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Visit One News Page for Health Insurance news from around the world, aggregated from leading sources including newswires, newspapers and broadcast media. Search millions of archived news headlines. This feed provides the Health Insurance news headlines.

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    Medical Clinics Provide Fleets and Professional Drivers Convenient and Affordable Access to the Medical Services Needed to Help Keep Drivers Healthy and on the Road

    MIAMI (PRWEB) July 10, 2018

    UrgentCareTravel (UCT), the Medical Clinic Network at Pilot Flying J, announces the opening of three new medical clinics focused on providing fleets and professional drivers the medical services needed to help keep drivers healthy and on the road. With the addition of new medical clinics in Baytown (TX), Carlisle (PA) and West Memphis (AR), all at Flying J Travel Centers, UrgentCareTravel now has nine medical clinics in its network. UrgentCareTravel plans to add seven more clinics in 2018, with a growing clinic network over the next few years.

    “Pilot Flying J is committed to making a better day for professional drivers,” said Ken Parent, president of Pilot Flying J. “This partnership with UrgentCareTravel allows us to provide on-site care as an additional service aimed at making life on the road better for drivers.”

    UrgentCareTravel addresses today’s critical challenges in the trucking industry:

    1.    Professional drivers do not have convenient access to medical clinics where they can park their truck. The trucking industry is estimated lose hundreds of millions of dollars in driver productivity per year as drivers spend an additional 4-6 hours off the road each time they need a medical service.

    2.    Professional drivers have health challenges. Per UrgentCareTravel’s analysis of over 15,000 DOT Physicals performed at its clinics, 50% of drivers have one or more serious medical conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, obesity and high cholesterol, which in turn, limit their Commercial Drivers License (CDL) to one year or less.

    3.    Most professional drivers today have no health insurance or health insurance with high deductibles and premiums. Since the required ongoing care of their pre-existing conditions are paid out of pocket, drivers visit clinics less often, their conditions worsen and they eventually leave the workforce.

    4.    Driver health is a major contributor to the high turnover rate in the industry. Per UrgentCareTravel discussions with fleets, with industry turnover rates upwards of 100%, company profitability decreases as the average recruiting cost is $5,000 per driver.

    “Our network of medical clinics at Pilot Flying J fills a critical need in the trucking industry - affordable and convenient healthcare," said Siva Suresh, CEO of UrgentCareTravel. “We value our relationship with Pilot Flying J which enables us to address the key healthcare needs of professional drivers to help them stay healthy and on the road.”

    About UrgentCareTravel

    UrgentCareTravel, the Medical Clinic Network at Pilot Flying J, is dedicated to improving driver health and keeping drivers on the road. With a focus on convenience and affordability, UrgentCareTravel is the only medical clinic network focused on truck driver health. For additional information about UrgentCareTravel’s Health Network, locations and services, please visit the website at http://www.UrgentCareTravel.com.

    About Pilot Flying J

    Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of travel centers in North America, is committed to connecting people and places with comfort, care and a smile at every stop. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, Pilot Flying J has more than 750 retail locations in 44 states, Roadside assistance available at over 145 locations nationwide and growing as part of its Truck Care program, 44 Goodyear Commercial Tire and Service Centers, and 34 Boss Shops. The Pilot Flying J network provides drivers with access to more than 72,000 parking spaces for trucks with Prime Parking at more than 400 locations, 5,200 deluxe showers and more than 6,200 diesel lanes with 5,200 offering Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) at the pump. Pilot Flying J is currently ranked No. 15 on Forbes' list of America's Largest Private Companies. Visit http://www.pilotflyingj.com/ for more information. Reported by PRWeb 19 hours ago.

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    Bachelor’s-level nurses may now receive the “Certified Lifestyle Medicine Nurse” credential through the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM). The inaugural exam will take place October 25, 2018 at the JW Marriott in Indianapolis, IN, immediately following the CME-accredited Lifestyle Medicine 2018 conference held at the same venue from October 21 through 24.

    INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (PRWEB) July 10, 2018

    The American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) today announced the opportunity for bachelor’s-level nurses, representing 60% of all nurses, to earn the “Certified Lifestyle Medicine Nurse” credential. The inaugural exam for this new nursing certification will be held from 8 a.m. to noon on October 25, 2018 at the JW Marriott in Indianapolis, IN immediately following the annual CME-accredited ACLM Lifestyle Medicine Conference at the same venue from October 21 to 24.

