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April 2, 2008
A Prescription for What Ails Us?
Les Masterson, Senior Editor-Managed Care

In their quest to motivate chronic disease members to make healthier choices, managed care companies have added new programs and positions. Who knew that a staple of the healthcare system might have been the answer all along? Community pharmacists can help improve outcomes for the chronically ill, while assisting employers contain healthcare costs, and relieving physicians stretched for time. At least that's what two recent studies on diabetic patients are reporting. [Read More]

Editor's Picks
National standards to rank physicians planned
Doctors and health plans have agreed on a national set of standards to measure physician performance. The compromise involved major physician groups and the nation's health insurers, and was endorsed by the trade group, America's Health Insurance Plans. The two sides agreed to various standards for grading physicians, and insurers say they will allow independent parties to review their rankings. [Read More]
WA insurer first to drop loophole, will pay for liver transplant
Group Health Cooperative's about-face marks the first time a health insurance company in Washington revoked an organ-transplant waiting period. The insurer decided to pay for a man's liver transplant after initially denying the life-saving procedure because the patient was placed in a waiting period, which is in place to prevent customers from buying policies when they discover they need pricey medical procedures. [Read More]
Insurers look at virtual visits to doctor
Imagine visiting your doctor without having to trek to his or her office--and forced to flip through the latest issue of Highlights while waiting in the waiting room. Health insurers Aetna Inc., and Cigna Corp., announced a program in which patients can visit with their doctors via the Web. [Read More]
Clinton details premium cap in health plan
If elected president, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton will not only advocate for a universal healthcare plan but limit the amount Americans pay for their insurance to no more than 10% of their income. Clinton suggests that raising the excise tax on tobacco products could be a way to help pay for universal coverage. The Democratic presidential candidate also says that she may support requiring insurers to spend a set minimum of every premium dollar on health-related costs, as opposed to overhead and profit. [Read More]
Managed Care Headlines
Majority of U.S. doctors back national insurance plan
HealthDay/Washington Post, April 1, 2008
Survey: High-deductible employee benefit plans triple
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 27, 2008
Georgia insurers get break, critics say
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, March 28, 2008
Medicaid rules changes could cost TennCare millions in funding
The Tennessean, April 2, 2008
Washington, DC, plan could aid uninsured
Washington Post, March 31, 2008
New Jersey investigating healthcare
AP/Philadelphia Inquirer, April 1, 2008
Pilot program in Florida offers free healthcare for uninsured
South Florida Sun-Sentinel, March 31, 2008
Minnesota healthcare bill passes key hurdle
Minneapolis Star Tribune, March 28, 2008
Dad wins e-mail fight over daughter's healthcare
Newhouse News/Houston Chronicle, March 27, 2008
Upcoming Events
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Listen Up
Engaging Communities
Corliss Hill, national director of UnitedHealthcare's Generations of Wellness program, which offers services designed to meet the needs of black-owned businesses and the African-American community at large, talks about how the program was recently endorsed by the National Black Chamber of Commerce and how health plans can create programs that effectively engage the black community. [Listen Here]
Developments in DM
DM to the rescue?

With the rest of the world facing many of the same chronic diseases as the United States, DM organizations have stretched beyond this country's borders to help other nations fight life-threatening ailments. [Read More]
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Resources From HCPro

Prove the ROI on your disease management program.
Find out about legal and tax implications in designing incentive programs.
Discover checklists, forms, letters, and clauses to help you with managed care contracts.
Learn why consumer-driven healthcare is like a big hug.
Learn about disease management and wellness offerings and uncover what your competitors are doing.
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