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October 15, 2008
Three Ways Health Plans
Benefit from E-prescribing
Les Masterson, Senior Editor-Managed Care

With CMS' e-prescribing initiative on the horizon, health plans could help physicians and pharmacists gain e-prescribing capabilities. This is a way health insurers can improve patient outcomes, lower costs, and repair relations with physicians?and even be considered the good guy. [Read More]

Editor's Picks
Take Part in HealthLeaders Survey
What's your take on the healthcare industry? If you've got 10 minutes to spare, I think you'll want to check out our HealthLeaders Media Industry Survey 2009. It's specifically designed for health plan executives. This survey is part of a broader, cross-industry survey project with a number of different healthcare leaders, including hospital CEOs, finance, technology, physicians, marketing, quality, and community and rural. This is a unique opportunity for managed care leaders to participate in this wide-ranging survey and compare what your pain points and expectations are compared to others. We'll provide comprehensive analysis of the survey results in Health Plan Insider and the February 2009 HealthLeaders magazine. [Take the Survey Now]
Hospitals protest new California rules on patient billing
Hospitals and physicians oppose a new California rule that forbids them to bill patients for the balance of emergency care not covered by insurers. Despite the legal challenge, the Department of Managed Care director is moving forward with the ban because she says balance billing threatens the credit rating of thousands of Californians. [Read More]
Independence Blue Cross adding MinuteClinics to network
Independence Blue Cross is adding MinuteClinics to its list of PPO healthcare providers. The retail pharmacies, which are staffed by nurse practitioners who provide routine care, are seen as a low-cost and convenient alternative to emergency rooms and physician offices. The insurer says it will encourage members to use their primary care physicians as their first point of care and not visit a MinuteClinic if they have an emergency. [Read More]
Insurer gives health tips via Facebook
Cigna is using Facebook and iTunes to reach out to its members. The health insurer is offering free online courses, games, and podcasts about health issues as a way to help consumers make educated health decisions. [Read More]
Healthcare battle shows states struggle alone
The prospect of expanding subsidized health coverage to thousands of uninsured Pennsylvanians before the end of the year has died, as Gov. Ed Rendell and Senate Republicans failed to reach a compromise on the plan's price tag. Rendell expressed disappointment over the lack of an agreement, and called the Senate GOP's resistance to his efforts at a compromise "inexplicable." Pennsylvania is just the latest state to struggle with approving healthcare reforms. [Read More]
Managed Care Headlines
Growing health-reform challenge for next president
AP/Yahoo News - October 15, 2008
GM retirees get early shot at Medicare plans
Detroit Free Press - October 10, 2008
Nearly one in six online health insurance shoppers are 'uninsurable'
Wall Street Journal (blog) - October 10, 2008
North Carolina medical networks acclaimed
Raleigh News & Observer - October 13, 2008
Lack of compensation can tempt doctors to tailor their care to a patient's coverage
Washington Post, October 14, 2008
Indiana-based St. Francis threatens split with Anthem
Indianapolis Star - October 14, 2008
Panel delays Iowa health insurance change
Des Moines Register - October 14, 2008
Report: NM ranks worst for employer health plans
AP/Yahoo! Finance - October 14, 2008

October 29: In-sourcing vs. Outsourcing Disease and Health Management: What's the Right Mix
On Demand: Health Literacy: Four Ways to Create a Successful Program
On Demand: Legal and Tax Implications of Incentive Program Designs
On Demand: Value-based insurance design: Alternative to high-deductible plans
Listen Up
Deep Impact
Scott Clay, a senior principal with the Noblis Center for Health Innovation, talks about the effect of the deepening financial crisis on healthcare organizations. [Listen Here]
Developments in DM
CMS Trumpets PGP Demo Successes
The 10 groups participating in CMS' Physician Group Practice demonstration project received a total of $16.7 million for improving quality and efficiency of care during the project's second performance year, according to CMS. However, even with that windfall, groups involved in the project say the bonuses do not offset the costs associated with the program. [Read More]
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Model for Success

Running a medical group has never been more complex. But many practices have found ways to not only survive?but thrive. [Read More]
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Resources From HCPro

Learn what's the right mix of disease management programs for your company.
Find out how health literacy affects your members.
Discover how to integrate wellness into your DM programs.
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Read about practical strategies for maximizing the effectiveness of health and disease management programs.
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