    Through a generous grant from the Ardmore Institute of Health (AIH), ACLM is providing 50 nurses with a scholarship underwriting 50% of the cost of their registration for the exam, their registration for the conference and their registration for The Foundations of Lifestyle Medicine: Lifestyle Medicine Board Review Course. Attending the conference satisfies the exam’s live CE prerequisite, while the course, completed in advance, satisfies the non-live CE requirement.

    While these 50 spots have already been filled, registration for the nurses’ exam closes on August 31, 2018, with details available through the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine (ABLM) at http://ablm.co/.

    ABLM provides certification in the field of Lifestyle Medicine for MDs and DOs, while ACLM certifies doctoral and master’s-level health professionals—expanding this year to include bachelor’s-level nurses.

    There are 3.1 million nurses in the United States alone, with an estimated 85% currently practicing, 60% of whom are bachelor’s-level. The Ardmore Institute of Health and American College of Lifestyle Medicine recognize the vital role Lifestyle Medicine-trained nurses play in the interdisciplinary team approach that’s central to evidence-based Lifestyle Medicine.

    “The Ardmore Institute of Health (AIH) believes that nurses are uniquely positioned to deliver the education and motivation that many patients need in order to adopt and sustain positive health behavior change, and as such, we are pleased to support this expansion of Lifestyle Medicine certification into the nursing profession,” said Kevin Brown, President and CEO of the Ardmore Institute of Health.

    “Nurses have by far the greatest amount of touch points with patients suffering from chronic disease, and we are excited to see Lifestyle Medicine certification extended to bachelor’s-level nurses,” said Kelly Freeman, MSN, NP-C, Co-chair of ACLM’s RN/APRN Working Group. “Nurses now have the ability to demonstrate their expertise in integrating evidence-based therapeutic lifestyle change techniques into their nursing practice by becoming certified through the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.”

    “This is another quantum leap forward,” said ACLM Executive Director Susan Benigas. “ACLM is grateful to AIH for its continued and generous support and for its leaders’ foresight in recognizing the integral role of nurses in the transformed system of health care delivery for which we’re striving.”

    ABOUT THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF LIFESTYLE MEDICINE: ACLM is the medical professional society for those dedicated to the advancement and clinical practice of Lifestyle Medicine as the foundation of a transformed and sustainable health care system. Lifestyle Medicine treats, often reverses and prevents chronic disease. It is the combined use of evidence-based lifestyle therapeutic approaches, such as a predominantly whole food, plant-based diet, regular physical activity, adequate sleep, stress management, avoidance of risky substance use and other non-drug modalities.

    More than a professional association, ACLM is a galvanized force for change. ACLM addresses the need for quality education and certification, supporting its members in their individual practices and in their collective mission to domestically and globally promote Lifestyle Medicine as the first treatment option, as opposed to a first option of treating symptoms and consequences with expensive, ever increasing quantities of pills and procedures. ACLM members are united in their desire to identify and eradicate the root cause of disease. Learn more at http://www.LifestyleMedicine.org.

    ABOUT THE AMERICAN BOARD OF LIFESTYLE MEDICINE: The ABLM was formed in November 2015 by a group of visionary physicians who saw the need to: educate physicians and allied health professionals about Lifestyle Medicine; set a common standard/language for Lifestyle Medicine protocols globally; differentiate between evidence-based Lifestyle Medicine professionals and non-evidence based Lifestyle Medicine practitioners; set a global Lifestyle Medicine benchmark; and attract health insurance funding for evidence-based Lifestyle Medicine by requiring that any fund receivers be formally certified. Learn more at https://ablm.co/about/.

    ABOUT THE ARDMORE INSTITUTE OF HEALTH: The Ardmore Institute of Health (AIH) is an independent, nonprofit Oklahoma corporation headquartered in Ardmore, OK. AIH was established in 1947 by Roy Johnson, and funded by the estate of Roy’s son, Otey Johnson, MD. AIH seeks to improve the health and vitality of people around the world through the adoption of healthy lifestyle habits. See http://ardmoreinstituteofhealth.org/ Reported by PRWeb 16 hours ago.

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    The Trump administration has announced that it is slashing grants to nonprofit organizations that help people get health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Reported by NYTimes.com 10 hours ago.

