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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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    [Guardian] Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has said that one per cent of the state's consolidated revenue in the 2018 budget was set aside for health insurance, to improve healthcare delivery. Reported by 6 hours ago.

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    ClearHealth Quality Institute announces the addition of two national thought leaders to its parity accreditation review team in support of the approaching launch of its new Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder (MH/SUD) Parity Accreditation Program.

    ANNAPOLIS, Md. (PRWEB) December 19, 2018

    CHQI’s New Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disorder (MH/SUD) Parity Accreditation Program Promotes Health Plan Parity Compliance

    Annapolis, MD / December 19, 2018 – ClearHealth Quality InstituteTM (CHQI), an independent health care accrediting body, announces the addition of two national thought leaders to its parity accreditation review team in support of the approaching launch of its new Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder (MH/SUD) Parity Accreditation Program.

    The CHQI MH/SUD Parity Accreditation Program assists health plans in ensuring full compliance with federal and state parity laws through a rigorous review of its plan offerings supplemented by a proprietary online tool that allows a health plan to test each of its plan benefits.

    The new parity accreditation reviewers include:· Kevin Malone, JD, Parity Accreditation Program Director and Legal Reviewer
    · Monique Yohanan, MD, Senior Clinical Reviewer

    “These talented individuals will work with CHQI’s in-house administrative reviewers, creating a dynamic team that will provide a best-in-class accreditation experience,” said Michael Gomes, CEO, CHQI. “It is exciting that CHQI can bring together such accomplished national experts as we prepare for the launch of our new Parity Accreditation Program.”

    Kevin Malone, JD, first started working with CHQI this summer helping draft the MH/SUD Parity Accreditation Program Standards and Guide, version 1.0. “The new Parity Accreditation Program Standards create a roadmap for health plans, employers and others to better understand and implement a meaningful parity compliance program,” notes Malone. “In addition, CHQI has also developed an online accreditation portal that allows subscribers to organize and document their parity compliance activities.” Malone previously served as a health insurance specialist for the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and as an analyst for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

    Monique Yohanan, MD brings to CHQI expertise on evidence-based behavioral health guidelines as the former senior physician editor for MCG Health, among other accomplishments. “After serving on CHQI’s Advisory Board, I am excited to leverage my skills in support of the new Parity Accreditation Program, which includes access to a comprehensive Regulatory Compliance Guide,” notes Yohanan. “The document offers a comprehensive interpretation of the federal parity regulatory and sub-regulatory guidance, making it an invaluable resource for applicants preparing for accreditation.”

    CHQI is now offering demos of the new MH/SUD Parity Accreditation Program to qualified health plans and potential clients. To request a demo or learn more about CHQI, visit or call (410) 756-1300.

    About ClearHealth Quality Institute™ (
    ClearHealth Quality Institute’s (CHQI) mission is to promote quality-based practices for health plans, providers and other stakeholders across the United States and its territories. Our accreditation and certification programs help assess, track and report on trends to enhance key insurance and provider outcomes. CHQI also offers educational programs, publishes issue briefs and underwrites research to raise awareness of patient safety issues and promote best practices. The organization is governed by an independent board and committee system, which is open to a wide range of volunteer members to ensure transparency and accountability. CHQI provides resources to serve patients, providers, payers, government agencies, and other stakeholder groups. To learn more about CHQI, please contact us at (410) 756-1300 or Reported by PRWeb 4 hours ago.

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    ​​​​​​​Over the festive season, our thoughts naturally turn to our families, and our plans for the New Year ahead. Reported by Myjoyonline 2 hours ago.

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    BOSTON, Dec. 19, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Timothy Devin, Richard Valenzuela and Theresa Gerigk of Risk Strategies in New York, NY and Burlingame, CA have been awarded a Certified Advisor of Personal Insurance (CAPI) designation from the Aresty Institute of Executive Education at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Chubb.Devin, Valenzuela and Gerigk are among a group of only 38 agents and brokers this year to receive the certification after completing a one-year intensive educational program on understanding the lifestyle and risk management and insurance needs of successful individuals and families. Created by Wharton and Chubb in 2014, the CAPI program is the first of its kind to focus on a specific client segment in the personal insurance marketplace.

    “The agents who have completed the CAPI program have shown that they have the uppermost level of skill and expertise required to understand the holistic wealth management essentials of their successful clients and to advise them on their complex risk management and insurance needs,” said Mary Parsons, Executive Vice President, Sales and Distribution Leader, Chubb Personal Risk Services. 

