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What Medicare Beneficiaries Don't Know May Hurt Them
Les Masterson, Senior Editor-Managed Care
A recent Senate hearing and a study highlighted problems Medicare is having communicating and educating its beneficiaries. Medicare reportedly isn't doing a good job with either its help line or Web site. That disconnect could play a larger role as baby boomers need Medicare's services. [Read More]
  September 17, 2008

 
Editor's Picks
Managed-care companies not immune to market drop
Large managed care companies saw their shares drop by more than 2% as the stock market tumbled Monday. Shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc., the largest health insurer based on revenue, dropped more than 3% after the news of Lehman Brothers Holdings' bankruptcy plans and Merrill Lynch's forced sale to Bank of America for $50 billion in stock. [Read More]
Healthcare issue, not quite hot, remains strong
Astronomic energy costs, a sagging economy, and war in Iraq have pushed healthcare to the backburner in this election year. Though healthcare remains one of the top issues, presidential candidates are more focused on the immediacy of gas prices and war—not to mention that whole debate about lipstick. [Read More]
Coverage guarantee can hit young the hardest
Sen. Barack Obama's healthcare reform proposal includes guaranteed access to affordable health coverage, regardless of illness or condition. However, if health insurance guarantees are to work, young and healthy people will have to help subsidize the sick in the care pool—and that could mean higher premiums for the young and healthy. Kentucky and South Dakota tried coverage guarantees, but ultimately dropped the idea after insurers left their states. [Read More]
Healthways called takeover target
With its stock prices struggling, disease management giant Healthways could be a takeover target, according to a Goldman Sachs analyst. Another analyst suggested a pharmacy benefits manager could be a likely suitor. However, a Healthways executive said earlier this year that staying independent was advantageous for the company. [Read More]
Economists take critical view of candidates' health plans
The health reform plans put forward by the two major presidential candidates are flawed, according to a report published this week. John McCain's plan would not lower the number of uninsured Americans, while Barack Obama's proposal does not look for ways to curb healthcare costs. [Read More]
Managed Care Headlines
Medicare rules ban cold-calling by insurers
AP/Yahoo News, September 16, 2008
Patient-centered 'medical home' models lag in key areas
HealthDay/Washington Post, September 11, 2008
BlueCross of Tennessee launches online physician database
The Tennessean, September 17, 2008
UAW members ratify contract with Michigan Blue Cross
AP/Chicago Tribune, September 17, 2008
Pennsylvania governor pushes on health coverage
AP/Philadelphia Inquirer, September 11, 2008
Humana pays $750,000 to resolve Wisconsin complaints
AP/Chicago Tribune, September 11, 2008
Health Net to reinstate 926 dropped policyholders in California
Los Angeles Times, September 12, 2008

Events/Audioconferences
On Demand: Health Literacy: Four Ways to Create a Successful Program
On Demand: Legal and Tax Implications of Incentive Program Designs
On Demand: Value-based insurance design: Alternative to high-deductible plans
 
Capitation Corner
Social media provide cost-effective route to patient care
If you think you've exhausted every strategy to help control the cost of your capitated member population, here's one you might not have considered: blogging. The emergence of e-mail, online communities, blogs, videos, and other formats for sharing information electronically offers capitated physicians a new, cost-effective route to help manage patient care. [Read More]
Listen Up
Increase Member Satisfaction
Stan Nowak, CEO of Silverlink, discusses the importance of member communication and how healthcare companies can learn from consumer industries. [Listen Now]
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Study: Consumer-driven plans not lowering costs

Although increased out-of-pocket expenses were expected to lower utilization of unneeded healthcare services, consumer driven health plan enrollees made more visits and underwent more procedures than non-CDHP enrollees, according to a recent study. [Read More]
   
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Resources From HCPro

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