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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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  • 11/21/18--07:35: Top benefits employees want
  • Health insurance, competitive salary and paid time off top the list of traditional benefits employees and job candidates want -More-  Reported by SmartBrief 2 hours ago.

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    At the midway point of open enrollment seasons, the number of people buying health plans is lagging last year’s tally both in Oregon and nationally. During the first 17 days of open enrollment, 33,394 people selected health plans, according to numbers released Wednesday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The number is down about 9,000 compared to last year, said Elizabeth Cronen, communications and legislative manager at the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace. “We’ll continue… Reported by bizjournals 11 hours ago.

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    DGAP-News: Asklepios Kliniken / Key word(s): 9 Month figures

    22.11.2018 / 07:30
    The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.
    --------------------

    *Asklepios continues solid revenue growth*

    - Revenue rises to EUR 2,537 million

    - EBIT margin 5.6%

    - 1.68 million patients treated in total

    - Innovative offerings along the value chain to be expanded

    *Hamburg, 22 November 2018. The Asklepios Group further increased its revenue in the first nine months of the 2018 financial year. Consolidated net income was down on the previous year owing to higher expenses in hospital operations. In light of this, Asklepios is increasingly focusing on establishing and developing new business areas along the value chain. *

    Asklepios increased its revenue by 4.6% to EUR 2,536.5 million in the first nine months of the financial year (9M 2017: EUR 2,425.7 million). The healthcare facilities of the Asklepios Group cared for 1,681,074 patients in total in the period from January to September 2018 (9M 2017: 1,684,196). Operating earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) amounted to EUR 141.9 million (9M 2017: EUR 163.1 million) with a margin of 5.6% (9M 2017: 6.7%). Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were down on the previous year at EUR 252.9 million (9M 2017: EUR 270.9 million) with a margin of 10.0% (9M 2017: 11.2%). Earnings after taxes (EAT) amounted to EUR 98.8 million (9M 2017: EUR 123.5 million). As in the first half of the year, the development in earnings is due to a sustained increase in costs, in the area of staff in particular, and to the ongoing regulatory changes under the Krankenhausstrukturgesetz (KHSG - German Hospital Structure Act) and the fixed cost degression discount. In addition, cash flows were affected by changes in the MDK's review process.

    "Growth at Asklepios is both stable and sustainable. Our patients know that they can count on us for first-class medical care," says Kai Hankeln, CEO of Asklepios. "At the same time, rising costs and regulatory intervention are weighing on revenue structures in hospital operations. We are therefore emphasising the development of new business areas with which we can better use our platform, offer our patients even more comprehensive services and generate additional revenue. We are striving for a sustainable earnings margin of 6.0% after taxes in the medium term."

    Asklepios is pursuing the expansion of a networked value chain with targeted investments. A key driver in this is digital offerings that cut costs and increase the variety of services available to patients. Asklepios is also planning to set up an open discharge management platform for more efficient cooperation with rehabilitation facilities, therapy and therapeutic appliance providers and health insurance companies in the medium term.

    Asklepios increased its internally financed investment in hospitals and related business areas to EUR 125.9 million in the reporting period (9M 2017: EUR 110.4 million). The share of own funds in total investment was 66.3% in the third quarter of 2018 (9M 2017: 69.7%).

    The financial position of the Asklepios Group remains stable. As at 30 September 2018, the Group had equity of EUR 1,415.2 million (31 December 2017: EUR 1,416.6 million), corresponding to an equity ratio of 34.9% (31 December 2017: 34.4%). Net liabilities amounted to EUR 912.9 million (31 December 2017: EUR 874.6 million). The ratio of net debt to EBITDA for the past 12 months therefore climbed to 2.4x (31 December 2017: 2.2x). Cash funds amounted to EUR 471.7 million (31 December 2017: EUR 612.3 million) and unused credit facilities to EUR 450.7 million as at the end of the reporting period (31 December 2017: EUR 461.1 million).

    Hafid Rifi, CFO of Asklepios, said: "The financial situation at Asklepios is robust and dynamic. Thanks to our comfortable equity ratio and unutilised credit facilities, we are excellently equipped for further investment in growth - including strategic acquisitions along the entire value chain of our industry."

    *EUR million* *9 months 2018* *9 months 2017* *Change*
    Revenue 2,536.5 2,425.7 +4.6%
    EBITDA 252.9 270.9 -6.7%
    EBITDA margin (in %) 10.0 11.2 -1.2 pp
    EBIT 141.9 163.1 -13.0%
    EBIT margin (in %) 5.6 6.7 -1.1 pp
    EAT 98.8 123.5 -20.0%
    EAT margin (in %) 3.9 5.1 -1.2 pp
    Net debt/ EBITDA LTM 2.4x 2.2x* +0.2x
    Patients 1,681,074 1,684,196 -0.2%
    Cost weight 430,663 442,411 -2.7%
    Employees (FTEs) 35,041 34,932 +0.3%

    *As at 31 December 2017

    *Forecast*

    Asklepios has successfully established solutions to regulatory challenges that will have a positive impact on earnings and liquidity as the year progresses. On this basis, Asklepios is confirming its forecast for a slim but sustainable increase in EBIT and EBITDA for the year as a whole. At 5.0%, organic revenue growth will surpass the anticipated growth of between 1.5% and 2.0%. In keeping with the ongoing trend, the development in the equity ratio will remain stable as against the previous year.