    “We are extremely proud that Risk Strategies’ multiple brokers have received the prestigious CAPI designation,” said Mike Christian, CEO of Risk Strategies. “This shows their incredible dedication to the insurance industry as well as their ongoing commitment to serving successful individuals and families, who have a unique set of property and liability exposures created by their assets and lifestyle.”

    Courses are taught by Wharton faculty, Chubb subject matter experts and other wealth management professionals. Agents received instruction on the Wharton campus at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and through virtual classes, webcasts, reading assignments and other online activities throughout 2018. Participants also have ongoing access to fellow class members and program alumni, and upon graduation, must maintain their certification by completing annual continuing education requirements facilitated by Wharton.

    *About Chubb  *
    Chubb is the world's largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company, and the largest commercial insurer in the United States. With operations in 54 countries, Chubb provides commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, personal accident and supplemental health insurance, reinsurance and life insurance to a diverse group of clients. As an underwriting company, we assess, assume and manage risk with insight and discipline. We service and pay our claims fairly and promptly. The company is also defined by its extensive product and service offerings, broad distribution capabilities, exceptional financial strength and local operations globally. Parent company Chubb Limited is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: CB) and is a component of the S&P 500 index. Chubb maintains executive offices in Zurich, New York, London, and other locations, and employs approximately 31,000 people worldwide. Additional information can be found at:

    *About the Wharton School*
    Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates ongoing economic and social value around the world. The school has 5,000 undergraduates, MBA, Executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 10,000 annual participants in executive education programs; and a powerful alumni network of 96,000 graduates.

    *About Risk Strategies *
    Risk Strategies is a privately held, national firm with offices across the country. As a leading U.S. insurance broker, the company offers sophisticated risk management advice as well as insurance and reinsurance placement for property & casualty, healthcare and employee benefits risks. Risk Strategies serves commercial companies, non-profits, public entities and individuals, and has access to all major insurance markets. Ranked among the top 20 brokers in the country, Risk Strategies has offices in more than 50 locations nationwide including Boston, New York City, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, Dallas, Nashville, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

    CONTACT: Media Contact
    Sarah Sturba
    (401) 432-6503 Reported by GlobeNewswire 3 hours ago.

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    Company is Leveraging Market-Leading Broker Software for Affordable Care Act Enrollments Effective December 10, 2018

    TAMPA, Fla., Dec. 19, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- After an exhaustive search, Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. (NASDAQ: HIIQ) announced today it has selected GetInsured’s proprietary broker platform to enable re-entry into Affordable Care Act (ACA) enrollments. HIIQ is a market leading cloud-based technology platform and distributor of innovative health insurance products that are affordable and meet the consumer's needs.The partnership with GetInsured allows Health Insurance Innovations to service subsidy-eligible customers where it could not previously.

    “Simplicity and innovation are two key drivers in everything we do,” said Gavin D. Southwell, HIIQ’s CEO and President. “GetInsured is a leader in the ACA enrollment market with powerful technology and intuitive broker tools.”

    GetInsured has enabled more than six million plan enrollments since the launch of the Affordable Care Act. During the 2018 Open Enrollment period, just under nine million Americans were eligible for subsidies. This partnership opens a vast new market for HIIQ.

    “Our mission has always been to make health insurance enrollment as simple as possible, for as many people as possible,” said Chini Krishnan, CEO, GetInsured. “By partnering with Health Insurance Innovations, we continue to do just that. Our software allows brokers to seamlessly enroll customers, while providing powerful reporting tools. We are pleased to power the newest channel of health insurance enrollments for Health Insurance Innovations.”

    *About Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. ( **HIIQ** )*

    HIIQ is a market leading cloud-based technology platform and distributor of innovative health insurance products that are affordable and meet the needs of health insurance plan consumers. HIIQ helps develop insurance products through our relationships with best-in-class insurance companies and markets them via its broad distribution network of third party licensed insurance agents across the nation, its call center network and its unique online capability. Additional information about HIIQ can be found at HIIQ's Consumer Division includes, a website for researching, comparing and purchasing short-term health insurance products online and, a free website that compares and ranks all health insurance plans, and uses objective data to publish unbiased health insurance market analyses and other consumer advocacy research.

