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March 26, 2008
Let's Get Physical
Les Masterson, Senior Editor-Managed Care

Do you remember the fitness craze of the 1980s when Americans bought the Jane Fonda Workout, spandex leotards became the rage, and fitness experts stretched their way onto our television screens? Maybe the fashion and TV shows were laughable, but the idea behind the movement is alive in managed care. The latest wellness programs don't include leotards and legwarmers (thankfully), but wellness is no longer just a fashion statement or way of life. It has become a business model. [Read More]

Editor's Picks
Health insurers to meet with California agency on probe
California's largest health insurers have agreed to meet with state regulators as the Department of Managed Health Care probes the health plans' rescission policies. The department will announce the results from the investigations soon. [Read More]
Blue Cross to push wellness in plans
Health Care Service Corp., which covers more than 12 million members through Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans, has added the word "wellness" to its health plans' mission statement. The word was added after the company created a number of wellness initiatives, including "Blue Points," which allow health plan enrollees to earn points for participating in cholesterol screenings and wellness risk assessments. Employees can redeem their points for retailer gift cards. [Read More]
Healthcare exclusions targeted in Connecticut
A Connecticut congressman has offered a bill that would limit insurers' ability to refuse to cover pre-existing conditions. In his bill, U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney hopes to help Americans who move from one employer's health plan to another or are switching from an employer's plan to an individual health insurance policy. The bill would go further than the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which limited coverage restrictions on pre-existing conditions. [Read More]
Massachusetts health plan underfunded
Massachusetts' subsidized health insurance program will cost "significantly" more than the $869 million Governor Deval Patrick proposed in his 2009 budget just two months ago. The Patrick Administration is seeking ideas to cut costs and raise revenue from insurers, hospitals, healthcare advocates, and business leaders. A state financial leader says the higher costs are because of increased enrollment. [Read More]
How government adds to the ranks of the uninsured
Political candidates often talk about the uninsured problem, but in fact the federal government is adding to those numbers by outsourcing service jobs. Federal contract employees, including cafeteria workers, security guards, and cleaning crews, are contract employees who often are not covered by health insurance. [Read More]
Managed Care Headlines
Doctor: Primary healthcare needs fixing before universal care can work
Wall Street Journal (subscription required), March 26, 2008
San Francisco mayor ready to sue over cuts in Medi-Cal
San Francisco Chronicle, March 26, 2008
An exodus from Medi-Cal
Los Angeles Times, March 24, 2008
Republicans and Democrats diverge on healthcare
Reuters/Yahoo News, March 20, 2008
Divided Michigan Senate approves healthcare budget
Chicago Tribune, March 26, 2008
Humana to buy OSF HealthPlans insurer
Chicago Tribune, March 21, 2008
Health insurers limit advanced scans
AP/Yahoo News, March 24, 2008
Tennessee Realtors association offers health coverage for agents
The Tennessean, March 25, 2008
Upcoming Events
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Listen Up
Finding Inspiration Beyond Healthcare
Stan Nowak, CEO of Silverlink, a healthcare communications company, talks about how his company tapped into the experience of consumer-based industries to engage healthcare consumers. [Listen Here]
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Rankings Under Fire

HealthLeaders March 2008 As the practice of ranking physicians has become more prevalent, it has come under increasing scrutiny by medical professionals and lawmakers who contend the rankings are too often designed to steer consumers toward the cheapest, and not necessarily the best, doctors. [Read More]
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Resources From HCPro

Prove the ROI on your disease management program.
Find out about legal and tax implications in designing incentive programs.
Discover checklists, forms, letters, and clauses to help you with managed care contracts.
Learn why consumer-driven healthcare is like a big hug.
Learn about disease management and wellness offerings and uncover what your competitors are doing.
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