    Corporate news can be found at www.asklepios.com/ir.*About Asklepios*

    The healthcare group Asklepios Kliniken is among the leading private operators of hospitals and healthcare facilities in Germany. The hospital group stands for highly professional care of its patients with a clear commitment to medical quality, innovation and social responsibility. On this basis, Asklepios has been developing dynamically ever since it was founded more than 30 years ago. The group currently has 160 healthcare facilities across Germany. Its facilities include acute hospitals providing all levels of care, specialist clinics, psychiatric and forensic facilities, rehabilitation clinics, nursing homes and medical centres. In the 2017 financial year, 2.3 million patients were treated in the Asklepios Group's facilities. The company has more than 47,000 employees.

    *IR Contact*
    Mirjam Constantin
    Investor Relations
    Asklepios Kliniken GmbH & Co. KGaA
    Debusweg 3
    61462 Königstein-Falkenstein
    Tel: +49 61 74 90-1166
    Fax: +49 61 74 90-1110
    ir@asklepios.com

    *PR Contact:*
    Rune Hoffmann
    Group Head of Corporate Communications & Marketing
    Asklepios Kliniken GmbH & Co. KGaA
    Rübenkamp 226
    22307 Hamburg
    Tel.: +49 40 1818-82 6630
    Fax: +49 40 1818-82 6639
    presse@asklepios.com

    Visit Asklepios on its website, Facebook, or YouTube:
    www.asklepios.com
    www.asklepios.com/ir
    www.facebook.com/asklepioskliniken
    www.youtube.com/asklepioskliniken
    --------------------

    22.11.2018 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
    The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

    The DGAP Distribution Services include Regulatory Announcements, Financial/Corporate News and Press Releases.
    Archive at www.dgap.de -------------------- Reported by EQS Group 4 hours ago.

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    GLICO Healthcare, a leading private health insurance provider in the country, has pledged its continued support to the healthcare system as it celebrates its customer service month in November. Reported by Myjoyonline 39 minutes ago.

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    Cyprus Social Insurance Fund (SIF) contributions will increase starting from January 2019 while contributions for the implementation of the National Health Insurance System (NHIS) Reported by Mondaq 25 minutes ago.

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    Any employer who has six or more employees in Massachusetts in any calendar month after November 2017 is required to complete a Health Insurance Responsibility Disclosure (HIRD) form by November 30, 2018. Reported by Mondaq 22 hours ago.

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    New guidance issued by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue requires Massachusetts employers with six or more employees to file an annual health insurance responsibility disclosure (HIRD) form Reported by Mondaq 1 day ago.

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  • 11/23/18--07:02: Insurance HelpLine launched
  • LITTLE ROCK – The Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace (AHIM) has expanded its toll-free HelpLine to better assist Arkansans in finding affordable health insurance coverage. Reported by Harrison Daily 20 hours ago.

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    Don’t procrastinate. Most consumers who buy their own insurance on the federal health insurance marketplace face a Dec. 15 deadline. Advocates are reminding these customers that if they miss the deadline, they may not have a plan that starts in January 2019.

     
     
     
     
     
     
      Reported by USATODAY.com 21 hours ago.

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    Nubundle, the nation’s first holistic family planning and fertility services company, announces the closing of its first institutional round of funding led by Lightbank, with participation from NFP Ventures, the investment arm of leading insurance broker and consultant NFP, and Village Global, a venture capital firm backed by some of the world's best-known entrepreneurs such as Anne Wojcicki, Sara Blakely and Jeff Bezos.

    CHICAGO (PRWEB) November 23, 2018

    Family planning and fertility services are increasing in necessity and popularity, in part because of wider trends: the general fertility rate decreased to an all-time low in 2017, and the average age of first time mothers increased to over 30 in major metropolitan areas. This has resulted in 1 in 8 people seeking fertility help, with that number doubling for those without a child and over 30. This is a particular problem for millennials and their employers — 48% of employees delay starting a family to focus on their careers and 57% would change jobs for family planning benefits. Yet it’s uncommon for employers to offer family planning support. Further, insurance coverage is trailing the market needs. In most states health insurance doesn't cover fertility treatments, and in those that do, coverage is not inclusive of LGBTQ+ couples and individuals. Additionally, the costs of fertility treatments are prohibitive, putting starting a family out of reach for many.

    Nubundle doesn’t think prospective parents should have to risk their financial stability to start a family, nor should it be cost prohibitive for employers to provide support. The company is on a mission to redefine employers' relationships with the family through benefits by providing access to family planning and fertility services. Nubundle’s three solutions are affordable for employers and help prospective parents avoid financial risk:

    1) Family Planning Concierge - Access to an experienced network of family planning coordinators and fertility experts for support at every stage of the journey, from thinking about having a child to understanding fertility treatment options.
    2) Affordable Fertility Treatments - Nubundle has a network of fertility clinics that have been pre- vetted for patient care, success rates and value.
    3) Just in Time Insurance - Financing and insurance options for patients and employers.