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    The Trump administration is cutting most of the funds previously provided to groups that help people get health insurance under the Affordable Care Act and will push them to promote plans lacking the law's benefits and protections, a government agency said on Tuesday. Reported by Reuters 8 hours ago.

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    LD Lowe Wealth Advisory is proud to announce the completion of the CHFC designation by Kelly Brewer

    DALLAS (PRWEB) July 11, 2018

    LD Lowe Wealth Advisory is thrilled to announce that Kelly Brewer has completed all the necessary step towards his designation as a Chartered Financial Consultant, one of the highest standards of trust in the financial planning profession.

    According to the American College of Financial Planning, the non-profit educational institution that offers the program, the Charted Financial Consultant (ChFC) course of study prepares financial planners to meet the advanced planning needs of individuals, professionals and small business owners. Through a series of nine courses that require more than 400 hours of study, ChFC candidates are prepared to operate with the highest integrity while holistically applying contemporary knowledge and practices to the areas of insurance, income taxation, retirement planning, investments and estate planning.

    “Earning the ChFC designation is no small feat – it takes an exceptional level of dedication and a good deal of sacrifice to see it through,” said Lloyd Lowe Sr., founder and CEO of LD Lowe Wealth Advisory. “I have always been impressed with Kelly’s commitment to furthering his education to better serve our clients. We are all very proud of his accomplishment”

    Kelly has been a member of the LD Lowe Wealth Advisory team for more than ten years. During his tenure, he has also earned a designation as a general lines life and health insurance agent.

    As a lead paraplanner for LD Lowe, Kelly is responsible for providing the highest level of client service to individual and business clients alike.

    With the completion of his certification Kelly has taken on the title Chief Information Security Officer and Financial Planner.

    In addition to the continuing education he currently completes each year Kelly will complete an additional 30 hours of continuing education every two years to maintain his ChFC designation.

    For more information, please visit http://www.ldloweplan.com.

    LD Lowe Wealth Advisory is a SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Registration does not imply any certain level of skill or training. LD Lowe encourages investors to review the training, tenure and track record of a potential advisor. Reported by PRWeb 2 hours ago.

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    Highly regarded legal publications Los Angeles Daily Journal and Orange County Lawyer Magazine recently chose to highlight the insurance litigation practice of attorney Robert J. McKennon and his firm, McKennon Law Group PC.

    NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (PRWEB) July 11, 2018

    Shareholder/attorney Robert J. McKennon recently stirred up exciting media interest with the inspiring story of switching sides, going from an insurance company attorney to a policyholder attorney who now aggressively fights these insurance companies. After over 25 years spent defending the country’s largest life, health and disability insurers, McKennon now advocates for the rights of individual and corporate insurance policyholders against those same insurers. The Los Angeles Daily Journal ( May 7, 2018) did an enthusiastic and thought-provoking write-up on McKennon and his firm’s story, which explains his reasoning for changing allegiance.

    “My heart was always sort of with claimants and policyholders because I saw a lot of claimants and policyholders when I was on the defense side getting poor representation by plaintiff’s lawyers,” McKennon said in the Los Angeles Daily Journal article.

    In the article, McKennon also discusses the firm’s origin, which was in part inspired by McKennon’s victories when his insurance company clients hired him as a plaintiff’s attorney in mock insurance bad faith trials in which he secured large jury verdicts, including punitive damages, against insurance companies in all of these trials. This sparked his interest in representing policyholders against the insurance industry.

    His Orange County-based firm of six attorneys has grown into a powerhouse insurance and ERISA litigation firm litigating disability, life and health insurance cases throughout California and other states. It has also become an influential resource for industry insight via their popular blog, which covers firm news, media features, disability insurance news and insurance litigation topics.

    McKennon explains in his article in the Orange County Lawyer Magazine (July 2018) why it is critical to understand potential liabilities in the intermediary relationship between insurance agents, employers and third-party administrators (TPAs). In the article, McKennon describes how he uses the concept of vicarious liability to establish liability against insurers for the actions of insurance agents, employers and TPAs, when liability can otherwise be hard to establish. The firm hopes that this recent press will help the insureds better identify liability issues relating to their personal or corporate insurance policies.

    After years of using his considerable skills defending insurance companies as an attorney/partner at a major insurance litigation law firm, McKennon began representing individual and corporate policyholders in 2010, before founding McKennon Law Group PC in 2012. Including McKennon, the firm proudly has three of their six attorneys who formerly worked as advocates for the insurance companies, and with their combined experience have earned their success by heavily networking in their industry and building a strong following via their online blog. McKennon’s team represents clients against insurance companies, focusing on insurance bad faith, life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance and ERISA litigation.

