CIGNA Compass Uses Anticipatory Computing to Help Health Plan Customers Stay Healthy While Saving Money

BLOOMFIELD, Conn., January 14, 2015 – Global health service company, Cigna (NYSE: CI), announces today the release of Cigna CompassSM , a new web application designed to use anticipatory computing to guide U.S. health plan customers to proactively build their own personal health care team, save money, and get the most from their plans.

Cigna announced the introduction of the new digital experience at the National Business Group on Health’s 2015 Employers’ Summit on Health Care Costs and Solutions .

Cigna Compass synthesizes data related to a consumer’s medical plan use, biometric data, incentive information, claims history, and coaching program involvement. Those insights create personalized alerts to notify customers of their top opportunities to improve their health and lower their health care costs. Continue reading

Healthtech: Which Portland Company was Named a Top Digital Health Investor for 2014?

Cambia Health Solutions was one of the most active corporate investors in the digital health universe in 2014, according to Rock Health, a full-service seed fund for digital health based in San Francisco. (See the full story at: http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/blog/health-care-inc/2015/01/healthtech-which-portland-company-was-named-a-top.html

 

 

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

Aetna Better Health of Illinois and Addus Home Care Launch Personal Care Pilot

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aetna Better Health of Illinois, an Aetna Medicaid plan, and Addus Home Care, a national provider of home and community-based services (HCBS), will conduct a pilot study on the impact of providing smart phones to home care aides who assist Illinois residents served under the state’s Integrated Care Program (ICP).

ICP provides assistance such as meal preparation, bathing, housekeeping and transportation to seniors and adults with disabilities who qualify for Medicaid. The pilot study seeks to demonstrate the benefits of smart phones to help home care aides report changing health conditions of members in real time to supervisors and to the members’ primary care physicians. Addus Home Care aides are in consumers’ homes on a frequent basis, observing changes in the physical, mental and environmental conditions of their clients.

In the ICP pilot, Aetna Better Health and Addus expect to leverage home and community-based services to provide similar results with emergency and acute care services. Aetna and Addus plan to conduct an outcome study on the program in 2014.

For more information, see www.aetna.co

 

Majority of Consumers Want Wearable Fitness Technologies: Accenture Survey

NEW YORK; Jan. 6, 2014 – In a consumer electronics world dominated by smart-phones, HDTVs, laptop computers and tablet PCs, a new market category is generating significant consumer buying interest: wearable technologies. A new Accenture (NYSE: ACN) survey (Accenture Digital Consumer Tech Survey 2014) found that more than half of consumers (52 percent) are interested in buying wearable technologies such as fitness monitors for tracking physical activity and managing their personal health. The survey of more than 6,000 people in six countries – Australia, Canada, India, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States – showed that many are also interested in buying smart watches (46 percent) and Internet-connected eyeglasses (42 percent).

Wearable technologies deliver a wide range of capabilities: fitness monitors track a person’s heart rate and calories burned, while Internet-connected eyeglass displays enable consumers to browse the Internet, take digital photos and receive hands-free notifications. Among the six countries, consumers in India were most interested in buying fitness monitors (80 percent), smart watches (76 percent) and Internet-enabled eyeglasses (74 percent).

In addition, the survey found significant consumer interest in purchasing phablets, an emerging category of mobile devices that combine smartphone and tablet PC functions while featuring a screen size of five-to-seven inches – in between a traditional smartphone and a tablet PC. The survey also unveiled strong purchase plans over the next year for traditional smartphones, HDTVs, laptops and tablet PCs. – See more at  www.accenture.com.

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.

House Lawmakers Unveil Bill To Boost Telehealth Coverage

We are following a story that was reported on iHealthBeat.org that said that a bipartisan group of House lawmakers last week introduced a bill (HR 3306) that aims to expand telehealth coverage through Medicare and Medicaid.

The Telehealth Enhancement Act of 2013 was introduced by Reps. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.), Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.).

Among other things, the legislation would:

  • Adjust Medicare home health payments to account for remote patient monitoring;
  • Expand telehealth coverage to all critical access and sole community hospitals;
  • Cover home-based video services for hospice care, home dialysis and homebound Medicare beneficiaries; and
  • Allow state Medicaid programs to set up high-risk pregnancy networks.

The bill has been referred to the House committees on Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means. – To see more go to  iHealthBeat.org.

 

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

Next Generation Retail Technology Designed to help Health Plans Differentiate their Private Exchange Marketplaces

SEATTLE – October 22, 2013 – Array Health, a leading provider of private health insurance exchange technology, today announced the next generation of its Array Spectrum™ Member Marketplace, the consumer-facing module of its private exchange solution.

Array Health claims that exchanges built with this next generation retail technology will help health plans differentiate their privately branded online marketplaces from less consumer-friendly offerings and ultimately help them attract and retain more customers. Continue reading

CAQH CORE, the Quiet Side of the Affordable Care Act

With health care exchanges dominating the news with regard to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), another piece of the health care reform legislation that will affect more people than the individual mandate or the public exchanges is being implemented with much less fanfare and media attention.

Those are the sections of the law that require administrative simplification and the development of standards for financial and administrative transactions. Sections 1104 and 10109 of ACA will impact nearly everyone who uses, pays for or delivers health care.

Essentially these sections of the law are aimed at bringing the health care industry (hospitals, health plans and other stakeholders) to a place that the financial services industry has been for years. That is having universal standards in place that allow financial institutions to communicate with one another in the same electronic language. It is what allows someone to use an ATM at a bank branch or at a gas station.  Continue reading