    Health Insurance Innovations, Inc.:
    Michael Hershberger
    Chief Financial Officer
    (813) 397-1187

    Investor Contact:
    John Evans
    PIR Communications
    (415) 309-0230

    *About GetInsured*
    Since its founding in 2005, GetInsured has built market-leading e-commerce platforms and tools that have made health insurance enrollment simple for millions of Americans. GetInsured’s award-winning UX, UI, decision-support, and individual and group enrollment tools serve some of the world’s largest brokers, state-based marketplaces, insurers, and—through—consumers. The company delivers innovative agent marketing and client enrollment technology, as well as call center engagement bots and compliance tools. To learn more visit

    *Media Contact*
    Jennifer Milner
    Director, Communications

    *Forward-Looking Statements*

    This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are statements other than historical fact, and may include statements relating to goals, plans and projections regarding new markets, products, services, growth strategies, anticipated trends in HIIQ’s business and anticipated changes and developments in the United States health insurance system and laws. Forward-looking statements are based on HIIQ’s current assumptions, expectations and beliefs are generally identifiable by use of words “may,” “might,” “will,” “should,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential” or “continue,” or similar expressions and involve significant risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, developments and business decisions to differ materially from those contemplated by these statements. The risk factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in HIIQ’s forward-looking statements are discussed in HIIQ's Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as well as other documents that may be filed by HIIQ from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which are available at Any forward-looking statement made by us in this press release is based only on information currently available to us and speaks only as of the date on which it is made. You should not rely on any forward-looking statement as representing our views in the future. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise. Reported by GlobeNewswire 3 hours ago.

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    The billion-dollar startups revolutionizing healthcare that you should be watching in 2019· Consumer genetics company 23andMe and insurance startup Devoted Health were among the healthcare companies that raked in hundreds of millions of dollars in 2018.
    · All-in, healthcare startups managed to raise more than $28.7 billion over the course of the year, according to PitchBook.  
    · Here are the billion-dollar healthcare companies to keep on your radar in 2019. 

    For private healthcare and biotech companies 2018 has been a great year to raise capital.

    From 23andMe's massive $300 million infusion from a pharma giant to Devoted Health's $300 million raise as it prepares to get into the Medicare Advantage business, all-in companies have raised more than $28.7 billion through the first 11 months of 2018, according to PitchBook. 

    That catapulted a number of companies into unicorn territory, with private valuations topping $1 billion. According to data from PitchBook, here were the top-valued healthcare companies of 2018.

    They're worth keeping an eye on in 2019.  

    -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 $142 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 San Francisco-based Clover and other technology-based health insurers is to use data to improve patients' health.

    In November, Clover reported its third-quarter financial results. It posted an $18.7 million loss through the first nine months of the year. The insurer currently operates in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Georgia, and is expanding to more states in 2019, including parts of South Carolina, Arizona, and Tennessee. 

    To date, Clover has raised $425 million from investors including GV.-Butterfly Network — $1.25 billion-

    Butterfly Network, a company that developed an iPhone-based ultrasound device, wants to make the technology more accessible to doctors and healthcare workers so they can make more precise diagnoses on the move. 

    The device, called Butterfly iQ, plugs into the iPhone and isn't much bigger than the phone itself. It's been approved by the FDA for use in imaging things like the abdomen, bladder, and heart. 

    In September, Butterfly raised $250 million from investors including Fidelity, Fosun Pharma, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In total, the company's raised $370 million. 
    See the rest of the story at Business Insider Reported by Business Insider 25 minutes ago.

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    Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline Will Join Forces On Over-The-Counter Divisions Watch VideoTwo of the pharmaceutical industry's biggest players are combining some of their forces. 

    Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline announced Wednesday they're merging their consumer health care divisions, which are responsible for over-the-counter drugs. 

    The joint venture will bring OTC brands like Pfizer's Advil and Emergen-C together with GlaxoSmithKline's Excedrin and Nicorette. 

    According to the companies, the deal will create the largest consumer health care business in the world. For some perspective, those divisions' global sales totaled about $12.7 billion in 2017.

    Experts say this deal is just another example of the way big pharma is adjusting to the changing scope of the health care landscape. Most recently, CVS announced the completion of its acquisition of health insurance company Aetna. 

    In addition to this merger, GSK announced it plans to split in two. One part will focus on consumer health care, while the other will focus on prescription medicine and vaccines.

