The Cost of Polypharmacy

The cost of polypharmcyPolypharmacy is a term used to describe the use of four or more medications by a single patient. It typically occurs in patients managing a chronic condition, or in a patient who is over 65 years of age. Affecting approximately 40 percent of seniors, polypharmacy poses significant health risks, including drug-interactions, and dosing errors. For health plans, not only are higher numbers of prescribed medications costly, but the risk of adverse reactions could result in additional incurred costs in the form of hospitalizations. By understanding the risks of polypharmacy, and by partnering with an administrator with nurse case management capabilities, the risks and costs of polypharmacy can be mitigated.

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The Growing Trend of Telemedicine

Blonde woman at laptopWe will always have a need for high quality, accessible health care provided by knowledgeable and compassionate physicians and care providers. What is changing, however, is access to such care. There is not only an increase in the number of available telemedicine, or virtual providers entering the health care marketplace, but an increase in adoption of such services, as tech-savvy consumers are becoming more comfortable with the idea of a virtual doctor’s visit conducted via video conference. According to HIS, an information and analytics firm, cumulative annual growth of video consultations between primary care providers and their patients is expected to crease by nearly 25 percent a year over the next five years to 5.4 million by 2020.

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Does Your Consumer-Driven Health Plan Put You At Risk for the Cadillac Tax?

Affordable Care Act (ACA), Out-of-Pocket-MaximumsThere are significant questions regarding 2018’s potential Cadillac Tax in the minds of employers across the nation. The Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) proposed 40 percent excise tax on high cost plans has the potential to either significantly add costs to employers’ health plans, or require a shift of costs to members in an effort to avoid the tax – something many employers are hesitant to concede. Aside from the potential impact to health benefit plans, new insight indicates that the Cadillac tax may impact employers’ abilities to offer consumer-driven health plans (CDHP) such as flexible spending accounts (FSA) and health savings accounts (HSA). Read on to prepare your benefit strategy prior to 2018.

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Understanding Permanent Partial Disability Claims in Workers’ Compensation Plans

Permanent Partial Disability ReimbursementOver half of all workers’ compensation claims nationwide are accounted for by permanent partial disability (PPD) claims. Having an understanding of the causes of these types of disabilities, and the workers’ compensation benefits available to injured workers, will help you successfully partner with your workers’ compensation benefits administrator on the effective, cost-efficient, and equitable management of your workers’ comp plan.

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Projecting the Impact of the Proposed Cadillac Tax on Employer Sponsored Health Coverage

Quantifying the Population Health Management InvestmentOne aspect of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that has been looming large in the now foreseeable future is the “Cadillac Tax,” a 40 percent excise tax on employer-sponsored health plans with annual premiums in excess of $10,200 for individual coverage, and $27,500 for family coverage. The tax applies only to the portion of the plan cost that falls above those thresholds, and was proposed in the initial ACA regulations passed back in 2010. For years, employers have been warily waiting for final regulations to be issued regarding the Cadillac Tax, and some have even hoped that the regulations may be changed significantly to reduce or remove the tax. As we enter 2016, however, the Cadillac Tax is still anticipated to become a mandated requirement in 2018. Employers are working with their brokers and benefits administration partners to project how the Cadillac Tax could impact their health plan, and are making changes to mitigate the potential cost impact.

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The Benefits of a Total Solutions Provider.

Total Solution ProviderAs organizations search for the most effective ways to manage their benefit plans, they may find short-term benefits, such as incremental cost-savings, in working with a variety of vendors to achieve their goals. However, obtaining optimal plan performance requires advanced knowledge of the multiple aspects of a full benefit solution. The implementation of a benefit plan that assimilates disparate services results in increased costs associated with reduced service and missed opportunities to contain costs. The following document outlines the many benefits associated with partnering with a total benefit solutions expert in order to fully mitigate risks and drive down costs.

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2016 Open Enrollment Reminders for Employers

2016 open enrollment checklistOpen enrollment season is already upon us. This year, make sure your health benefit plan is fully-compliant with 2016 regulations, and form a plan to effectively communicate plan changes and open enrollment requirements to your employees.

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Combating Opioid Abuse in Workers’ Compensation Plans with Advances in Bio Analytics

Opioid Abuse in workers' compensationOpioid abuse is a growing epidemic impacting individuals across the nation. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 44 people die every day due to opioid overdose. Patients are commonly prescribed these strong and often addictive painkillers to alleviate pain after an accident, injury, or illness, and too many are not able to properly wean themselves off of the need for their pain reducing effects. The opioid crisis in our nation has become particularly concerning for employers, as the ongoing utilization of these drugs by injured workers is driving workers’ compensation plan costs.

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The ICD-10 Compliance Deadline is Here. Is your Benefits Administrator Ready?

business process outsourcing (BPO)Effective October 1, 2015 all organizations required to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) were required to comply with new regulations associated with medical bill coding. This requirement impacts third party administrators (TPA), insurance carriers, government agencies such as Medicare and Medicaid, and health care providers. The primary goal of the new regulations is to enable more efficient processing of claims by utilizing more descriptive coding definitions.

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Six Advantages of Self-funding Your Employee Benefit Plan

Professional Man Celebrating Fists in the airAccording to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s 2014 Employer Health Benefits Survey, more employers are self-funding their employee benefits, and that number has been on the rise. According to Kaiser, 15 percent of covered employees at small companies with 3-199 employees, and 81 percent of covered employees at larger firms, are enrolled in plans which are either partially or completely self-funded.  The percent of covered employees enrolled in self-funded plans has increased for large firms since 2004. Both mid- and large-sized employers are learning the advantages inherent in self-funding employee benefits.

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