    Nubundle’s work is clearly resonating with employers: since starting earlier this year, Nubundle is on track to have employers with thousands of employees on the platform for their beta launch in January 2019.

    “Starting a family should be one of the happiest moments of someone’s life. However, the reality for a growing number of people is that it involves stress, fear, and a lack of support and information,” said John Ciasulli, CEO of Nubundle. “We want to make sure everyone understands their choices and has an affordable path to maximize their chances of conceiving, freezing their eggs, or accessing services like IVF.”

    “There is an incredible market opportunity to provide financial security to those struggling with fertility” said Vic Pascucci, Managing Partner at Lightbank. “The seasoned entrepreneurial team at Nubundle has come up with great products that offer understanding, choice and affordability to people going through these hugely difficult challenges. I'm excited to see them open up care for the vast majority that aren’t able to access it today."

    Nubundle was co-founded by John Ciasulli and Chris D’Cruz. Ciasulli was previously an EIR at Lightbank and the first employee and COO at Uptake, the nation's fastest growing enterprise software company. D’Cruz was previously head of business and corporate development at Raise, a gift card marketplace and mobile prepayments company that counts Accel, NEA, Bessemer and PayPal amongst its investors, as well as a co-founder of south east Asian based Paktor, a series of mobile platforms now with over 2 million monthly active users.

    About Nubundle
    Nubundle helps employers redefine their relationships with the family through benefits by providing access to family planning and fertility services. Nubundle offers a platform that provides access to an experienced network of family planning and fertility experts, affordable fertility services, and just in time insurance.

    About Lightbank
    Lightbank is a top performing early stage venture capital firm headquartered in Chicago. The firm was founded in 2010 by serial entrepreneurs Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell (Tempus, Uptake). Lightbank sources propriety investment opportunities from the 16,000 employees that worked in its network, the 250+ founders/co-founders the partners have backed and deep industry connections. Reported by PRWeb 14 hours ago.

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    Allianz Receives CBIRC Approval for Preparatory Establishment of China's First Fully-owned Foreign Insurance Holding Company· Allianz receives first-ever approval by China Banking & Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) for preparatory establishment of foreign insurance holding company
    · 100%-owned insurance holding company enhances Allianz's strategic flexibility to expand investment and growth in China
    · Approval follows Chinese government measures to further open up and encourage investment in China by foreign financial institutions
    · Development is testament to positive long-term China-Germany relationship and cooperation

    SHANGHAI, SINGAPORE and MUNICH, Nov. 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Allianz today announced that it has received approval from the China Banking & Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) for the preparatory establishment of an insurance holding company in China. The company - Allianz (China) Insurance Holding Company Limited - will be China's first-ever wholly-owned insurance holding company by a foreign insurer, and will be based in Shanghai. 

    This holding structure will anchor Allianz Group's long-term commitment to China by enhancing its strategic and financial flexibility to capture business opportunities and drive long-term success in the market.  When fully established, Allianz (China) Insurance Holding Company Limited will be strongly capitalized according to its application.

    The regulatory approval follows a series of measures recently announced by the Chinese government to further open up and encourage investment in China by foreign financial insurance institutions. This development follows the long-term positive bilateral relationship between China and Germany, and furthers its continued cooperation and collaboration. Oliver Bate, Chairman & CEO, Allianz Group

    *Oliver Bate, Chairman & CEO, Allianz Group* said, "Allianz is proud to be the first foreign insurer to commence the establishment of a holding company in China - a significant milestone for us to expand our presence in this strategic market. Today's announcement also follows the positive long-term cooperation between China and Germany, allowing our Chinese and international clients to be able to enjoy Allianz's comprehensive financial and risk management solutions and services, and benefit from the continued growth and liberalization of China's financial markets."George Sartorel, Regional CEO for Asia Pacific, Allianz

    *George Sartorel, Regional CEO for Asia Pacific, Allianz*, said, "China is central to our growth strategy for Asia, this development positions Allianz strongly to combine our global knowledge with deep insights into local consumer and industry needs. We look forward to contributing to the continued development and innovation of China's fast-growing insurance sector, as well as to better serve Chinese customers and communities."

    This marks the latest milestone for Allianz in China, a market it has served since the early 1910s. Today, with its 2,000 employees and affiliates in the country, Allianz offers the full spectrum of protection, risk management and asset management solutions and services in China. Allianz expects China to continue setting the pace for global insurance market growth, with premiums expected to rise 14 per cent per annum in the coming decade.

    Allianz expects the holding company to be established in 2019, and will work on the necessary preparatory work under the guidance and assistance of the regulatory authorities.

