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What Lies Ahead for HSAs?
Elyas Bakhtiari, for HealthLeaders Media

It was just a few years ago that health savings accounts and high-deductible health plans were hailed as the future of healthcare and considered the tools for fixing the system through consumer-driven reforms. And it was just a few months ago that HSAs were on the brink of extinction as the target of an amendment in proposed healthcare reform legislation. So now that HSAs have survived a brush with death but are no longer the priority they once were, what does the future hold for the accounts and similar health reimbursement arrangements? [Read More]
  June 2, 2010

Editor's Picks
Insurers paying doctors faster, despite inefficiency
U.S. health insurers are paying doctors seven days faster, on average, and denying 12%-18% fewer claims than last year, but the claims reimbursement system remains saddled with inefficiency, according to a new ranking of payers. While most private insurers have made progress in using technology to accelerate medical claims processing, state-run Medicaid programs across the country continue to lag, the report shows, even as the states prepare to add tens of millions of newly insured individuals to their rolls under the national healthcare law. [Read More]
Healthcare study calls risk pool money lacking
The new healthcare law does not allocate nearly enough money to cover the estimated 5.6 million to 7 million Americans with pre-existing medical conditions who will qualify for temporary high-risk insurance pools, according to a report. The government-operated insurance plans are intended to serve as a stopgap until 2014, when insurers will be prohibited from denying coverage to people with health problems. But an analysis by the Center for Studying Health System Change concluded that the $5 billion earmarked for the pools might cover as few as 200,000 people a year, the New York Times reports. [Read More]
Employers urged to act now to expand health plans
Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, said that employers should immediately offer or continue health insurance coverage for workers' children up to the age of 26, at little or no additional cost. Employers will have to offer such coverage under the new healthcare law, and Sebelius said they should act sooner, without waiting for the requirement to take effect. At the request of the Obama administration, more than 65 insurers have already agreed to allow young adults to stay on their parents' policies before the insurers are required to do so under the new law later this year or early next year, the New York Times reports. [Read More]
TennCare underestimates its future enrollment, report suggests
Five years into healthcare reform under the recently passed law, Tennessee could have almost a half million more residents on Medicaid, according to a report. And the state could be paying an extra $1.5 billion for those services over five years, the Kaiser Family Foundation report estimates. Both numbers are higher than an estimate of 200,000 new participants and $1 billion over five years put out by TennCare officials in March. [Read More]

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Managed Care Headlines
UnitedHealth ups dividend
Minneapolis Star Tribune, May 27, 2010
WellPoint to cover hospital stay for breast cancer surgery
Hartford Courant, May 27, 2010
Carolinas HealthCare signs Humana deal
Charlotte Business Journal, May 26, 2010
Health insurance rate hikes hitting California small businesses could hurt state's economic recovery
Los Angeles Times, May 27, 2010

Webcasts/Audio conferences
June 2: Seamless Systems of Care: Better Alignment, Coordination, and Outcomes
June 23: Cardiovascular Service Lines Strategies
July 22: A Better Way Than Pay For Call Coverage

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Audio Feature
The State of HSAs

Martin Trussell, senior vice president of business development at First Horizon Msaver, a leading provider of health savings accounts, talks about the state of HSAs and how health reform will affect them. [Sponsored by Emdeon] [Listen Now]
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Mayo's Medicare Move

Like many healthcare organizations, the Mayo Clinic loses money treating Medicare patients. But unlike many healthcare organizations, Mayo can afford to quit Medicare—at least at one small physician office in Arizona. So beginning in January, Mayo stopped accepting Medicare patients at one of its primary care clinics—Mayo Clinic Family Medicine-Arrowhead—current patients included. [Read Now]
From HealthLeaders Magazine
EHR and Market Growth

In a world of skyrocketing health costs and dwindling employer-based insurance members, the individual market is one of the few areas of growth opportunity for health insurers. And while the market is rife with politics and uncertainties, experts say insurers have an opportunity with individual markets to largely expand their programs. [Read More]
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