    The deal is still subject to shareholder approval, but is expected to close in the second half of 2019. 

    Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.  Reported by Newsy 2 hours ago.

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    Company benefit plans often cover orthotics, massage and physiotherapy, but a growing number of employees and medical service providers are colluding, working together on scams. Reported by 1 hour ago.

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    Reliance Global Group, Inc. Provides Corporate Update and Outlines Strategy for Long-Term Growth *NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / December 19, 2018 / Reliance Global Group, Inc.* (OTC PINK: RELI) (''RELI'' or the ''Company'') announced a corporate update and its plans to continue executing on its focused strategy of pursuing acquisitions in the real estate and insurance agency sectors to fully leverage management’s expertise in these industries. As part of this strategy, RELI is currently in negotiations with several affiliated and non-affiliated parties and expects to complete a number of substantial, material real estate transactions throughout the course of 2019. The Company will provide further details as they are available.

    The Company is pleased to provide an update on its recent activities toward increasing shareholder value by expanding RELI’s presence and market share in the real estate and insurance agency industries. Among the highlights were:

    · In October 2018, the Company acquired 100% of Employee Benefits Solutions (''EBS'') and U.S. Benefits Alliance (USBA''), two Michigan-based insurance agencies specializing in the sale of health insurance products, in the wholesale and retail industry.

    · Based on recent new customer enrollments that have occurred under RELI’s management and will take effect on January 1, 2019, RELI expects these subsidiaries to achieve substantial, year-over-year revenue growth during 2019.

    · In November 2018, RELI entered into an exclusive six-month agreement with The Referral Depot (TRD), a one-of-a-kind software-based referral program made for the insurance industry, placing TRD under the Company's full management and control, for the benefit of RELI's recently-acquired subsidiaries EBS and USBA.

    · RELI also announced in November that it is forming a Real Estate Investment Trust (''REIT''), for the purpose of acquiring, developing and owning primarily multi-family apartment complexes throughout the United States. The REIT to be formed is tentatively entitled "Edmonton Realty REIT USA," and is intended to facilitate RELI's rapid entry into the REIT sector.

    · In December 2018, the Company retained Friedman LLP, a PCAOB-registered CPA firm, to serve as the Company's independent auditors.

    · Also in December, RELI completed the acquisition of Commercial Solutions of Insurance Agency, LLC ("Commercial Solutions"). Commercial Solutions specializes in providing commercial P&C Insurance to the trucking, towing and short-haul services industries, serving customers in several Northeastern states including NY, NJ, PA and MD.

    RELI's Chairman and CEO, Ezra Beyman, stated, "Over the past three months, we have made significant progress in our strategy to pursue targeted acquisition opportunities, including both insurance agencies and real estate projects. Specifically, we are leveraging our extensive experience in the real estate and insurance agency sectors to identify attractive investments in these categories. We have already made tremendous progress in a relatively short period, and look forward to continuing to update our shareholders on our continued progress.''

    *About Reliance Global Group*

    Reliance Global Group, Inc. (OTC PINK: RELI) now is moving forward with its goal to operate as a holding company for several companies in the real estate, insurance brokerage, and potentially other sectors. RELI's focus will be to grow the Company by pursuing an aggressive growth strategy of acquisition opportunities, including both real estate and insurance agencies. Insurance agencies, as opposed to insurance carriers, bear no insurance risk. The Company is controlled by Reliance Global Holdings, LLC, a New York-based limited liability company, which is the owner and operator of numerous companies with core interests invested in real estate and insurance brokerage.

    *Forward-Looking Statements*

    This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements other than statements of historical facts included in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements and are not guarantees of future performance, condition or results and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements as a result of a number of factors, including those described from time to time in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and elsewhere. The Company undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statement made herein. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release.

    *Company Contact:*

    Ezra Beyman, Chairman and CEO

    *Investor Relations Contact:*

    Scott Eckstein
    KCSA Strategic Communications

    *SOURCE: *Reliance Global Group Inc
    View source version on Reported by Accesswire 2 hours ago.

