place ranking overall among the health insurance providers evaluated. The Forrester report surveys consumers about their “customer experience” at 175 large U.S. brands across 14 industries, including insurance firms.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan scored a 75, following what Forrester refers to as a “jaw-dropping increase” of 22 points.  BCBSM now ranks second place among surveyed health insurance providers nationally. Continue reading

Kaiser Permanente Lauded for Its Innovative Exercise as a Vital Sign Program

OAKLAND, Calif., Jan. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Kaiser Permanente health plans in California were honored recently with a 2013 eValue8 Innovations Award for their groundbreaking Exercise as a Vital Sign program.

The National Business Coalition on Health , a non-profit organization of purchaser-led business and health coalitions, sponsored the award, which recognizes the innovative work of health plans to develop programs that address critical health care issues.

Developed by Kaiser Permanente to consistently capture information on a member’s exercise habits, Exercise as a Vital Sign raises the value of exercise so that it’s equal to other vital signs, such as blood pressure and heart rate. The program is intended to prompt important conversations between individuals and their providers. Continue reading