    About Robert J. McKennon, McKennon Law Group PC

    Robert J. McKennon represents individuals and corporations against insurers in insurance litigation matters throughout California and nationally in state and federal courts. He has an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell and a “Superb” Avvo rating. Practice areas of McKennon Law Group PC include bad faith insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, ERISA/employee benefits, health insurance, long-term care, property and casualty insurance, directors and officers liability insurance, professional liability insurance, and insurance agent and broker liability. McKennon Law Group PC has offices in major California cities, with its main office located at 20321 SW Birch Street, Suite 200, Newport Beach, CA 92660. For more information, please call (949) 387-9595, or visit http://www.mckennonlawgroup.com.

    About the NALA™

    The NALA offers small and medium-sized businesses effective ways to reach customers through new media. As a single-agency source, the NALA helps businesses flourish in their local community. The NALA’s mission is to promote a business’ relevant and newsworthy events and achievements, both online and through traditional media. The information and content in this article are not in conjunction with the views of the NALA. For media inquiries, please call 805.650.6121, ext. 361. Reported by PRWeb 1 hour ago.

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    As the Trump administration decides not to defend the Affordable Care Act's legal protections for people with pre-existing conditions, questions arise about health insurance and genetic information. Reported by NPR 22 hours ago.

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    Express Employment Professionals' survey reveals what benefits, beyond health insurance, employers are offering.

    OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (PRWEB) July 11, 2018

    Signing bonuses. More paid holidays. Paid training. School tuition. Even health insurance for employee’s pets.

    Anne Woods, an Express Employment Professionals franchise owner in Santa Fe Springs and Covina, California, reports businesses are rolling out new and expanded benefits as the competition for workers grows fiercer.

    Woods also reports some businesses are ending waiting periods for eligibility and upping the employer contribution toward benefit programs.

    In Grand Rapids, Michigan, Express franchise owner Janis Petrini has not seen big shifts, but she has observed employers are “more willing to negotiate on vacation time,” given that many workers “would like more time off as a part of their salary negotiations.”

    “Job seekers are seeking robust time off packages as well as opportunities for training and development,” Petrini adds. “There are small waves of wanting childcare reimbursement, wellness benefits, pet insurance or identity theft protection.”

    Yvonne Rockwell, an Express franchise owner in Santa Clarita, California, likewise notes that job seekers prioritize a four-day work week when possible.

    Luke Sodergren, Express franchise owner of offices in Minnesota and Wisconsin, agrees.

    “Our experience is that time off and a flexible work schedule is extremely important,” he said. “We have hired three to four new employees recently and all were asking questions about PTO and time off.”

    So, what benefits, aside from health insurance, do employers tend to offer? Express put that question to business leaders recently. At the top of the list were casual dress code, access to training/certification classes and flexible work schedules.

    Respondents were asked, “What benefits, not including healthcare, does your company offer employees?”

    Responses included the following:· Casual dress code – 16 percent
    · Access to training/certification classes – 14 percent
    · Flexible work schedule – 9.5 percent
    · College tuition reimbursement – 8 percent
    · Professional organization memberships – 8 percent
    · Community service/volunteer opportunities – 7 percent
    · Profit sharing/stock options – 7 percent
    · Opportunities to work from home/remotely – 6 percent
    · Cafeteria programs – 6 percent
    · Company gym/membership discount at a local gym – 5.5 percent
    · Generous/unlimited vacation time – 4 percent
    · Opportunities to travel – 4 percent
    · Child care – 0.5 percent

    “It’s a job seeker’s economy, and that means employers have greater incentive to provide additional benefits, especially if they are already offering competitive wages,” said Bill Stoller, CEO of Express. “Flexibility seems to be the priority for today’s employees, and benefits that help provide that flexibility—from days off and remote work to child care or continued learning—are likely to be well-received.”

    The survey of business leaders was conducted via Express Employment Professionals’ Refresh Leadership blog. Fielded in April, the tally from the survey included 739 votes.

    If you would like to arrange for an interview with Bill Stoller to discuss this topic, please contact Sheena Karami, Director of Corporate Communications and PR, at (405) 717-5966.