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    BIRMINGHAM, ALA., Dec. 19, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First US Bancshares, Inc. (Nasdaq: FUSB) (the “Company”), a Delaware corporation based in Birmingham, Alabama, announced today that its Board of Directors has extended the Company’s existing share repurchase program, pursuant to which the Company may repurchase up to 642,785 shares of its common stock.  The repurchase program, which was originally approved by the Company’s Board of Directors on January 19, 2006, has been extended to expire on December 31, 2019.  To date, the Company has repurchased approximately 400,482 shares of common stock under the repurchase program, leaving approximately 242,303 shares that may still be repurchased under the repurchase program.  Share repurchases under the repurchase program may be made through open market and privately negotiated transactions at times and in such amounts as management deems appropriate, subject to applicable regulatory requirements.  The repurchase program does not obligate the Company to acquire any particular number of shares and may be suspended at any time at the Company’s discretion.*About First US Bancshares, Inc.*

    First US Bancshares, Inc. is a bank holding company that operates banking offices in Alabama, Tennessee and Virginia through First US Bank (the “Bank”).  In addition, the Company’s operations include Acceptance Loan Company, Inc., a consumer loan company (“ALC”), and FUSB Reinsurance, Inc., an underwriter of credit life and credit accident and health insurance policies sold to the Bank’s and ALC’s consumer loan customers.  The Company files periodic reports with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”).  Copies of its filings may be obtained through the SEC’s website at or at  More information about the Company and the Bank may be obtained at  The Company’s stock is traded on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol “FUSB.”

    *Forward-Looking Statements*

    This press release contains forward-looking statements, as defined by federal securities laws. Statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. These statements may address issues that involve significant risks, uncertainties, estimates and assumptions made by management. The Company undertakes no obligation to update these statements following the date of this press release, except as required by law. In addition, the Company, through its senior management, may make from time to time forward-looking public statements concerning the matters described herein. Such forward-looking statements are necessarily estimates reflecting the best judgment of the Company’s senior management based upon current information and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Certain factors that could affect the accuracy of such forward-looking statements are identified in the public filings made by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and forward-looking statements contained in this press release or in other public statements of the Company or its senior management should be considered in light of those factors. Specifically, with respect to statements relating to the sufficiency of the allowance for loan and lease losses, loan demand, cash flows, growth and earnings potential and expansion, these factors include, but are not limited to, the rate of growth (or lack thereof) in the economy generally and in the Bank’s and ALC’s service areas, market conditions and investment returns, the availability of quality loans in the Bank’s and ALC’s service areas, the relative strength and weakness in the consumer and commercial credit sectors and in the real estate markets and collateral values. With respect to statements relating to the Company’s acquisition of The Peoples Bank, these factors include, but are not limited to, difficulties, delays and unanticipated costs in integrating the organizations’ businesses or realized expected cost savings and other benefits; business disruptions as a result of the integration of the organizations, including possible loss of customers; diversion of management time to address acquisition-related issues; and changes in asset quality and credit risk as a result of the acquisition. There can be no assurance that such factors or other factors will not affect the accuracy of such forward-looking statements.

    CONTACT: Contact: Thomas S. Elley
    205-582-1200 Reported by GlobeNewswire 2 hours ago.

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    WARREN, N.J., Dec. 19, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AdvantEdge Healthcare Solutions Inc., a top national medical billing company that both develops and uses medical billing technology, has met the rigorous data security standards necessary to achieve System and Organization Controls (SOC) 1 Type 2, SOC 2 Type 2 and HIPAA compliance.The demanding examinations were administered via the third-party staff at 360 Advanced, a respected national Qualified Security Assessor, HITRUST CSF Assessor and Certified Public Accounting Firm based in St. Petersburg, FL.

    The System and Organizational Controls standards, developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), provide service organizations a uniform method for disclosing independently assessed information about the design and operation of internal controls as they relate to one or more of the AICPA’s Trust Services Principles of Security, Availability, Processing Integrity, Confidentiality or Privacy. 

    HIPAA, the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, is designed to provide privacy standards to protect patients' medical records and other health information provided to health plans, doctors, hospitals and other health care providers.

    “For seven consecutive years, AdvantEdge has successfully completed SOC 1 and SOC 2 audits and HIPAA security assessments confirming our operational effectiveness, security and confidentiality. We are committed to a culture of compliance in all phases of company operations,” said Senior Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer Jeanne A. Gilreath.

