Only 251 U.S. hospitals receive 5-star rating on patient satisfaction

Only 251 U.S. hospitals receive 5-star rating on patient satisfaction

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Did you know that only 251 (7.1%) of 3,553 hospitals nationwide received CMS 5 star rating? These ratings are based on the patient experience, and include such factors as the responsiveness of hospital staff, the quality of care transitions, cleanliness and how well information is communicated to patients....

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Do Workplace Wellness Programs Work? Usually Not

Do Workplace Wellness Programs Work? Usually Not

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Did you know that over 50% of large firms (defined as over 200 employees) offer incentives for employees to complete health risk assessments, intended to identify health issues? Medium to large employers spent an average of $521 per employee on wellness programs in 2013, double the amount spent 5 years ago. Per the NY Times, rigorous research does not support that wellness programs save money, and with few exceptions, do not appreciably improve health....

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Coverage for Spouses and Dependents Scaled Back

Coverage for Spouses and Dependents Scaled Back

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Did you know that to control rising health care costs and minimize triggering the Affordable Care Act's 2018 excise tax, a growing number of employers will significantly reduce the subsidies paid to support spousal and dependent coverage? As reported by the Society for Human Resurce Management (SHRM), 58% of companies have completed an audit of covered dependents to verify eligibility and 52% are considering unitized pricing—where employees pay per person, and not individual versus family....

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Private Health Insurance Exchanges Unleash ‘Transformational Change’

Private Health Insurance Exchanges Unleash ‘Transformational Change’

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Did you know that despite the negative attention of public healthcare exchanges, private health insurance exchanges are quietly building steam as new tools to engage employees and manage health care benefits more effectively? The potential benefits of private exchanges are relatively obvious: reducing trend for health care costs, reducing administrative burdens in an increasingly complex regulatory environment, and expanding the number of benefit choices available to employees. ...

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Employers Plan Strategic Changes to Health Benefits

Employers Plan Strategic Changes to Health Benefits

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Did you know that the majority of midsize and large U.S. employers (84%) expect to make changes to their employee health benefits program over the next 3 years, according to nw research from consultancy Towers Watson? Two-thirds are planning to use claims and other data to evaluate plan performance and employee behavior changes in lifestyle and health management. The use of "centers of excellence" and "narrow networks" is expected to triple....

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Boeing negotiates directly with more health systems

Boeing negotiates directly with more health systems

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Airplane manufacturer Boeing Co. will soon offer more employees the option of health benefits negotiated directly with local health systems. The employer, skilled in the art of negotiations, first used the strategy last year in Seattle to better control healthcare costs. Boeing added direct contracts with Roper St. Francis Health Alliance in Charleston, S.C., one major location for Boeing's commercial airline business, and with St. Louis-based Mercy. Boeing's defense, space and security busines...

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“Dark Secrets” of Healthcare Costing

“Dark Secrets” of Healthcare Costing

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

This is definitely one of those "dark secrets" of healthcare costing, that the amount billed for the very same surgery varies widely across providers, with little correlation to the medical value received by the patient or the quality of care. While the cost of a total knee replacement averaged about $31,000 in 64 markets where Blue Cross Blue Shield analyzed its claims data, the cost in Dallas ranged from $16,772 to $61,585. This represents a four-fold difference for the same procedure in t...

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