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Three Ways Health Insurers Can Help with H1N1
Les Masterson, Senior Editor-Managed Care

There are healthcare stakeholders with a wealth of patient information and resources that could help push people to get their H1N1 shots: health insurers. In response to a potential pandemic, many health insurers are offering H1N1 vaccinations free of charge to members, but there are three other important functions that health plans could provide—communication, collaboration, and coordination. [Read More]
  October 28, 2009

Editor's Picks
Health Plan Survey Closes Tonight
Health plan leaders have until tonight to complete the 2010 edition of the HealthLeaders Media Industry Survey for Health Plan Leaders. Included this year are new questions that seek your thoughts on the HIT stimulus package and healthcare reform efforts, among others. Plus, we build on key benchmark questions from last year, checking on your top priorities and your assessment of key population health initiatives. This comprehensive survey should take about 14 minutes to complete. Be sure to provide contact information and we'll enter your name in a drawing for a $1,000 gift card. [Take the survey]
New database to help set payouts by health insurers
New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo announced the details of a new national database that will determine how much insurance companies should reimburse patients who go out of network. The new database comes after a settlement with UnitedHealth Group and other insurers that were using the database run by Ingenix, a UnitedHealth-owned company, to determine out-of-network charges earlier this year. Officials alleged that insurers were understating the doctors' fees in the database. A nonprofit company called FAIR Health will operate the database with help from Syracuse University and a group of New York state universities. Cuomo said the database should be running in a year. [Read More]
Insurers poised to reap benefits from healthcare overhaul
Though facing more regulations and being painted as the healthcare system villain, health insurance companies could actually benefit from reform through an individual mandate and taxpayer subsidies to help those who cannot afford coverage. The Los Angeles Times reports on the strategies behind why health insurers are ready to reap the benefits of health reform. [Read More]
General Motors will move to high-deductible insurance plans
General Motors plans to offer only high-deductible health plans to its 24,000 salaries workers next year. The employees will get to choose between two plans that have health savings accounts (HSA) and deductibles of $1,300 for individuals and $3,100 for families. The plans differ on annual out-of-pocket limits and monthly premiums. The company will also contribute $1,300 to employees' HSAs, which experts say is critical to get employee buy-in. Most employers are moving to plans with health savings accounts as a way to pass health costs onto employees, but advocates for HSAs are also quick to point out that the accounts can empower the consumer to make better healthcare choices. [Read More]
Antitrust Regs, Public Option Get Renewed Interest in Reform Bills
A public insurance option and overturning the federal health insurance antitrust law, which health insurers fear will hurt their business, remain part of health reform proposals—despite the insurance industry's opposition. The public option has been discussed for months, while Democrats added the antitrust law exemption removal to health reform after America's Health Insurance Plans' report earlier this month that claimed premiums would skyrocket under current health reform proposals. Though the exemption proposal is seen by many as the Democrats getting back at insurers, the proposal remains a part of the health reform debate. Will it happen? That's unlikely, but Democrats will use the exemption as a powerful threat. [Read More]
Managed Care Headlines
WellPoint attacks health legislation
Wall Street Journal, October 23, 2009
Making a mandate actually work
Washington Post, October 26, 2009
Girl's case turns up heat on UnitedHealth Group
Minneapolis Star Tribune, October 22, 2009
Healthcare rule found to burden California counties
Los Angeles Times, October 22, 2009
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida to offer employees only one health plan
Miami Herald, October 23, 2009
Kaiser Permanente's Thrive Campaign Reaches Milestone, Launches New Ads
Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, October 23, 2009
Schwarzenegger airs Medicaid cost concerns, but still backs healthcare action
Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2009
Georgia lawmakers may revisit state healthcare insurance mandates
Atlanta Journal Constitution, October 23, 2009
Dallas County leads Texas in uninsured children
Dallas Morning News, October 27, 2009

Webcasts/Audio conferences
October 29: Flexible Medical Staff Models of the Future
On Demand: Marketing to Physicians: Build Relationships to Increase Referrals
On Demand: Service Line Strategies Workshop 2009: Spine Care
Listen Up
Insurance Exchange Lessons from New York

Vince Ashton, executive director of HealthPass, a New York City-based health insurance exchange, discusses the exchange and what health insurers and policymakers can learn from the New York experience. [Sponsored by Emdeon] [Listen Now]
Listen Up
Developing Systems of Care

Charlie Baker, former CEO of Harvard Pilgrim, discusses how the industry could be impacted by health reform. [Read More]
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Disease Management's Struggle to Remain Relevant

Disease management, once trumpeted as a way to control costs and improve patient outcomes, has been the subject of a number of recent reports questioning whether it actually reduces health costs. There are four ways disease management can reclaim a vital role in healthcare. [Read More]
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