    *ABOUT ADVANTEDGE Healthcare Solutions*

    AdvantEdge is recognized as one of the top 10 billing, coding, and practice management companies in the U.S., with more than 800 employees, collecting over $1 billion annually for physicians, hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, behavioral health agencies and large office-based medical groups.  AdvantEdge has added value to physician practices and healthcare organizations through its billing, coding, practice management, and business analytics solutions for over 50 years.  AdvantEdge’s clients enjoy improved financial results through its tailored services, robust technology, and actionable business intelligence and reporting tools. AdvantEdge’s promise: More money faster, Client-First Service, Compliance, Privacy & Security and anytime anywhere access to data and information. AdvantEdge’s investors include Founders Equity. For more information about AdvantEdge, contact Michael Krivich at


    A trusted Cybersecurity Compliance CPA firm with proficiencies in SOC reporting, 360 Advanced assists large service providers with IT assurance and compliance in more than 40 states, Europe, South and Central America and the Pacific Rim. Services include HITRUST CSF, GDPR, SOC 1, SOC 2, SOC for Cybersecurity, PCI DSS, HIPAA Security/HITECH, Microsoft Vendor Policy and more. For an initial consultation, please contact Eric Ratcliffe at

    News release services provided by Clearview Communications and PR, Inc.

    Contact:           Eric Ratcliffe
                   Reported by GlobeNewswire 2 hours ago.

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    The Saturday night deadline to sign up for Obamacare in Washington state is not affected by a federal judge’s ruling Friday striking down the Affordable Care Act. That decision, out of Texas, is likely to end up in the U.S. Supreme Court. For now, the Affordable Care Act remains in place — which means you still only […] Reported by Seattle Times 4 days ago.

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    Report issued jointly by Departments of Health & Human Services, Labor, and Treasury

    PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (PRWEB) December 17, 2018

    MyMedicalShopper, a national healthcare price transparency solution that enables patient consumerism, welcomes recommendations in a newly issued report by three U.S. government agencies to improve “choice and competition” in the nation’s healthcare system.

    “Anytime we can incentivize and reward consumerism, especially in healthcare, we should,” said Mark Galvin, President and CEO of MMS Analytics, Inc., the creator of MyMedicalShopper.

    The report, “Reforming America’s Healthcare System Through Choice and Competition,” was issued jointly by the U.S. Departments of Health & Human Services, Labor, and Treasury. The report outlines a strategy to promote consumer-driven healthcare, citing that consumers are insulated “from the true price of health care…When federal and state health policies give consumers more control over their health care dollars, they can use that power to demand greater value,” the report said.

    MyMedicalShopper is a comprehensive platform for employers designed to drive down the cost of healthcare while improving employee benefits. The platform includes the nation’s leading medical price transparency tools for employees, dynamic rewards programs, and robust analytics packages for employers.

    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.

    About MyMedicalShopper
    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 MMS Analytics, Inc. (
    MMS Analytics, Inc. dba MyMedicalShopper™ is a big data company on a mission to revolutionize healthcare. The company was started 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 3 days ago.

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    The CEO of one of the nation's largest health insurers has a warning for Amazon on its healthcare ambitions· Paul Markovich, the CEO of health insurer Blue Shield of California, has been keeping close tabs on Amazon, he told Business Insider.
    · Since early this year, Amazon has been making big forays into healthcare — from buying pharmacy startup PillPack to naming physician Atul Gawande CEO of its healthcare venture with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan.
    · More recently, those forays have increasingly centered around sensitive patient data.
    · Markovich is concerned that patient privacy may be getting sidelined.

    It's been six months since the still unnamed healthcare venture among e-commerce giant Amazon, conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, and multinational bank JPMorgan Chase named a CEO.

    Under physician and writer Atul Gawande, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, and Jamie Dimon have outlined bold ambitions for their first-of-its kind initiative: improving care and slashing costs for their companies' combined 1.2 million employees and, perhaps eventually, for all Americans. But details about the plan have been scant.

    Still, members of the triumvirate (nicknamed ABC for short) have been making rapid-fire moves into the health space since the summer. Amazon, for instance, bought online pharmacy startup PillPack for just under $1 billion, suggesting that at least one part of its future healthcare play would involve medications. Last month, Amazon rolled out an online tool to analyze patient medical records.

    Paul Markovich, the CEO of health insurer Blue Shield of California, has been keeping close tabs on Amazon, he told Business Insider, along with other tech giants like Apple and Google.

    Overall, he sees those companies' forays into healthcare as a positive step toward creating more efficiency and better customer service, he said.

