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

The Coming Revolution in Consumer-Driven Care

There is a new industry of “CDHC account administration firms” to manage these accounts and provide support services. [CDHC=Consumer Driven Health Care.]

These firms offer integrated platforms for the three accounts and support consumers with website management, debit and credit cards, and increasing cost and quality information. …these CDHC firms are taking over private insurance.

See the full story at TheRightsideNews.com

Seven Reasons HSAs are Taking Off

There’s no question that HSAs are growing — but why? Experts point to a number of possible explanations.

See the full story at BenefitsPro.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

 

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

 

Oscar: The New Kid That May Change Health Insurance

Three friends, and technology entrepreneurs, teamed up to do something that has been inconceivable to date—create a start-up health insurance company to take on conventional health insurers on the NY exchange.

Oscar co-founders, Josh Kushner, Kevin Nazemi and Mario Schlosser, plan to change the health insurance industry through technological interfaces, telemedicine and real transparency. Their goal is to redesign insurance to be geared toward the user experience, to make patients seek out their insurer before their doctor.

Read the full story at Forbes.com

EveryMove 100 Health Insurance Index Launches

SEATTLE, WA — August 27, 2013 — EveryMove, Inc., an innovator in health rewards-based marketing and incentives, today introduced the EveryMove 100 Health Insurance IndexTM, the first ranking of the top 100 health insurance companies in the U.S. based on how they engage with and empower consumers to manage their own health. The EveryMove 100 can be found online https://everymove.org/everymove-100 including detail information about each company.

With a huge impending influx of consumers to the federal and state health insurance exchanges stemming from the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the need for comparative information about health insurance companies is greater than ever. The EveryMove 100 evaluates plans using more than 50 metrics to arrive at an aggregate score that indicates how well they meet consumer needs for accessibility, motivation, community activism and overall satisfaction.

For more information go to EveryMove.org

 

ACA Sparks Renewed Interest in CDHPs; FedEx Shifts to Account-Based Plans

The trend toward consumer-directed health plans (CDHPs) got a major convert this month when package delivery giant FedEx Inc. said it would not only offer such plans, but actually switch its entire 400,000-some workforce to account-based insurance starting in 2014. Cigna Corp. and WellPoint, Inc.’s Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield will administer the new benefit.

Consultants and industry stakeholders didn’t blink at the news, considering that CDHPs have been around for more than a decade, but did stress that the reform law appears to be accelerating the speed at which large groups are moving away from more traditional coverage.

Read the full story at AISHealth.com

 

Two States Tackle Price Transparency

North Carolina and New Hampshire are taking similar paths regarding healthcare price transparency, with both states determined to make such data more readily available to consumers.

In North Carolina, Gov. Pat McCrory has signed a bill into law that requires hospitals to publicly report what they charge for the 100 most frequent reasons for admission, the Raleigh News & Observer reported. Hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers must also report pricing information on the 40 most common surgical and imaging procedures.

In New Hampshire, legislation has been introduced that would require all providers–whether hospital, outpatient center or physician office–to provide prices to uninsured patients of the 25 most commonly performed procedures, the Concord Monitor reported.

Read the full story at FierceHealthFinance.com

 

Consumer Driven Health Care Plans Can Help Reduce Health Care Spending and Make Positive Behavior Changes: HCSC

CHICAGO, June 13, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Consumers enrolled in Consumer Driven Health Plans (CDHPs) are more likely to make sustainable, positive behavior change leading to significant health plan spend reductions year over year, according to data studied by Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), operator of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans in Illinois, Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Members who migrated to CDHP plans – those that have a higher deductible, prompting consumers to be more directly involved with the selection and usage of health care services – reduced their health care spending significantly.

This study is unique because of its focus on tracking individual members who migrated from traditional health plan coverage to CDHP coverage in order to analyze their health care behavior and their health care spending habits both before and after the switch. The data also showed that changes in behavior, including increases in preventive care and use of generic prescriptions, helped contribute to a reduction in health care spending for both employers and members.

The CDHP program, BlueEdge(TM), is offered through the four Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans, and includes Health Savings Account (HSA) and Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) options. BlueEdge enrollment surpassed 1.5 million members earlier this year, after experiencing double-digit percentage increases for six straight years.

Key results from the study indicate that, following migration from a traditional non-CDHP plan to a CDHP, on average, the CDHP members studied:

  • were four percent more likely to take advantage of preventive services.
  • reduced health care utilization by an aggregate of more than 12 percent.
  • were 10 percent more likely to fill their prescriptions with generics.
  • spent 24 percent less on inpatient hospital services and eight percent less on outpatient services.
  • had a 12 percent decrease in emergency room visits.
  • reduced combined medical and pharmacy spend by an aggregate of 11 percent

In addition, data showed that employers who offered only a CDHP saw even greater spend reductions – up to an aggregate of 14.4% over the three years following migration from a traditional plan to a CDHP.

“Our BlueEdge CDHP program gives consumers the flexibility and tools to help make positive decisions to reduce their healthcare spend, coupled with broad access to care, award-winning service, comprehensive incentives, wellness and care management programs, and a personalized, engaging health care experience,” said Thomas Meier, Vice President, product development, HCSC. “Our experience finds that CDHP members tend to be more engaged and informed in making better health care decisions.”

This is the second year that HCSC has done this analysis, this year studying more than five years of data for more than 265,000 members (with pharmacy data available on 121,000 of those members). HCSC continues to invest in more consumer focused approaches, adding more robust incentives and value-based insurance design products in 2013 to complement both traditional and CDHP plans.

“Our findings are significant because they indicate both real and potential health care spend reductions. Rather than comparing the utilization of different groups of consumers, we have focused on the utilization changes of members who migrated from traditional plans to CDHP. The fact that we are comparing the same members in both plans allows us to minimize inherent risk differentials,” said Guy McGinnis, Vice President, client analytics, HCSC.

About Health Care Service CorporationHealth Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, is the country’s largest customer-owned health insurer and fourth largest health insurer overall, with more than 13 million members in its Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. HCSC is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, please visit www.HCSC.com , visit our Facebook page or follow us at www.twitter.com/HCSC .

SOURCE Health Care Service Corporation