    *About Allianz*

    The Allianz Group is one of the world's leading insurers and asset managers with more than 88 million retail and corporate customers. Allianz customers benefit from a broad range of personal and corporate insurance services, ranging from property, life and health insurance to assistance services to credit insurance and global business insurance. Allianz is one of the world's largest investors, managing over 650 billion euros on behalf of its insurance customers while our asset managers Allianz Global Investors and PIMCO manage an additional 1.4 trillion euros of third-party assets. Thanks to our systematic integration of ecological and social criteria in our business processes and investment decisions, we hold the leading position for insurers in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In 2017, over 140,000 employees in more than 70 countries achieved total revenue of 126 billion euros and an operating profit of 11 billion euros for the group.

    *About Allianz in Asia *

    Asia is one of the core growth regions for Allianz, characterized by a rich diversity of cultures, languages and customs. Allianz has been present in the region since 1910, when it first provided fire and marine insurance in the coastal cities of China. Today, Allianz is active in 14 markets in the region, offering its core businesses of property and casualty insurance, life, protection and health solutions, as well as asset management. With its more than 32,000 staff, Allianz serves the needs of over 18 million customers in the region across multiple distribution channels and digital platforms.

    These assessments are, as always, subject to the disclaimer provided below.

    *Cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements*

    The statements contained herein may include prospects, statements of future expectations and other forward-looking statements that are based on management's current views and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results, performance or events may differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements.

    Such deviations may arise due to, without limitation, (i) changes of the general economic conditions and competitive situation, particularly in the Allianz Group's core business and core markets, (ii) performance of financial markets (particularly market volatility, liquidity and credit events), (iii) frequency and severity of insured loss events, including from natural catastrophes, and the development of loss expenses, (iv) mortality and morbidity levels and trends, (v) persistency levels, (vi) particularly in the banking business, the extent of credit defaults, (vii) interest rate levels, (viii) currency exchange rates including the EUR/USD  exchange rate, (ix) changes in laws and regulations, including tax regulations, (x) the impact of acquisitions, including related integration issues, and reorganization measures, and (xi) general competitive factors, in each case on a local, regional, national and/or global basis. Many of these factors may be more likely to occur, or more pronounced, as a result of terrorist activities and their consequences.

    *No duty to update*

    The company assumes no obligation to update any information or forward-looking statement contained herein, save for any information required to be disclosed by law.

    *Privacy Note*

    Allianz SE is committed to protecting your personal data. Find out more in our Privacy Statement.

    Photo - https://photos.prnasia.com/prnh/20181125/2308496-1-a
    Photo - https://photos.prnasia.com/prnh/20181125/2308496-1-b 
    Logo  - https://photos.prnasia.com/prnh/20181125/2308496-1LOGO Reported by PR Newswire Asia 5 hours ago.

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    This story was originally published on MassLive. Judy Herrell, the owner of Herrell's Ice Cream in Northampton, offers her employees health insurance. But premiums are expensive, and many of the workers are students who are on their parents' plans or can buy cheaper and better insurance through MassHealth or the state-subsidized Health Connector. Herrell has been hit by a new fee that the state is charging businesses whose employees use taxpayer-subsidized insurance. "We don't know if they're… Reported by bizjournals 10 hours ago.

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    Australians are spending more on private health insurance but getting less coverage overall. Here's why. Reported by Brisbane Times 4 hours ago.

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    U.S. Biopsy Devices Market accounted for highest revenue share of 81.0% of North America market in 2017 owing to expanding cases of cancer coupled with growing awareness of cancer diagnosis and treatment in the country.

    Sellbyville, Delaware, Nov. 26, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --Global Biopsy Devices Market will cross USD 3.0 billion by 2024; according to a new research report by Global Market Insights, Inc. Technological advancements in biopsy devices including vacuum assisted biopsy devices offering minimal invasiveness and favorable reimbursement policies such as Medicare reimbursement for biopsy to diagnose cancer will drive biopsy devices market. Presence of untapped opportunities in developing regions should further boost industry growth during the forecast timeframe.

    Rising number of baby boomers prone to suffer from chronic diseases such as cancer will act as primary driver for biopsy devices market. Furthermore, sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy dietary habits with increasing consumption of alcohol and tobacco has escalated occurrence rate of cancer globally will boost industry growth over the coming years.

    *Request for a sample of this research report @ *https://www.gminsights.com/request-sample/detail/731

    Rising awareness relating to cancer diagnosis coupled with growing demand for advanced diagnostic procedures should positively impact business growth. Industry players are focusing on developing cost-effective biopsy devices to gain significant share of untapped markets of developing regions such as Asia Pacific.

    Needle based biopsy guns product segment estimated to reach over 1.0 billion by 2024 includes core needle biopsy devices, fine needle aspiration biopsy devices, and vacuum-assisted biopsy devices. Technological advancements in needle-based biopsy guns along with growing demand of these devices for acquiring tissue samples of internal organs such as lungs should contribute towards segment growth during the forecast period.

