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

Capital BlueCross, PinnacleHealth System Team Up to Bring Employers a New Health Insurance Option

HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Capital BlueCross and PinnacleHealth System are teaming up to offer businesses a unique new health insurance plan for their employees. Marketed as CareConnect Point of Service (CareConnect), this plan connects the benefits and services of Capital BlueCross with the physicians and facilities of PinnacleHealth. It is powered by the two-year-old accountable care arrangement between the two companies.

“It is incumbent upon insurers and health care providers to find innovative ways to help employers achieve workforce health goals and lower costs,” said Gary D. St. Hilaire, Capital BlueCross president & CEO. “CareConnect offers this service and PinnacleHealth’s reputation as a trusted provider makes this plan really attractive to businesses seeking the best possible care for their employees.”  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

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