    About Bill Stoller
    William H. "Bill" Stoller is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has more than 800 franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. Since its inception, Express has put more than 6 million people to work worldwide.

    About Express Employment Professionals
    Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated $3.4 billion in sales and employed a record 540,000 people in 2017. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually. For more information, visit ExpressPros.com. Reported by PRWeb 20 hours ago.

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    Even with health insurance, the Greys spend upwards of $15,000 a year out of pocket on healthcare costs for their daughter's rare chromosomal disorder.

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
      Reported by azcentral.com 16 hours ago.

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    French startup Alan has been mostly focused on its main health insurance product — a standard package for companies of all sizes and shapes. The company is launching a second offering on this market with Alan Blue. Companies can now choose between two levels of insurance — Alan Green and Alan Blue. Alan Green is the […] Reported by TechCrunch 15 hours ago.

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    A pharmacy startup that's raised $165 million in funding has found a new way to lower drug prices for patients paying with cash· *Pharmacy startup Blink Health has a new approach for how it provides discounts to patients paying for prescriptions in cash. *
    · *After its relationship with pharmacy benefit manager MedImpact soured and major pharmacies left the Blink network, Blink helped set up a new middleman to manage its relationships with pharmacies, called Blue Eagle.
    *

    --------------------

    For healthcare startup Blink Health, shaking up the prescription drug industry hasn't gone as planned. 

    Two of the largest pharmaceutical chains in the US stopped working with Blink in 2017, and its relationship with its biggest business partner soured shortly after.  

    New York-based Blink, which provides prescription drug discounts to patients through a free app and has raised $165 million in venture funding, is now taking matters into its own hands.

    Blink said on Wednesday it is creating an alternative to large pharmaceutical middlemen known as pharmacy benefit managers, which negotiate drug prices on behalf of health plans and employers. President Donald Trump in May called out the middlemen in the pharmaceutical industry as part of his plan to tackle high drug prices.

    The new company, called Blue Eagle, is working in partnership with Blink to manage a network of pharmacies where Blink's discounts can be used. 

    "If we were going to create an alternative to the prescription management industrial complex, we needed to create a system that worked for pharmacies, worked for patients, and worked for manufacturers," said Blink CEO Geoffrey Chaiken. 

    In the US, patients are feeling the effect of higher drug prices. Health plans with high deductibles —the amount of money paid out of pocket before insurance kicks in — are leaving patients on the hook for close to the full price of a medication. It's led to people paying as much as a mortgage payment for a monthly supply of the live-saving diabetes medication insulin, while others have turned to crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe to cover the cost. As of 2017, there were about 28 million Americans who didn't have health insurance. 

    Patients are now looking for discounted cash rates as an alternative to the amount they'd pay under their insurance plan. That's where companies like Blink come in. 

    When Blink launched in 2016, users paid for their prescription through the Blink app and received a card, which they could then bring to the pharmacy. The pharmacy would then ring up the card and give the user his or her prescription. At the time, that included more than 60,000 pharmacies. However, in March 2017, Walgreens withdrew itself from Blink's network, meaning patients couldn't use the pre-paid prescriptions at Walgreens pharmacies. In October 2017, CVS pharmacies departed from the Blink network as well.

    Blink Health is able to offer discounts by setting up a list of prices with pharmacies that it agrees to pay when a patient fills their prescription using a Blink card. That list of prices and the network of pharmacies that have agreed to it are managed by a pharmacy benefit manager. 

    But with the departure of the two largest pharmacy chains from its network, Blink was left in a tricky position. Blink also broke off a relationship with MedImpact, the pharmacy benefit manager it had been working with to connect with pharmacies, leaving Blink's business model in flux. 

    **Here's how it works**

    So beginning this year, the company started to make some big charges. 

    In March, Blink made a switch to a new PBM, Blue Eagle, which is run by former Express Scripts executives. Blink had a hand in creating Blue Eagle, and officially has a strategic partnership with the organization. 

    Blink also hired Susan Lang, the former head of supply chain at Express Scripts, as its chief strategy officer. In addition, Blink has been building up its executive ranks with other pharmaceutical and travel industry veterans including former Kayak chief marketing officer Robert Birge. 

    When it comes to lowering prescription costs, there are a number of different approaches startups are taking, from comparing the price at one pharmacy to another nearby, to adding on delivery components.

    Blink Health operates a little differently.