    Browse key industry insights spread across 160 pages with 340 market data tables & 7 figures & charts from the report, *“Biopsy Devices Market” i*n detail along with the table of contents:

    https://www.gminsights.com/industry-analysis/biopsy-devices-market

    Biopsy forceps segment is anticipated to grow at 2.8% CAGR during the forecast timeframe. Rising demand for advanced diagnostic devices along with less intrusive biopsy procedures will drive segment growth. Growing popularity of biopsy forceps among patients and healthcare professionals should further support business expansion over the coming years.

    Ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs’) segment will witness lucrative growth of 9.0% CAGR over the forecast period. Increasing number of procedures performed at ASCs’, low cost structure compared to other healthcare facilities and less time required for procedure at ambulatory surgical center will drive segment growth. Expansion of health insurance coverage under Affordable Care Act (ACA) should further provide growth opportunities for outpatient procedures over the coming years.

    U.S. biopsy devices market dominated the global industry with more than 45% market share in 2017. Favorable reimbursement policies pertaining to diagnosis as well as treatment of cancer, technological advancements in biopsy devices and rising incidences of target disease will drive U.S. biopsy devices industry. 

    India biopsy devices market is forecasted to grow significantly with 11.9% CAGR during the forecast period owing to growing number of baby boomers suffering from chronic conditions as well as rising prevalence of cancer in the country.  Numerous initiatives undertaken by industry players to develop cost-effective biopsy devices to gain significant market share of Indian biopsy devices industry should contribute to business growth over the coming years.

    Few notable players operating in biopsy devices market are Becton, Dickinson and Company, Medtronic, B. Braun Melsungen AG, DTR Medical, Argon Medical Devices, Olympus Corporation, and Cardinal Health. Companies are currently focusing on research and development to develop advanced biopsy devices to gain significant market share and increase consumer base especially in developing countries anticipated to witness robust growth rate during the analysis period.

    *Make an inquiry for purchasing this report @* https://www.gminsights.com/inquiry-before-buying/731

    *Browse Related Reports:*

    · *Immunohematology Market Size Forecast 2018 – 2024*

    Immunohematology market revenue was valued at USD 1.8 billion in 2017 and is expected to witness 5.8% CAGR from 2018 to 2024 as technological advancements in immunohematology devices will boost the industry growth.
    https://www.gminsights.com/industry-analysis/immunohematology-market

    · *Contract Research Organization (CRO) Market Size Outlook 2018 – 2024*

    Contract Research Organization market revenue was valued at USD 34.6 billion in 2017 and is expected to witness 7.5% CAGR from 2018 to 2024 owing to increasing focus of pharmaceutical companies on novel drug development for treatment of various chronic disease.
    https://www.gminsights.com/industry-analysis/contract-research-organization-cro-market

    *About Global Market Insights*

    Global Market Insights, Inc., headquartered in Delaware, U.S., is a global market research and consulting service provider; offering syndicated and custom research reports along with growth consulting services. Our business intelligence and industry research reports offer clients with penetrative insights and actionable market data specially designed and presented to aid strategic decision making. These exhaustive reports are designed via a proprietary research methodology and are available for key industries such as chemicals, advanced materials, technology, renewable energy and biotechnology.

    CONTACT: Contact Us:
    Arun Hegde
    Corporate Sales, USA
    Global Market Insights, Inc.
    Phone: 1-302-846-7766
    Toll Free: 1-888-689-0688
    Email: sales@gminsights.com
    Web: https://www.gminsights.com
    Blog: http://page125.org/ Reported by GlobeNewswire 48 minutes ago.

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    MyMedicalShopper’s suite of healthcare cost-saving tools empowers consumers to shop for medical tests and procedures based on cost, quality, and convenience; addresses healthcare cost public policy issue

    PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (PRWEB) November 26, 2018

    MyMedicalShopper, a healthcare price transparency solution that enables patient consumerism, is now available in all 50 U.S. states.

    “We are excited to make MyMedicalShopper available to consumers across the country, only a few short years after its initial introduction in New Hampshire,” said Mark Galvin, President and CEO of MMS Analytics, Inc., the creator of MyMedicalShopper. “With the growth of and focus on healthcare consumerism to help control healthcare costs, MyMedicalShopper is already enabling hundreds of thousands of consumers nationwide to instantly find prices for more than 10,000 medical procedures, alongside quality and location information as well,” Galvin said.

    Galvin said that the power of MyMedicalShopper is rooted in more than 3.4 billion actual, post-adjudicated medical claims, coupled with cutting-edge integrations with the software powering health insurance plans, third-party administrators, and brokers. Galvin said these tight integrations with existing systems enable streamlined enrollment of employers and their employees onto the MyMedicalShopper platform and provide the most personalized and accurate view of member health benefits available in the U.S. employee benefits market. In addition, Galvin said his company has employed the latest in bank-level encryption to ensure the privacy and security of their data and any personal health information shared by their users.

    “At a time when healthcare is nearing 20% of U.S. GDP with annual cost increases of more than 4%, exceeding and adding to the overall rate of inflation, the environment is ripe for healthcare consumerism and shopping,” Galvin added. “Employers and their employees are embracing informed and empowered healthcare consumerism by adopting benefit programs that incentivize and recognize market-driven consumerism,” Galvin added.