    "Honestly I think the more players that we have trying to figure out better models that are more efficient with a better customer experience and higher quality, hallelujah," said Markovich.

    *Read more:* Meet the surgeon, professor, and writer tapped to run the Amazon-JPMorgan-Berkshire Hathaway health venture

    But Markovich also has a warning for tech giants like Amazon, who he said may be forgetting to prioritize one key component of the healthcare equation: privacy.

    *An 'admonition' to tech giants including Amazon*

    Many of Amazon's health moves involve highly sensitive customer data — data which Markovich doesn't believe is necessarily being treated with as much care as it should.

    Shortly after Amazon, Berkshire and JPMorgan revealed plans to bring on Comcast digital health manager Jack Stoddard as operating chief of their endeavor, Amazon filed a patent aimed at enabling voice assistant Alexa to detect when a user is sick. The following month, Amazon announced a new service called Comprehend Medical that uses machine learning to analyze data from patient health records for hospitals, insurers, and drug companies.

    "One of the things, I'd say an admonition, to all those companies including Amazon is that the privacy standards around data are a lot higher in healthcare than they are in other businesses," Markovich said.

    "And what I've seen in my interactions with them is that the sensitivity isn't necessarily there."

    While Markovich acknowledged that today's healthcare system is far from perfect, one of its strengths is the high bar placed on patient privacy. He said privacy has become an embedded part of physician and provider culture thanks to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the Clinton-era law that protects patient medical information.

    "We're culturally steeped in what the acronym HIPAA stands for and means," Markovich said. "I think if [companies like Amazon] are going to be successful, there needs to be more cultural sensitivity to the bar being a lot higher on privacy and security."

    *SEE ALSO: A superstar ex-Facebook and Google exec is trying to upend a $24 billion industry with devices that spot disease sooner — and she's already testing it on animals*

    *DON'T MISS: A Silicon Valley VC in the hottest area of healthcare explains what it looks for in new startups aiming to disrupt the $35 billion addiction market*

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Drinking too much water could be surprisingly hazardous to your health Reported by Business Insider 3 days ago.

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    Acquisition expands NFP’s benefits capabilities and establishes presence in New Orleans

    NEW YORK (PRWEB) December 17, 2018

    NFP, a leading insurance broker and consultant that provides employee benefits, property and casualty, retirement, and individual private client solutions, today announced it has acquired Benefit Administration Group, LLC and HM Benefits, LLC (collectively known as Benefit Administration Group). The transaction closed effective Nov. 1, 2018.

    Benefit Administration Group offers employee benefit brokerage services to employers in Louisiana, with additional capabilities in the individual health insurance market and corporate outsourced HR solutions. The acquisition allows NFP to establish a presence in New Orleans, a historically underrepresented area for the firm. Former principal Tom Daly will join NFP as a vice president, reporting to Ethan Foxman, president of the Mid-Atlantic region.

    “This acquisition allows NFP to continue to extend its comprehensive benefits capabilities across the nation,” said Foxman. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Tom, a talented leader familiar with the needs of local Louisiana clients, to lead our growing team.”

    “We are delighted to be a part of the NFP family,” said Daly. “We look forward to engaging in this mutually beneficial relationship, which provides us access to NFP’s existing network, and allows us to use our unique expertise to expand NFP’s employee benefits, individual health insurance and HR solutions to the greater New Orleans region.”

    About NFP
    NFP is a leading insurance broker and consultant that provides employee benefits, property and casualty, retirement, and individual private client solutions through our licensed subsidiaries and affiliates. Our expertise is matched by our commitment to each client's goals and is enhanced by our investments in innovative technologies in the insurance brokerage and consulting space.

    NFP has more than 4,700 employees and global capabilities. Our expansive reach gives us access to highly rated insurers, vendors and financial institutions in the industry, while our locally based employees tailor each solution to meet our clients' needs. We've become one of the largest insurance brokerage, consulting and wealth management firms by building enduring relationships with our clients and helping them realize their goals.

    Recently NFP was named the 2nd largest retirement plan aggregator firm, as ranked by Investment News; the 5th largest US-based privately owned broker, the 5th best place to work in insurance and the 6th largest benefits broker by global revenue by Business Insurance; the 9th largest property and casualty agency by total 2016 P&C revenue and the 9th largest commercial lines agency by total 2016 P&C and commercial lines revenue by Insurance Journal; the 10th largest employee benefits broker by Employee Benefit Adviser; the 11th largest broker of US business by Business Insurance; and the 12th largest global insurance broker by Best's Review.

