Tag Archive | "health plans"

Largest U.S. Employers Project Health Benefit Cost Increases to ‘Hold Steady’ in 2017

U.S. Employers Project Health Benefit Cost Increases to 'Hold Steady' in 2017Notwithstanding what some call skyrocketing specialty pharmacy costs, overall health care benefit cost increases at large U.S. employers are expected to hold steady at 6% again in 2017.

That’s the key finding from an survey by the National Business Group on Health, a non-profit association of 425 large employers.

The Large Employers’ 2017 Health Plan Design Survey, the industry’s first look at health benefit costs and plan design changes for 2017, also revealed that employees will not see major increases to their costs during this year’s open enrollment season.
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The Brilliance of Kaiser Permanente – Making the Right Thing Easy to Do

The following is a guest post from Elyse Rossler, National Director, Health at mobileStorm.

With close to 9 million members, treated by 180,000 employees and 16,000 physicians — and as the fifth largest hospital system in the U.S. generating $45 billion a year in revenue — Kaiser Permanente shines.

George Halvorson, CEO and Chairman of Kaiser, gave an inspirational talk to a select audience during the mHIMSS conference in Las Vegas last week.  He outlined KP’s strategy and success very succinctly with simple principles; treat each Kaiser member in totality, with a comprehensive wellness plan, using a toolkit for addressing their health and well being.  KP shies away from treating their members in “silos.”

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Verizon Wireless and WellPoint Team for Secure Wireless Video Conferencing Over LTE

A new partnership has been announced between Verizon Wireless and health plan provider WellPoint to enable secure, wireless video conferencing through Verizon’s 4G LTE network to members of WellPoint-affiliated health plans and their nurse care managers.

Using Verizon’s high-speed LTE network, nurse care managers and other clinicians can now communicate face-to-face with health-plan members via video consults on their mobile devices, offering timely healthcare guidance and making follow-up much easier and convenient than before.  The goal is the ease and convenience of mobile heath consultations will help consumers take a more active role in their healthcare.

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Keeping People Healthy: Relevant Conversations, Marketers & The PHI Problem

Mobile Communication

My philosophy is, to get a consumer to change their behavior (like for instance remembering to take their medication), you must have very relevant conversations. The hard part in healthcare is that the more honest your conversation is, the riskier it gets, and the less channels you have to communicate your message over.

PHI or “Protected Health Information” creates this problem, or shall I say, complicates things, because protecting our health information is a good thing right?

PHI is under the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and in a nutshell, is any information about health status, provision of health care, or payment for health care that can be linked to a specific individual. This includes any part of a patient’s medical record or payment history. PHI has a broad interpretation and as a result not everyone in the industry can agree exactly what type of data is considered PHI.

For instance, at mobileStorm we’ve witnessed compliance teams rule that including the name of your physician in an SMS text message is completely fine, while another team says that even a cell phone number can be considered PHI.  Communicating with large populations quickly is incredibly important in keeping America healthy; however PHI can make this tricky. While people interpret PHI differently, our experience has been that most companies will always err on the side of caution. Large fines for privacy violations has the industry on edge. In February the  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a $4.3 m fine to Cignet Health Care of Temple Hills. The action is the first monetary fine issued since the Act was passed in 1996.

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