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June 18, 2008
With Greater Use Comes
More Scrutiny
Les Masterson, Senior Editor-Managed Care

As more employers end health benefits, the use of individual insurance plans is on the rise. This has prompted some states to review their laws governing health insurers and the plans' policies. [Read More]

Editor's Picks
AMA issues first report card on health insurers
Health insurance companies are not the only ones who can develop report cards. The American Medical Association issued its first health insurance report card this week. The primary focus is the quickness and accuracy of payments to doctors, and compares Medicare with seven national commercial health insurers. According to the report, UnitedHealthcare had the lowest rate of contract compliance. [Read More]
Blue Cross of Massachusetts plans Web access to records
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts members will soon get to review their healthcare claims and some medical records online. The insurer says moving the information online for members will help patients manage their healthcare. The information will be provided through the Google Health Web portal. [Read More]
GOP blocks consideration of Medicare bill
As payment rates are set to drop by 10.6% on July 1 as a result of a formula that calls for cuts when spending exceeds established goals, a bill that would have cut payments to private health insurers currently serving those covered by Medicare has been defeated by Senate Republicans. According to Democratic leaders, the proposed legislation, estimated to total $19.8 billion over five years, would have allowed the cost savings to raise reimbursement rates for doctors. [Read More]
Managed Care Headlines
Proposal would help small businesses get affordable coverage
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 12, 2008
Graduates get creative to find health coverage
Wall Street Journal (subscription required), June 17, 2008
Gingrich suggests insurance mandate for some
AP/Yahoo News, June 12, 2008
Insurers' rate increases pass new scrutiny in Washington state
Seattle Times, June 13, 2008
Study: Florida patients need HMO shield
Miami Herald, June 13, 2008
New Jersey tightens oversight of healthcare program
AP/Philadelphia Inquirer, June 17, 2008
Pennsylvania insurers paying agency's advisers
Philadelphia Inquirer, June 12, 2008
Connecticut governor vetoes health pool bill
Hartford Courant, June 16, 2008

On Demand:
Legal and Tax Implications of Incentive Program Designs
On Demand: Value-based insurance design: Alternative to high-deductible plans
On Demand: Cultural Diversity and Disease ManagementAudioconferences
Listen Up
Communicating Properly
Dexter Campinha-Bacote, MD, medical director at Aetna, talks about the reasons why health plans should create a health literacy program and the economic reasons that drive the need. [Listen Here]
Developments in DM
DM, care coordination could save healthcare money
The U.S. could reduce total healthcare spending by $145 billion in the next seven years and improve the quality of patient care by adopting five core principles, says America's Health Insurance Plans. [Read More]
From HealthLeaders Magazine
When the Auditor Comes Calling
Medicare's RAC demonstration is designed to catch payment mistakes, but some providers say auditors are getting carried away. [Read More]
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