    Galvin noted the 2018 Kaiser Family Foundation Employer Health Benefits Survey issued in early October that found that employee premiums increased 3% from 2017–2018 “comparable to the rise in worker’s wages (2.6%) and inflation (2.5%) during the same period. Over time, the increases continue to outpace wages and inflation,” the report said. The survey also “finds the burden of deductibles on workers continuing to climb over time in two ways: a growing share of covered workers face a general annual deductible, and the average deductible is rising.”

    For employer groups adopting MyMedicalShopper’s services, this new technology is a significant step toward an improved health benefits environment for their employees as they seek to manage the ever-rising cost of a family budget.

    American Benefits Group (ABG), a leading national benefits service and solution provider headquartered in Northampton, MA, recently partnered with MyMedicalShopper to help their employer clients and their employees control their healthcare spending. This new offering represents a significant step towards an improved health benefits environment for ABG’s clients.

    As one of the leading national providers of pre-tax consumer-directed account-based plans—flexible spending accounts (FSAs), health savings accounts (HSAs), health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), and commuter benefits—ABG is uniquely positioned to drive positive change into the healthcare industry.

    Robert Cummings, CEO and founder of American Benefits Group, said, “We embraced MyMedicalShopper for its ability to enable our clients and their employees to actively participate in their healthcare decision-making.” Cummings added, “The best health benefits brokers and consultants are looking for solutions to help their clients control costs. Since we’re already providing these consumer-directed accounts to employers reacting to rising healthcare costs, it made perfect sense for us to integrate the MyMedicalShopper solution into our offerings. Giving consumers control over their healthcare spending is critical, and we’re excited about the savings potential that MyMedicalShopper can help our clients realize.”

    MyMedicalShopper is available through benefit brokers and consultants serving both the fully insured and self-funded employer markets.

    MyMedicalShopper provides a comprehensive platform for employers who want to take control of their healthcare costs and empower their employees with a tool that makes shopping for medical care as easy as a Google search.

    MyMedicalRewards™ provides a dynamic HRA or HSA funding mechanism that drives good consumer behavior even when employees are spending employer dollars. It combines reference-pricing models with the MyMedicalShopper shopping experience to reward employees for choosing low-cost, high-quality medical care, thus reducing medical claims.

    MyMedicalShopper’s Employer Dashboard provides CEOs, CFOs, and HR leadership with direct visibility into their group’s claims experience, engagement with MMS programs, and realization of savings. MyMedicalMetrics™ is an enhanced feature of this dashboard—a robust claims analytics package that shows employers exactly how their employees are victimized by hidden pricing, inadvertently driving up their own costs and overall claims experience for the group. Employers can use this new information to team up with their employees, identify specific savings opportunities, and build targeted campaigns that drive meaningful behavior change and claims reduction for their groups.

    About MyMedicalShopper (http://www.MyMedicalShopper.com)
    MMS Analytics, Inc. dba MyMedicalShopper™ is a big data company on a mission to revolutionize healthcare. The founders started the company out of the need to bring transparency to consumers and the companies who provide healthcare benefits to their employees—providing the leverage needed to make solid decisions on their healthcare and improve their quality of life. Consumers previously unaware of price variations in procedures and testing can utilize real-time health insurance plan pricing information that makes it possible to choose care based on price, quality, and convenience. Experts document that as much as $1 trillion could be slashed annually from the cost of healthcare in the U.S. MyMedicalShopper aims to transform the healthcare industry into a fair market for consumers. Reported by PRWeb 1 day ago.

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    New clinic services address crucial gaps found nationwide in diabetes care

    PITTSFIELD, Mass. (PRWEB) November 26, 2018

    Berkshire Health Systems, working with Shields Health Solutions, announced the expansion of its specialty pharmacy program into diabetes care today, making it one of the first health systems in the U.S. to introduce a hospital-owned specialty pharmacy care model into this disease state. Berkshire’s Community Specialty Pharmacy Program (BCSPP) provides “high-touch” clinical and pharmacy care to patients with chronic illnesses, and aims to improve health outcomes and reduce the total cost of care for patients across a range of specialty conditions (e.g. cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV). By expanding into diabetes, the BCSPP will be bringing its high-touch care model to a population in urgent need of such care.

    “Diabetes is a growing and costly epidemic that affects a larger percentage of our community every year. Successful management of this disease requires a strong focus on medication adherence and blood sugar control as well as financial assistance for those who struggle to afford their medications,” said David MacHaffie, Outpatient Retail and Specialty Pharmacy Director, Berkshire Health Systems. “By extending our Specialty Pharmacy program to diabetes, our aim is to increase medication adherence for high risk patients to around 90%, as we’ve been able to do for other chronic illnesses. By doing so, we are bringing high-intensity care to an illness that seldom receives that kind of attention, and that impacts a significant percentage of Massachusetts.”

