Study finds Wisconsin has high healthcare prices

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A study released this month by the nonprofit Health Care Cost Institute found that Wisconsin has the second highest healthcare prices among the 41 states it surveyed. The study was based on claims data from UnitedHealthcare, Aetna, and Humana, which the Institute said represents 34% of total commercial claims in Wisconsin. The study found that prices in Wisconsin for over 200 common medical services were on average 81% higher than the national average, and that the ...

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New Provider-Carrier Partnerships Expand Across Wisconsin

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The first four months of 2016 have already seen three new partnerships announced between Wisconsin health systems and insurance companies. Looking down the road, it appears that provider-led health plans may soon become a major force in Wisconsin health insurance.

In January, Aspirus and WPS Health Solutions announced that they are forming a new health insurance company in north-central Wisconsin that will be called Aspirus Arise Health Plan of Wisconsin. In April, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue ...

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2016 HR Awards Winners Announced

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The Milwaukee Business Journal has announced the winners of its second annual HR Awards!

The HR Awards program is intended to recognize the best human resources programs or practices that have had a positive impact on employees and the overall organization. In addition to receiving cash prizes provided by Mueller QAAS CEO Jim Mueller, the winners will be celebrated at an awards ceremony at the Pfister Hotel Friday May 20.

Please join us in congratulating the ...

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Scam Targets Payroll and HR Professionals

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Earlier this month, the IRS issued an alert to payroll and HR professionals to watch out for a scam that aims to obtain employees’ personal information. The scam is a form of a “phishing” email in which a cybercriminal pretends to be someone they are not in order to trick the victim to install malicious software or send money or valuable information.

In this particular scheme, criminals are targeting payroll and HR professionals by purporting to be ...

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Is Retail Medicine Really a Smart Choice?

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Smart Choice MRI and ThedaCare announced this month that the Appleton-based health system is investing $3 million in the Mequon-based stand-alone MRI provider. In the announcement, ThedaCare’s senior vice president of Systems of Care Support, Keith Livingston, described the partnership as a collaboration with a competitor that is “consistent with our need to learn how to better meet consumers’ needs in the evolving retail health marketplace.” Livingston also told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that “[h]ealth care ...

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Last Chance for 2016 HR Awards Nominations!

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The nomination deadline for the 2016 HR Awards is March 11, 2016. If you know an HR professional or team in Southeastern Wisconsin who deserves to be recognized, please nominate them at MilwaukeeBusinessJournal.com.

The HR Awards recognize the important work individuals, companies and organizations do in the field of human resources to make southeastern Wisconsin firms and organizations successful. In addition to receiving cash prizes, the winners will be honored at an awards dinner on May 20 and will ...

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Drug Costs Continue To Rise

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Although the rate at which overall health costs are rising is historically low, employers, experts, and politicians are expressing alarm at the rising cost of prescription drugs. According to a recent Aon analysis, the average health care rate increase for mid-size and large companies in 2015 was 3.2%. Prescription drug costs, however, jumped by 10% last year according to a report by Truveris that was publicized by the Business Health Care Group.

In general, hospital expenses account ...

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ThedaCare to Leave Network Health

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ThedaCare announced last week that it will leave Network Health on December 31, 2016. The Appleton-based health system first informed the Menasha-based health insurer last month that it would not continue the five year partnership that was due to expire at the end of July. The new extension will give Network Health employer groups and members extra time to adapt to the change, but will still result in significant disruption in the Northeast Wisconsin health insurance market.

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7 Weeks Left for HR Awards Nominations

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The Milwaukee Business Journal is now accepting nominations for its second annual HR Awards. The HR Awards recognize the important work individuals, companies and organizations do in the field of human resources to make southeastern Wisconsin firms and organizations successful. In addition to receiving cash prizes, the winners will be honored at an awards dinner on May 20 and will be featured in a special section in the Business Journal. You can read about last year’s winners Continue Reading →

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ACA Reporting Deadlines Delayed

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Yesterday the IRS released Notice 2016-4, which delays the ACA reporting due dates for both furnishing forms to individuals and filing forms with the IRS. This is welcome news to many employers who are scrambling to complete their first effort at reporting, which must cover the 2015 plan year.

The delay gives employers an extra two months to furnish forms to individuals by changing the deadline from February 1, 2016 to March 31, 2016. Employers have an extra three months ...

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