QSEHRA Revives Employer Payment Plans For 2017

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On December 13, 2016, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act into law. Called “the most important bill of the year,” the bipartisan Act makes changes to a wide range of healthcare issues. These include allocating billions for cancer research, easing the FDA drug approval process, and allowing doctors to test medical devices without a patient’s informed consent in certain situations. One item that will be of interest to finance and human resource professionals at small employers ...

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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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Arise to offer AboutHealth plans

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AboutHealth, one of two new health system partnerships in Wisconsin, recently announced plans to sell health plans to individuals and employer groups through a co-branding agreement with Arise Health Plan. Early announcements from AboutHealth have focused on efforts to improve clinical integration and cooperation among its members. The agreement with Arise marks the first instance in which AboutHealth member systems have negotiated a single contract with a health insurance company.

Arise Health Plan is a wholly owned subsidiary of ...

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Survey Shows Strong Employer Interest in Health Benefits, Private Exchanges, and Independence

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Independence

A recent survey of over 400 employers reveals that employers are committed to offering health benefits to active employees, and that interest in private exchanges remains strong. In addition, the vast majority of employers surveyed reported that it is very important for their advisors to be independent of any exchange solution they ...

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ACOs Improve Patient Experience

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A study in the October issue of The New England Journal of Medicine found that Accountable Care Organization (ACO) contracts improved patients’ ratings of timely access to care and overall quality of care.

The study examined a group of more than 30,000 Medicare beneficiaries before and after the start of ACO contracts in 2012. Patients reported that their timely access to care improved, as did their primary physicians’ awareness of specialty care. Patients with multiple chronic conditions also reported improved ratings ...

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White House Addresses Concerns over Narrow Network Plans

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On March 14, the Obama administration addressed consumer concerns over narrow network plans being sold on the public exchange that exclude popular health facilities and practitioners. These narrow network plans that limit consumer choice kept premiums lower, but consumers reported difficulty in determining whether their doctor was in network before purchasing the plan.

The federal government plans to scrutinize these plans more carefully before open enrollment in 2015 with new standards to evaluate access in these narrow plans.  The standards require ...

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