    “With this new program, Berkshire is embarking on a new method for treating patients with diabetes that has the potential to change lives,” said Jack Shields, CEO, Shields Health Solutions. “This is a care model that follows the patient from diagnosis through treatment, into their lives at home and back into the diabetes clinic. The result is a healthier patient population and lower total costs for care. The patients, providers and insurance payers all win.”

    There are an estimated 30 million adults in the United States with diabetes. In Massachusetts, approximately 645,000 people (11.1% of the population) live with the disease. The costs of care for diabetes patients is estimated at $327 billion nationally, and $5.5 billion in Massachusetts.

    About the Berkshire Community Specialty Pharmacy Program
    The Berkshire Community Specialty Pharmacy Program is an outpatient care and medication program dedicated to providing patients with the support necessary to manage complex medication regimens associated with many different types of chronic illnesses such as MS, HIV, Rheumatoid Arthritis and others. Patients living with chronic illnesses who fill their medication prescriptions through the community specialty pharmacy have access to clinical pharmacists and on-site “patient liaisons” who work with each patient’s healthcare providers to ensure all specialty medication and care needs are delivered accurately and on time. The overarching goal of the specialty pharmacy is to provide patients with fully integrated clinic-pharmacy services and the highest quality care.

    In the first phase of the pharmacy’s diabetes program, a patient liaison will be embedded in Berkshire Medical Center’s Adult Endocrinology clinic to take on the administrative responsibilities that impede the clinical staff’s ability to provide the higher-touch, in-person care to patients that they want to provide. Duties such as insurance prior authorizations, insurance benefits investigation, medication adherence and financial assistance will be handled by a liaison who is trained in diabetic care coordination.

    In phase two of the program, a team of clinical pharmacists will begin conducting targeted outreach to at-risk patients and ensure that they receive the support they need to remain adherent to medications, address side effects, and keep blood sugar levels under control.

    Future phases of the program will bring BMC Adult Endocrinology services such as nutritional counseling and insulin pump support to more and more patients at a greater frequency.

    About Berkshire Health Systems
    Berkshire Health Systems is the region's leading provider of comprehensive healthcare services. With award-winning programs, nationally-recognized physicians, world-class technology and a sincere commitment to the community, BHS is delivering the kind of advanced healthcare most commonly found in large metropolitan centers.

    A private, not-for-profit organization, BHS serves the region through a network of affiliates which include Berkshire Medical Center, the BMC Hillcrest Campus, Fairview Hospital, Berkshire Visiting Nurse Association, BHS physician practices, and long-term care associate Berkshire Healthcare Systems. Each of these facilities is distinguished by the high quality of their programs and services, and by the credentials, skill and compassion of their physicians, nurses and caregivers.

    About Shields Health Solutions
    Shields Health Solutions is a specialty pharmacy integrator and care provider, partnering with hospital leaders on every aspect of specialty pharmacy creation, growth and management. Shields provides the fastest, lowest risk model for health systems to create or grow a hospital-owned specialty pharmacy program.

    Started in 2012, Shields partners with health systems to provide on-site pharmacy and care professionals, a purpose-built specialty pharmacy technology platform, access to 80+ percent of all limited distribution drugs (LDDs) and most (health insurance) payors in the nation. Shields provides ownership of all specialty pharmacy assets in a health system’s name. Reported by PRWeb 22 hours ago.

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    ACCC explains different types of fraud consumers need to look out for

    BOSTON (PRWEB) November 26, 2018

    Fraud can come in many forms, and now, with the increase in online shopping and email spam, consumers are more susceptible than ever. It is vital for consumers to be aware of the different types of fraud they may encounter so that they can protect their identity and finances. National nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) explains different types of fraud consumers need to look out for.

    “It is imperative that consumers are aware of the different tactics fraudsters might use to steal their identity or empty their finances,” said Steve Trumble, President, and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “Prevention is key. Use difficult passwords and pins, change them frequently, shred unwanted documents that contain personal information, and check your credit card and bank statements for unusual activity.”

    According to a study by SecurityIntelligence, fraudulent conduct dropped six percent but identity theft is up one percent, totaling 174,523 cases reported in 2017. Cifas National Fraud Database states that identity theft has increased 125 percent in the last decade and 84 percent of these identity frauds are occurring through online channels.

    ACCC explains different types of fraud.

    1.    Identity Theft – Identify theft occurs when a fraudster steals a consumer’s personal information and uses it without their permission, usually for financial gain. Identity theft negatively affects a consumer’s credit and finances, and more often than not, consumers don’t even know they are at risk.
    2.    Telemarketing Fraud – This type of scam happens over the phone and is usually disguised as a charity or business asking to act now and send money. Real telemarketers are not allowed to ask for a fee upfront, so if a consumer is asked for payment information, it is most likely a scam.
    3.    Ponzi Schemes – Ponzi schemes promise consumers investments in a nonexistent enterprise with high returns and little to no risk. The schemer will use a portion of the consumer’s money to pay other investors while pocketing the rest.
    4.    Health Care and Health Insurance Fraud – There are a variety of different forms of health care and health insurance fraud. In some cases, insurers are billed for services that never happened, patients receive bills for medical equipment that was never received or ordered by their physician, or fake tests are offered that aren’t needed and billed to the insurance company.
    5.    Email Phishing – Email phishing occurs when a fraudster sends an email to a consumer with a malicious link. If clicked, malware will be installed and can reveal sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, credit card details, or social security numbers. This can then lead to identity theft, unauthorized purchases, or the draining of funds.

    ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:· For credit counseling, and student loan counseling call 800-769-3571
    · For bankruptcy counseling, call 866-826-6924
    · For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
    · Or visit us online at ConsumerCredit.com

    About American Consumer Credit Counseling
    American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management through credit counseling, debt management, bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling and financial education concerning debt solutions. To help consumers reach their goal of debt relief, ACCC provides a range of free consumer personal finance resources on a variety of topics including budgeting, credit and debt management, student loan assistance, youth and money, homeownership, identity theft, senior living, and retirement. Consumers can use ACCC’s worksheets, videos, calculators, and blog articles to make the best possible decisions regarding their financial future. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®). For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit http://www.consumercredit.com/financial-education.aspx Reported by PRWeb 17 hours ago.

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    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is proposing changes to Medicare’s prescription drug benefit that would affect people’s costs over the next few years. Officials say their goal is to lower costs and modernize Medicare, the government health insurance program that covers about 60 million seniors and disabled people. Some proposals could create winners and […] Reported by Seattle Times 13 hours ago.

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    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration on Monday proposed changes to Medicare's prescription drug benefit that would affect patients' costs over the next few years, creatiing winners and losers. Medicare's administrator, Seema Verma, said the goal is to lower costs for beneficiaries and modernize the government's flagship health insurance program for seniors and the disabled, covering about 60 million people. The proposals apply to two popular parts of Medicare: private Medicare Advantage plans that offer comprehensive health care coverage, and prescription drug plans also offered by private insurers. Changes would not take place until 2020 at the earliest. Reported by SeattlePI.com 12 hours ago.

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    A partnership to deliver Fit4D’s personalized coaching program to WellCare members living with Type 2 diabetes in the state of New York.

    NEW YORK (PRWEB) November 27, 2018

    Fit4D, a leading tech-enabled diabetes management company based in New York City, and WellCare of New York, Inc., a WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) company, announced today a partnership to deliver Fit4D’s personalized coaching program to WellCare members living with Type 2 diabetes in the state of New York.

    Today, more than 2 million New Yorkers are living with Type 2 diabetes—a condition that disproportionately affects minorities and low-income households. As a leading provider of managed care in the state, WellCare is committed to helping its members manage their condition, reduce their risk for complications, and improve their overall health and well-being.

    The Fit4D coaching program combines two important elements: A Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) who delivers personalized care along with a technology platform that enables scalability. The collaborative program will connect WellCare of New York Essential Plan members with Fit4D CDEs who will deliver personalized, one-on-one diabetes coaching via multi-channel communications including telephonic, mail and face-to-face coaching. Members will receive education and support to help them with diabetes self-management, including tips and tactics to initiate therapy and improve medication adherence; information about preventive care, nutrition and exercise; and guidance to overcome psychosocial challenges, such as depression or anxiety.

    “We are excited to partner with WellCare to deliver meaningful education and support to its members living with diabetes in New York,” said David Weingard, CEO of Fit4D. “Diabetes is a complex condition that requires ongoing, personalized care and treatment. Our team of experienced clinicians will offer needed education and support to help WellCare members manage their condition, leading to improved health outcomes and better quality of life.”

    “At WellCare, we are committed to providing innovative solutions that help our members live better, healthier lives,” said Dr. Richard Petrucci, Chief Medical Officer, WellCare of New York. “Fit4D’s personalized coaching program complements WellCare’s existing care management resources and will provide yet another avenue to help our members living with diabetes manage their condition and improve their overall health and well-being.”

    About Fit4D
    With a moonshot mission to transform the lives of people living with diabetes, Fit4D delivers scalable and effective diabetes management programs through an optimized mix of Certified Diabetes Educators (CDEs) and technology to deliver measurable outcomes in an affordable manner. The Fit4D clinical team is comprised primarily of CDEs with clinical credentials as nurses, registered dietitians, pharmacists, exercise physiologists, social workers and more, who are passionate about empowering people with diabetes to live rich, healthy and fulfilling lives.

    Fit4D partners with leading health plans/providers seeking to improve quality measures and pharmaceutical/device companies seeking to improve medication adherence. Fit4D has also engaged in numerous joint initiatives with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, American Diabetes Association, the Diabetes Research Institute and the American Association of Diabetes Educators. For more information visit http://www.fit4d.com.

    About WellCare Health Plans
    Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) focuses primarily on providing government-sponsored managed care services to families, children, seniors and individuals with complex medical needs primarily through Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, as well as individuals in the Health Insurance Marketplace. WellCare serves approximately 5.5 million members nationwide. For more information about WellCare, please visit the company's website at http://www.wellcare.com. Reported by PRWeb 2 hours ago.

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