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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Milwaukee health rank drops, still compares favorably

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The Commonwealth Fund’s 2016 Scorecard on Local Health System Performance is out, and it gives interesting perspective on the state of healthcare in the U.S. Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest scored well overall, while most Southern states did not. Milwaukee’s ranking dropped 17 spots from the 2012, the year the first edition of the Scorecard was released, yet it still compares favorably to other major cities.

The latest Scorecard measured changes in the country’s 306 ...

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Madison area providers explore partnerships

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Two health systems and their affiliated insurance companies are exploring a strategic partnership in Wisconsin. This is yet another example of the trend of consolidation among health care providers and insurance companies.

UW Health and UnityPoint Health announced two non-binding letters of intent regarding a future joint operating agreement last month. One letter describes a plan to “create an integrated clinical enterprise with a shared strategic direction.” The second letter describes a possible combination of ...

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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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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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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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“Top Cancer Doctors 2015” Includes 31 in Wisconsin

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The publisher of “America’s Top Doctors,” Castle Connolly Medical, Ltd. recently released its 2015 list of the top cancer doctors in the U.S. The list is available in a 63 page supplement to the special health issue of Newsweek magazine published for the week of July 31 – August 7 and on the magazine’s website. Thirty-one Wisconsin-based physicians made the list, including specialists at UW Hospital, Froedtert Hospital, and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

Castle Connolly compiled the ...

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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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IHN adds Kenosha’s United Hospital System

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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Guy Bolton reported today that United Hospital System of Kenosha has agreed to join Integrated Health Network of Wisconsin (IHN). United Hospital System serves patients in Kenosha, Pleasant Prairie, western Kenosha County, and Northern Illinois through its Kenosha Medical Center and St. Catherine’s Medical Center campuses.

According to United Hospital System’s website, the system has a strong relationship with Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin, two of the original members of IHN. ...

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ProHealth Announces New Clinical Partnerships

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ProHealth Care is partnering with three of the Midwest’s leading health systems to operate its heart surgery and cancer programs in Waukesha County.

Last year ProHealth announced a three-year agreement with Indiana University Health to run its cardiothoracic surgery program at Waukesha Memorial Hospital. The agreement is the first instance of a Milwaukee area health system partnering with an out-of-state health system to run one of its programs. Under the terms of the agreement, three Indiana University ...

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