    · Say you need to pick up a prescription for your medication, but you have a high deductible plan that requires you to pay $3,000 out of your own pocket before your insurance starts picking up the rest of the tab. Instead of going to the pharmacy and accepting whatever price they offer (which can vary from pharmacy to pharmacy), you could download the Blink Health app, or go to the company's website.
    · In the app, you can find your prescription and purchase it directly through the app. In return, you get a card with details about the prescription.
    · Then, when you get to the pharmacy counter, you show your phone to the pharmacist who rings it up instead, much like how they might ring up your insurance information. Because you've paid through Blink, you don't owe anything at the pharmacy.

    Instead of having people shop around for the best price among the pharmacies in their area, Blink Health negotiates to get the same price at different pharmacies for generic medications and some branded diabetes medications. While Walgreens and CVS are no longer options, Chaiken said there are about 35,000 pharmacies — independent pharmacies, pharmacies in grocery store chains, and Walmart — that are part of the Blink network.

    To sweeten the deal, if patients are willing to switch their prescriptions, 5,000 pharmacies have a cheaper, "Blink Smart Deal" option. Blink's also introduced a price-match guarantee, in which if patients can find a lower price, Blink will match it. 

    It's been a busy year for Blink, on both the business side and legally. 

    Litigation between Blink and MedImpact over the breach of contract has been ongoing since November 2017, when Blink filed a complaint alleging that MedImpact allowed major pharmacies including CVS to leave its network. MedImpact denied these allegations in March and filed a counterclaim against Blink. In May, Blink turned up the heat on that lawsuit, alleging the PBM is a "peddler of opioids." Blink in March also filed a $250 million lawsuit against a startup it claims is an "unlawful copycat scheme."

    *SEE ALSO: Meet the 30 healthcare leaders under 40 who are using technology to shape the future of medicine*

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A Nobel Prize-winning economist says 'non-competes' are keeping wages down for all workers Reported by Business Insider 16 hours ago.

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    Women deemed "high risk" of a child dying before age 1 are most often poor, lack health insurance, are victims of domestic violence, diagnosed with addiction and other mental health issues, or lack family support. Reported by NJ.com 10 hours ago.

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    Navigators who help enroll people in health insurance in New York are funded by the state, not the federal government, according to the state Department of Health. Reported by bizjournals 23 hours ago.

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    DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Josh Crist made the two-hour drive to the Iowa Capitol in April to celebrate Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds' signing of a new health care option designed to lower costs by skirting requirements of the Affordable Care Act. The 35-year-old farmer and electrician from Tipton figured the new plans offered through the conservative and politically powerful Iowa Farm Bureau were certain to reduce the more than $2,000 monthly bill he pays for his family's health insurance. He had feared the cost would climb as his existing policy expires, forcing him to buy from an ACA exchange without help from subsidies. Reported by SeattlePI.com 18 hours ago.

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    The four health insurance companies offering individual plans in Georgia are no longer threatening to break consumers’ piggy banks. Reported by bizjournals 27 minutes ago.

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    Small-group rates are going up at a higher rate than individual plans. Reported by bizjournals 13 hours ago.

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    Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has unveiled a system of tiers to make clear what medical procedures are covered by private health insurance. Reported by SBS 26 minutes ago.

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    Blockchain: A Natural Fit To Manage Health Insurance Benefit Accumulators

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. (PRWEB) July 16, 2018

    Acero Health Technologies, a leading enterprise software solution provider for national and regional health insurance companies, announces new innovative use of Blockchain technology within its existing XpandACC™ product.

    XpandACC is a proven, in-production solution that serves as a single source of accumulator truth for multiple adjudication systems (e.g., a data hub for shared deductibles, out-of-pocket limits or other accumulator limits). XpandACC supports shared accumulators across medical, pharmacy, behavioral health, vision or dental benefits. The blockchain-enhanced version will now leverage the distributed ledger benefits of security, availability, and transparency.

    Acero clients using Acero’s XpandACC product have an option to now deploy and use Hyperledger Fabric v1.0 to support a shared ledger for tracking digital “chain” assets with common smart contracts. Adding blockchain to what was already a true “real-time” solution adds localized availability and more transparency for partner systems.

    Hyperledger Fabric is an open-source blockchain framework implementation hosted by The Linux Foundation. Hyperledger Fabric is also a token-less framework that allows for permissioned ledgers ideal for an industry with sensitive data and complex partner relationships.