    For more information, visit Reported by PRWeb 3 days ago.

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    The Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate requiring Americans to maintain health insurance coverage is no longer constitutional after Congress’ effective elimination of the tax penalty… Reported by ABA Journal 2 days ago.

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    One year ago, Apple awarded the meditation app "Calm" as the iPhone app of the year, and since then the company has dethroned the previous #1 meditation app on the iOS App Store, Headspace. In a new report by The Wall Street Journal out today, the two companies talk about how they are in a "mindful competition" with one another, and about the merits of Apple's best of the year awards system.
    Calm (left) and Headspace (right)

    Headspace predates Calm (founded in 2010 and 2012, respectively), and dominated the iOS App Store's meditation space throughout its life, until 2018. According to Calm chief product and growth officer Dun Wang, "Since winning App of the Year, we seem to have a much higher growth rate than they do, and we'll surpass them from now on."

    Since December 2017, Calm has topped the meditation category in both downloads and mobile revenue, earning $50.7 million in revenue through October 2018, compared to $34.3 million for Headspace, according to Sensor Tower data. One Headspace spokeswoman pointed out that Sensor Tower's data didn't account for subscriptions paid for through its website and corporate partnerships. Comparatively, Calm subscriptions cost $69.99/year ($12.99/month) and Headspace costs $94.99/year ($12.99/month).

    Apple's award is said to be "a touchy subject" at Headspace.“I think people are blowing App-of-the-Year way out of proportion,” says Ben Spero, a managing director at Spectrum Equity, a Headspace investor. “It’s good P.R., but it’s not determinative. It’s not that Apple was saying that Calm is a better app—they’re big fans of Headspace, too,” he says, pointing out that the App Store often features Headspace on its landing page.

    Calm co-CEO and co-founder Michael Acton Smith on the competition with Headspace:“We’re both growing the sector. This is such a huge market, there’s going to be room for a few different winners,” Mr. Acton Smith says. “We want Calm to be the number one, of course—and we wish the others the best for second place.”

    Calm and Headspace offer largely the same experiences, with slightly different variations on meditation. A Calm subscription grants you access to a new "Daily Calm" meditation every day, new featured Sleep Stories narrated by celebrities like Matthew McConaughey, mindful music, and a central meditation tab with dozens of classes that offer 7 to 21 days of focusing on anxiety, stress, happiness, self-esteem, and more.

    Headspace offers classes for focus, exercise, and sleep; an "Everyday Headspace" with new meditation topics each day; mini-meditations; sleep sounds; and more. Both apps have coaches that guide you through everything so that you can follow the exact steps for each meditation.

    Recently, Headspace has signed deals with more than 300 companies to integrate the app into employee health and wellness benefits, but according to a Calm investor these are just vanity partnerships: "Calm has managed to overtake Headspace because they've been laser-focused without getting distracted by the types of vanity partnerships, like with sports teams, that look good in the press but don't move the needle."

    Still, Dun Wang at Calm says that sometimes companies approached by Headspace will then contact Calm and ask if they want to put in an offer as well. "It's working out great for us. We don't need to be the ones making the cold calls to win these projects."

    Next, Headspace plans to make waves by becoming the first prescription meditation app for certain chronic illnesses, by seeking Food and Drug Administration approval. If granted, Headspace could be covered by health insurance.

    As of writing, Calm is #1 on the Health & Fitness iOS App Store chart for top free apps, while Headspace is #5. You can download Calm [Direct Link] and Headspace [Direct Link] for free from the iOS App Store.Tags: Calm, Headspace

    Discuss this article in our forums Reported by 2 days ago.

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    People with health insurance often pay for coverage they never use. A startup wants to shake that up. Reported by Newsmax 2 days ago.

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    The Office for Civil Rights ("OCR") issued a request for information ("RFI") to assist OCR in identifying provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Reported by Mondaq 13 hours ago.

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    Analysts attribute the dynamic to a lack of public awareness about open enrollment, repeal of the federal penalty on people who don’t have health insurance and the proliferation of health plans that don’t comply with the Obama-era law. Reported by Wall Street Journal 6 hours ago.

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