Health Plan Innovation News Makes List of Top Ten Health Technology Blogs

The Health Plan Innovation Blog is proud to have been named to a list of Top Ten Health Technology Blogs as compiled by SeniorHomes.com. The web publication had the following to say about the blog:

Health practitioners aren’t the only entities impacted by the technology wave. Health Plan Innovation focuses on ways to use innovation to “solve health care access, quality and funding issues.” We don’t think there’s anyone out there who would disagree that this is exactly the kind of thought leadership we need to solve the nation’s healthcare crisis.

See the entire list here: SeniorHomes.com

 

Humana and Lilly Form Research Collaboration to Improve Health Care Outcomes

LOUISVILLE, Ky. and INDIANAPOLIS, Aug. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM), one of the nation’s leading health and well-being companies, and Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY), a leading, innovation-driven corporation, today announced a joint research collaboration aimed at improving the health care of their members and patients.

Under the partnership, the companies will utilize their expertise and resources to identify and analyze data and information with a focus on improving health care quality and outcomes. The partnership reflects a shared commitment by both companies to address the challenges of improving quality of care and reducing treatment costs in today’s complex and changing health care environment.

Read the full story at PRNewswire.com

 

How Ideas Become Innovations: Roundtable With Healthcare Innovation Leaders From UCLA, Ohio State

Innovation is increasingly becoming an important discipline for many of the country’s hospitals and health systems. Leaders are dually tasked to build a culture that promotes the sharing of ideas and a willingness to learn, but they must also ensure the creative process is formalized and methodical. Here, four leaders from two of the top academic medical centers in the country share their approach to innovation.

Read the full story at BeckersHpspitialReview.com

Highmark Health Services and Array Health form Strategic Partnership to Expand Defined Contribution Platform

PITTSBURGH, Aug. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Highmark Health Services announced today that it is making its MyBenefits defined contribution health insurance platform available to more businesses in more locations by forming a long-term strategic partnership with Seattle-based Array Health.

“Two years ago, we selected Array Health as our private exchange vendor because of its extensive experience in establishing and maintaining this kind of platform,” said Steven Nelson, senior vice president of strategy, product and marketing at Highmark Health Services. “It has been a wonderful relationship with results that exceeded our expectations. More than 14 percent of the groups choosing our defined contribution approach are new clients to Highmark Health Services, and we nearly doubled the number of supplemental products sold to existing customers. We know that to make this platform even better in the years ahead, the time is right for Highmark Health Services to enter into a more lasting partnership with Array Health.”

Read the full story at PRNewswire.com

San Francisco Area Health Centers Seek to form ACO

A prominent group of health centers in the North Bay (San Francisco) has applied to form what is known under the new federal health law as an “accountable care organization” serving thousands of Medicare patients that, if approved, could be one of the first of its kind in the nation.

Under the ACO program by Medicare, health care providers and payers are encouraged to better coordinate care, hoping to achieve the so-called “triple aim” of improving quality of care, improving patient experience and reducing costs, officials said.

Read the full story at northbaybusinessjournal.com

Legally Married Same-Sex Couples will be Recognized as such for Federal Tax Purposes, Certain Medicare Benefits

All same-sex couples who are legally married will be recognized as such for federal tax purposes, even if the state where they live does not recognize their union, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service said Thursday.

Separately, the Health and Human Services Department said Thursday that Medicare would extend certain key benefits to same-sex spouses, “clarifying that all beneficiaries in private Medicare plans have access to equal coverage when it comes to care in a nursing home where their spouse lives.”

Read the full story at http://news.nytco.com/

More Employers To Offer Only CDH Plans in 2014

More than one in five, or 22%, large employers plan to offer their workers only consumer-driven health plans in 2014 as a cost-control strategy, according to a recent survey of 108 employers by the National Business Group on Health, Modern Healthcare reports. By comparison, 19% of employers offered only CDHPs this year, while about 7% did so in 2009.

According to Modern Healthcare, the appeal of CDHPs for employers is that high-deductible plans are less costly than more-traditional plans, like preferred provider organization plans. Data released last week from the Kaiser Family Foundation show that the average cost of family coverage through CDHPs is nearly $1,500 less per employee than PPOs.

Read the full story at CaliforniaHealthLine.org

 

Regence and MultiCare Health System Announce New Collaborative Care Initiatives

SEATTLE, Aug. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Regence BlueShield in Washington and MultiCare Health System today announced that they have taken an important step in advancing the Triple Aim goals of improving the health of patients and their care experience, and lowering costs, through a new payment model. Additionally, the two organizations are collaborating on innovative new networks and health insurance products to further enhance care and bend the medical cost curve for people in the south Puget Sound region.

The initiative will include a shared incentive reimbursement arrangement for services at MultiCare hospitals and clinics which will be aligned with increased focus on quality and patient care goals that are mutually agreed to by Regence and MultiCare.

Read the full story at PRNewsWire.com

 

Satisfaction with CDHP on the Rise

Satisfaction levels are rising for Americans with consumer-driven health plans just as satisfaction — as well as popularity — slip for traditional health plans, according to new research from the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Consumer-driven health plans — and their associated products, such as health savings accounts — are becoming more popular among both employers and employees.

According to analysis from the American Association of Preferred Provider Organizations, enrollment in consumer-directed health plans grew by 19 percent in 2012, increasing from 33 million in 2011 to 39 million last year.

Read the full story at BenefitsPro.com

 

Express Scripts, Walgreens To Offer 90-Day Retail Solution

In an unexpected display of camaraderie, Express Scripts Holding Co. and Walgreen Co. have come up with a new offering presumably aimed at competing with CVS Caremark Corp.’s highly successful Maintenance Choice program. Industry observers say the launch of Smart90 Walgreens is a plus for both parties and reflects increased interest in custom retail networks.

In a joint press release issued on Aug. 1, the companies said Smart90 Walgreens is designed for Express Scripts clients that are “interested in 90-day prescription drug programs that drive lower costs and improve health outcomes for people with chronic diseases who require long-term treatment.” Not only will clients achieve savings from more aggressively discounted pricing on 90-day prescriptions, but the program has the potential to increase medication adherence by cutting down on the number of opportunities a member has to forget to fill a prescription, maintain the companies.

Read the full story at AISHealth.com