    Blockchain distributed ledgers are an ideal fit for the healthcare industry in general; shared accumulators in particular. The distributed nature of the technology removes single points of failure and ultimately leads to more efficient system interactions between industry parties. Multiple parties may read, write and share information about a member’s patient responsibility progress via the “chain”. Blockchain also ensures that accumulator progress is transparent, localized and accurately used based on event-driven, on-demand processes visible via blockchain smart contracts available to all permissioned parties.    

    XpandACC eliminates the need for daily or weekly batch files while also eliminating the demand for staff to research and handle all of the manual processes (e.g. claim adjustments) commonly associated with over-accumulation issues due to timing delays or rule misapplication. This true, real-time approach improves accuracy and reduces operating costs by eliminating many of the claim processing errors that commonly occur due to timing or rule synchronization issues.

    “We’re excited to be leading the way using blockchain within healthcare enterprise applications,” says Acero CIO Nick Larocca. Nick recently presented Acero’s blockchain experience at the 2nd Annual Healthcare Blockchain Summit in Boston and he also participates in the Hyperledger Healthcare Working Group.

    Nick adds, “Our software processes millions of transactions so we understand blockchain’s promise and the current obstacles in healthcare. Blockchain represents a unique industry opportunity to rethink how various industry stakeholders interact and collaborate when sharing data. Sharing accumulators via a distributed ledger is the first step toward improving the industry’s administrative efficiency.”

    For more information about XpandACC, go to http://www.acerohealth.com/products/xpandACC, or to speak with someone from our sales team about an online demonstration, please e-mail our marketing team (marketing(at)acerohealth(dot)com). Reported by PRWeb 2 days ago.

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    The Philadelphia Eagles and Independence Blue Cross have signed a six-year agreement that includes the Philadelphia-based health insurer serving as the football team's official health insurance partner and the presenting partner of Eagles training camp. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. “We are excited about our partnership and look forward to collaborating on new programs and health initiatives that strengthen the quality of life for residents across the Greater Philadelphia region,"… Reported by bizjournals 2 days ago.

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    The billion-dollar startups revolutionizing healthcare you should be watching in 2018 It's a good time to be a healthcare or biotech startup. 

    In the first half of 2018, healthcare startups raised $15 billion in funding, the most raised in the first half of the year in the last decade, according to Forbes. 

    By July, a new crop of unicorns — startups with valuations over $1 billion — were born, while others increased their already billion-dollar valuations.

    From companies harnessing the plant microbiome to buzzy biotechs working on cutting-edge technology, here are the US and United Kingdom-based unicorns to keep an eye on for the rest of 2018, according to data from PitchBook. 

    *SEE ALSO: Meet the 30 healthcare leaders under 40 who are using technology to shape the future of medicine*

    *DON'T MISS: Startup cofounders who sold their first startup to Google for $70 million and their second for $1.9 billion reveal how they built wildly successful businesses twice*

    -Tempus — $1 billion-

    Chicago-based Tempus got its start in 2015, and in the last three years has rocketed into unicorn territory. The startup, founded by Groupon founder Eric Lefkofsky, aims to use data to come up with better cancer treatments, using both clinical data — information such as what medications patients have taken and how they have responded to them —  and genetic data from the tumors of cancer patients.  

    In March, Tempus raised $80 million, bringing its total funding to $210 million. -Rani Therapeutics — $1 billion-

    Biotech startup Rani Therapeutics is taking on a problem that has eluded companies for decades — finding a way to turn injectable drugs into pills for people living with chronic conditions. The approach has the potential to upend billion-dollar markets for drugs such as insulin, and current treatments for autoimmune conditions like Humira.  

    The San Jose-based company raised $53 million in February from Alphabet's venture investment arm GV. To date, Rani has raised $107 million. -Clover Health — $1.2 billion-

    Clover Health sells Medicare Advantage health insurance plans. When seniors in the US turn 65, they can choose to be part of either traditional Medicare or Medicare Advantage, which is operated through private insurers like Clover and often provides additional healthcare benefits. The hope for New Jersey-based Clover and other technology-based health insurers is to use data to improve patients' health. 

    In January, CNBC reported that the company had hit some rough patches, including upsetting members who faced unexpected bills and missing financial targets.

    Founded in 2014, the company most recently raised $130 million in May 2017, bringing its total funding raised to $425 million.
    See the rest of the story at Business Insider Reported by Business Insider 19 hours ago.

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