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  April 9, 2014 Follow us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterJoin us on LinkedInRSS feed

Great Customer Service a Good Goal for Health Plans

Christopher Cheney, Editor for HealthLeaders Media

A startup health plan draws its customer service approach from the Ritz Carleton and L.L Bean. The call center answers by the third ring, and reps have authority and information to fix problems. >>>


Editor's Picks

Release of Medicare Physician Payment Data Imminent

With the blessing of a federal judge, CMS is planning to release Medicare data on physicians, including types of services, average submitted charges, and standard deviation in submitted charges. >>>

CMS Forecasts Medicare Advantage Pay Rate Increase

Federal officials unexpectedly announced a projected 0.4%  increase in the 2015 payment rate for Medicare Advantage health plans. A cut had been proposed in February. >>>

Get Ready for Medicare's 5-Star Hospital Ratings

CMS intends to implement a five-star rating system on all of its web sites that display comparative quality information for providers. Stars are nice, but precision, in the form of detailed quality data, must remain public for quality to improve. >>>

State Battles over Medicaid Expansion Heating Up

With half of states embracing federally financed Medicaid expansion and the other half slow to follow suit, hospitals are key players in one of the hottest healthcare policy clashes in the country. >>>

Medicare Advantage Program Standards Tightening

The most significant change on tap to the ratings system is expected to be an increase in the star threshold for bonus payments to health plans, based on a wide array of quality standards. >>>

CMS Silence on ICD-10 Holds Healthcare Hostage

CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner firmly vowed only weeks ago that there would be no ICD-10 delay. Now that an undefined delay has been announced, she remains silent on ICD-10's next steps. >>>

ACOs Show Uneven Progress

Just over half of the 114 organizations to join one of two Medicare accountable care organization efforts in 2012 report no decrease in health spending below targets during their first 12 months. >>>

LIVE Webcast

Webcast: Optimizing the ACO—Solutions for Workflow and Risk Management

Date: May 29, 2014, 1:00–2:30 p.m. ET Senior leaders from Virtua and Coker Group highlight ACO success stories and reveal proven strategies to improve performance and quality through a variety of technology solutions. Register Today >>>

News Headlines

Sliver of Medicare doctors get big share of payouts

The New York Times, April 9, 2014

Economist: Disclosing doctors' Medicare pay might be 'pretty damning'

Bloomberg Businessweek, April 9, 2014

US insurers still expect cuts in 2015 Medicare payments

Reuters, April 9, 2014

An insurer bets on primary care doctors to lower costs

Bloomberg Businessweek, April 9, 2014

US uninsured drops to 6-year low

Reuters, April 8, 2014

AMA won't stop Medicare doc data release / Associated Press, April 8, 2014

CA hospitals overcharged Medicare by $367 million, audit says

San Francisco Business Times, April 8, 2014

Medicaid enrollments bring Obamacare enrollment to more than 10 million

Newsweek / Reuters, April 7, 2014

7M enrolled doesn't guarantee health law's success / Associated Press, April 7, 2014

Health insurance isn't a year-round thing anymore

PBS NewsHour / Associated Press, April 7, 2014

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HealthLeaders Media LIVE From Intermountain: Primary Care-Mental Health Integration

Date: June 17, 2014 | 12:00–3:00PM ET Find out how Intermountain Healthcare developed a team-based approach that ensures the effective assignment of mental health professionals, along with a care process model built upon a systematic, evidence-based treatment algorithm that is collaborative and measurable. Register Today >>>

From HealthLeaders Magazine

Shifting Patient Patterns

Change is coming, but leaders have various outlooks for and responses to the new patient dynamics. >>>


Why Is Price Transparency So Hard?


Advances in Cancer Care

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