2014 Health Care Changes Ahead Survey Report

2014 Health Care Changes Ahead Survey Report

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Did you know that per Towers Watson, 81% of companies plan to make moderate to significant changes to health benefit programs for full-time active workers in 2015? Additionally, the cost per employee for healthcare in 2015 is $13,037. This consists of $10,233 paid for by the employer and $2,804 borne by the employee. The study consisted of 379 midsize to large corporations....

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Will Narrow Networks Strike Out On The Health Care Exchanges?

Will Narrow Networks Strike Out On The Health Care Exchanges?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Did you know that narrow networks, while limiting your choice in chosen medical providers, typically offer significantly reduced premiums? Narrowing the choice of in-network doctors and hospitals is designed to help insurance companies control costs and manage care. Typically a narrow network may only include 30-70% of the available providers in the area. ...

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Can The Apple Watch Really Keep The Doctor Away?

Can The Apple Watch Really Keep The Doctor Away?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Did you know that the Apple Watch, while still early in its development, has the capacity to become the first commercial data-gathering and synthesis system for personal health metrics? With the availability of specialized biosensors and real-time access to medical records, it could deliver event or monitor-driven, ultra-personalized medical info to you, and evaluate and adjust treatment to meet changing circumstances, or to emergency contacts if you are incapacitated. ...

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2015 Milliman Medical Index

2015 Milliman Medical Index

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Did you know that in 2015, the cost of healthcare for a typical American family of four covered by an average employer-sponsored preferred provider organization (PPO) plan is $24,671 according to the Milliman Medical Index (MMI)? The cost for this family has nearly tripled since Milliman began tracking this information in 2001. This creates a risk of triggering the "Cadillac tax" in 2018 if the plan is provided by a smaller employer and if trends exceed recent levels....

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Cut Health Coverage Or Send Obamacare Cadillac Tax To Junkyard?

Cut Health Coverage Or Send Obamacare Cadillac Tax To Junkyard?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Did you know that a survey by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans reveals that 62% of companies facing a 40% Cadillac tax hit in 2018 are already changing their coverage to avoid it? Conversely, only 2.5 percent of companies say they will pay it. How do you avoid it? Change to higher deductible plans, reduce benefits, shift more costs to employees, or even drop high-cost plans altogether....

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Why Do Other Rich Nations Spend So Much Less on Healthcare?

Why Do Other Rich Nations Spend So Much Less on Healthcare?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Did you know that the United States spends 18% of its GNP on healthcare, more than 50% higher than the Netherlands, who is the second highest spender? Why does the United States spend so much more? The biggest reason is that U.S. healthcare delivers a more expensive mix of services. For example, a much larger proportion of physician visits in the U.S. are to specialists who get higher fees and usually order more high-tech diagnostic and therapeutic procedures than primary care physicians....

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How Fitbit and IBM Watson are transferring the power of healthcare data from one hand to another

How Fitbit and IBM Watson are transferring the power of healthcare data from one hand to another

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Did you know that a recent announcement by wearable device pioneer Fitbit and IBM Watson's healthcare unit will rapidly democratize access to personal health data, as well as access to complex computational capability and placing it, literally, in people's hands? Separately, IBM Watson Healthcare announced a major push into the healthcare analytics space through strategic partnerships with the Mayo Clinic and Epic, a provider of Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems. ...

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Big Pharma’s Favorite Prescription: Higher Prices

Big Pharma’s Favorite Prescription: Higher Prices

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Did you know that certain prescription drugs have increased in cost at rates up to nearly 850% since 2007 versus an increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of 12% during that period? Examples include Avonex (+147%), Gleevec (+158%), Viagra (+159%), EpiPen (+222%), Humulin R U-500 (+354%) and Xyrem (+841%). There are 15 cancer drugs introduced in the past 15 years that cost patients more than $10,000 per month....

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Surgery costs vary wildly — even in same area

Surgery costs vary wildly — even in same area

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Did you know that there can be significant unexplained variation in the cost of the exact same procedure across your patient population? For example, a recent study identified that Blue Cross Blue Shield paid $11,317 for total knee replacements in Montgomery, AL, but the very same procedure cost the payer $69,654 in NYC. Even more startling were differences within the same metropolitan market, where a total hip replacement in Boston ranged from $17,910 to almost $74,000 ---- a 313% differen...

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U.S. Emergency-Room Visits Keep Climbing

U.S. Emergency-Room Visits Keep Climbing

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Did you know that emergency room visits continue to climb under the Affordable Care Act? According to a study by Truven Health Analytics of 6.5 million emergency room claims, only 29% of patients required immediate attention. Many employers are educating their employees that to rein in costs, urgent care and other alternatives may be more timely and cost effective.Read More...

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