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

HealthSparq Acquires ClarusHealth to Become a Market Leader In Quickly Growing Healthcare Transparency Industry

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – HealthSparq, a leading healthcare transparency solutions provider, announced today that it has acquired ClarusHealth Solutions, a leading healthcare provider search vendor. The companies will combine and extend their current transparency and healthcare shopping solution offerings. Together, HealthSparq and ClarusHealth will provide health plans and employers with a robust and integrated healthcare shopping platform, allowing their members and employees to make informed healthcare decisions, ultimately incurring lower costs.

The combined organization will be a market leader in the integrated transparency and healthcare shopping space, providing solutions and tools to 60 different health insurance plans that together provide coverage for more than 60 million individuals. Continue reading

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

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

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.

Independence Blue Cross Enhances its Consumer Outreach and Engagement Strategy

Independence Blue Cross, (IBC) has announced that it extended its partnership with Relay , a new channel for customer communications, to enhance its successful mobile communication program, IBX Wire™.

Launched earlier this year, IBX Wire helps IBC members stay on top of vital personal health information, complete transactions, and get customized support from their smartphones. IBC is now taking this capability beyond its member base to educate and engage with consumers to help them understand the changes driven by the Affordable Care Act, and provide an easy way to get more information or enroll in a health plan.

IBC said that this mobile communication program is a key element of its consumer outreach and engagement strategy which also includes multi-lingual educational materials; online resources like ibx.com/careforme and ibx4you.com ; social media outreach; outreach through seminars and webinars by trained health care reform experts; and direct mail. In addition, IBC launched the Independence Express , a state-of-the-art, mobile education and retail health care experience that has been traveling throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania this summer and fall helping consumers understand the important changes associated with the Affordable Care Act. – See more information at IBX.com.

Humana Launches Blue Button® Resource that Provides Members Access to Their Medical Information Digitally

LOUISVILLE, Ky.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM), one of the country’s leading health and well-being companies, is taking another step to simplify the ability of members to take charge of their health by providing access to their medical and financial information in digital form in alignment with the Blue Button initiative.

Blue Button, accessible to Humana health plan members that use MyHumana.com, encourages these members to participate in and manage their health and health care. The technology equips them with tools to understand and track their health benefits in an easy, streamlined way. Blue Button furnishes members with detailed health and claims records, which they can bring to physician visits to discuss their health and treatment options. Continue reading

NeHC: Engaging Consumers is Critical to Healthcare’s Future

The future of healthcare must include consumer engagement in eHealth according to Healthcare Informatics which cites  a new survey of stakeholders by the National eHealth Collaborative (NeHC) and its partner HealthCAWS, a healthcare services company.

National eHealth Collaborative (NeHC) is a public-private partnership that accelerates effective use of health IT to create a more patient and family centered healthcare system with better outcomes and greater value. NeHC works closely with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT in the U.S.  Continue reading

CDHPs Continue to Grow: Aon Study

New research from Aon Hewitt shows Consumer-Driven Health Plans (CDHPs) have become the second most prevalent plan offered by employers after preferred provider organizations (PPOs), and could potentially surpass PPOs as the most common plan type offered in the next three to five years.

According to Aon Hewitt’s 2013 Health Care Survey of nearly 800 large and mid-size U.S. employers covering more than 7 million employees, 56 percent of employers currently offer CDHPs as a plan choice, and another 30 percent are considering offering one in the next three to five years.

While 10 percent of employers offer CDHPs as the only plan option, another 44 percent are considering doing so in the next three to five years. In 2012, employers reported at least a 2 percentage point lower cost trend for CDHP plans (4 percent) versus other plans, including PPOs (6 percent), HMOs (7 percent) and Exclusive Provider Networks (6 percent).

See the full story at PRNewswire.com