CVS Looks to Carve Out More Healthcare Delivery Space

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Dec. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — At its annual Analyst Day in New York City today, CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS) outlined its strategies to drive long-term enterprise growth.

“CVS Caremark has an in-depth understanding of the changing health care landscape, including the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead,” said Larry J. Merlo, president and chief executive officer of CVS Caremark.  “These changes in the environment are creating opportunities for the company, and our unique combination of ability and agility positions us to capitalize on these opportunities – however they take shape.” Continue reading

SoloHealth Station Surpasses the 40-Million Mark for Consumer Engagements

Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) December 20, 2013, SoloHealth®, a consumer-driven healthcare technology company, announced today that its SoloHealth Station® consumer health and wellness kiosk has surpassed the 40-million mark for user engagements, averaging almost 130,000 users per day. The company says it’s pacing 10 million users per quarter and projecting 40M annually. Texas, Florida, California, Georgia and North Carolina are leading all states in consumer engagement and usage rates.

SoloHealth Stations are currently located in more than 3,500 retail locations across the nation with users spending approximately 4.5 minutes per session. The SoloHealth Station’s nationwide network provides consumers with free interactive health tools and services to better manage their health and wellness for better healthcare outcomes. SoloHealth also delivers advertisers, health plan providers and employers an engaging platform to reach, connect and interact with users when health care is top-of-mind. Continue reading

Horizon BCBSNJ Launches Patient-Centered Pediatric Program that Puts Focus on Improving the Health of Children and Families

Newark, NJ (PRWEB) – Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey has announced that it is launching a new, family-focused program to improve the health of children. This is Horizon BCBSNJ’s first patient-centered program dedicated to pediatric care.

Horizon BCBSNJ says its new Patient-Centered Pediatric Program will initially benefit more than 100,000 pediatric members. More than 630 pediatricians and family practice doctors at over 110 practice locations throughout New Jersey will be participating in the initiative, which launches on January 1, 2014.

According to a company release, this program was developed over the past year in close collaboration with pediatricians, family practice physicians, practice managers and leadership of the New Jersey Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics.

The health plan describes the initiative as a “value-based program” that reinforces the role of pediatricians and family doctors to effectively coordinate all the health care needs of their patients so that children and their families receive the highest quality of care, in the right setting and at the right time. – See more at HorizonBlue.com

PwC’s Health Research Institute Identifies the Top 10 Health Industry Issues for 2014

NEW YORK, /PRNewswire/ — Implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is only one of the factors forcing a rapid reshaping of the $2.8 trillion U.S. healthcare industry in 2014 according to PwC’s Health Research Institute (HRI). In its annual report on the Top Health Industry Issues for 2014, PwC’s HRI identifies the top 10 issues facing the U.S. health sector this year, including the need to adjust to empowered consumers, rapid innovation, and increasing competition from non-traditional players. The report includes the results of a survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers and interviews with health industry leaders that provide insights into the emerging new health economy.

The report notes that much of the health industry has accepted that reform is here to stay – and forward-looking executives are making decisions based on a post-ACA landscape that has altered the provision of insurance and the delivery of care. Continue reading

ReAdmission Solutions Launches Pilot with Independence Blue Cross to Prevent Hospital Readmissions

PHILADELPHIA and NEW YORK, Dec. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Independence Blue Cross (IBC) and ReAdmission Solutions, LLC (RAS) today announced they have signed a letter of agreement to implement a pilot program to prevent hospital readmissions. RAS will conduct the pilot for IBC Keystone 65 and Personal Choice 65 Medicare Advantage members.

According to a joint statement, the objective of the pilot is to prevent hospital readmissions for members regardless of the patient’s diagnosis or the hospital where they treated. It is expected that the first phase of the pilot will run 90-120 days and include 180 hospitalized IBC Medicare Advantage members, which is considered a statistically valid sample to determine effectiveness.

The statement noted that ReAdmission Solutions will provide a registered nurse clinical coordinator to coordinate discharge planning and post acute care with hospital staff and other healthcare professionals. – See more details at PRNewswire.com.

New Research Shows ACA Exchanges Will Compete with Private Insurers; None are Easy

CHANGE SCIENCES HEALTH INSURANCE INFOGRAPHICNEW YORK, /PRNewswire/ — Web researchers Change Sciences Group released new data this week comparing the insurance shopping experience on public health exchange web sites, including the new HealthCare.gov site, with the shopping experience on private health insurance sites. According to the research, the new HealthCare.gov site (released on November 30) offers an insurance shopping experience which is now on par with leading private insurer web sites such as Aetna, eHealth and Kaiser Permanente. Continue reading

Aetna Combining Voluntary, Consumer Directed Health Plans

HARTFORD, Conn.–()–Aetna (NYSE: AET) announced today a new strategy to help employers and their employees reach the full value of a consumer directed health plan (CDHP). Called the CDHP Accelerator, the strategy combines CDHPs with voluntary products. The CDHP Accelerator provides greater financial protection once the member has reached certain limits on their high-deductible health plan.

In a statement, Aetna said that combining a CDHP with voluntary financial protection plans – like Hospital Indemnity, Critical Illness or Accident –provides additional financial protection if someone experiences an unexpected illness or hospital stay. They note that these plans provide cash benefits that employees can use for whatever they need, from meeting their deductible to paying everyday expenses like rent, daycare or groceries, and that by helping to boost financial confidence, voluntary benefits can increase enrollment in consumer directed health plans. – For more details see Businesswire.com.

Cigna ACO Showing Higher Quality, Lower Costs in First Year

CONCORD, N.H. & BLOOMFIELD, Conn., December 11, 2013 – Cigna today is reporting on the first-year results from its collaborative accountable care initiative with Granite Healthcare Network (GHN), a partnership among five independent charitable health care organizations in New Hampshire.

According to a Cigna release, the program is making strides toward achieving its goals of improved healthaffordability and patient experience.They also say the initiative has helped GHN deliver a higher level of care in New Hampshire while controlling total medical costs for its 30,000 patients who are covered by a Cigna health plan.

Cigna noted that when the program started last year, it evaluated how well GHN followed nationally recognized evidence based medicine guidelines (a measure of quality) and Continue reading

Florida Blue and Orlando Health Create Accountable Care Arrangement

JACKSONVILLE and ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Florida Blue and Orlando Health Physician Partners have announced the execution of an accountable care agreement, which aims to improve the quality and efficiency of patient care in the Orlando area.

Starting on Jan. 1, 2014, the accountable care program will utilize a value-based compensation structure that i s intended to decrease medical costs and increase quality outcomes by rewarding the right combination of goals, including transparency, care coordination, consumer empowerment and lack of redundancy. – See more details at PR Newswire.com.

Kaiser Permanente Wins Six Awards for Digital Excellence

OAKLAND, Calif., Dec. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Kaiser Permanente, which operates both health care providers and not-for-profit health plans, announced that they have received six prestigious awards recognizing its use of digital tools to engage consumers in managing their health care and to enable employees to deliver high quality care.

The health care organization says it has won five 2013 eHealthcare Leadership awards, including the highest honor for Organizational Commitment, and the 2013 Hospital Website Transparency Award with Distinction, selected by the Utilization Review Accreditation Commission and The Leapfrog Group. – See the full story at PR Newswire.com.