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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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    Oregon's Hagan Hamilton Insurance shares data from the nation’s largest benchmarking survey which reveal that plans in West Coast states are among the least expensive in the country due to the regional increase in CDHP plans and the popularity of HMO plans in some states

    PORTLAND, Ore. (PRWEB) January 08, 2019

    According to the Hagan Hamilton Insurance, a United Benefit Advisors (UBA) partner firm, the 2018 UBA Health Plan Survey, released September 16, 2018, shows that premium renewal rates for employer sponsored health insurance increased an average of 9.8% in 2018, the highest increase in the last decade. Initial analysis shows that the majority of these increases were seen by employees, especially those enrolled in PPO plans. The average cost increased 6% for employees, while employers only increased their contributions 3.1%. A significant variance between regions makes it valuable for employers to consider each region’s unique trends.

    While national prices trended up, states in the West saw a decrease in premium costs of 4% on average. In fact, it is the only region to see any sort of decrease in 2018. The popularity of HMO plans in states like California, where HMO plans now account for 50.8% of plan enrollment, is a major factor in that decrease. HMOs are on the rise across the country, after several years of decreased popularity, likely because they are an inexpensive option for employers.

    In addition to affecting the rise in HMOs, the consistent increase in premiums has begun a movement towards plans which split costs between the employer and employee. The survey reported that while PPO plans still have the highest enrollment in all regions, enrollment in CDHP plans increased 8.3% from 2017 to 2018. The only region that didn’t see this increase was the Northeast, where CDHP plans are already dominant. In Oregon in particular, employers have turned to options including CDHPs as well as providing their employees with HRA or HSAs to share healthcare costs where they can.

    “Unlike in previous years, HMO and CDHP plans did not provide as much refuge for small employers, who experienced an average 4.2% increase in costs,” says Peter Weber, President of UBA. “While employers with more than 1000 employees were hit the hardest in 2018 with a 9.6% increase, it is important to note that these increases are changing how both large and small employers are approaching healthcare. Despite continued extensions on the ability to grandmother,’ the practice saw a drastic decrease from 2017, and the reduction of prescription drug coverage will likely continue to cover the cost of rising premiums.”

    Beyond plan choices and premiums, the UBA Health Plan Survey revealed useful information about many other aspects of benefits plans that employers may want to take note of.

    Prescription Drug Plans— Prescription drug plans continue to show an increase in complicated benefit structures to accommodate the ever-rising cost of medications. Survey data show that most plans include three-, four-, or five- tier structures and continue to grow in complexity. While generic prescriptions continue to hover with copays of $10 on average, out-of-pocket costs for brand name and specialty medications have increased significantly, especially in plans with three or more tiers.

    “Due to the complexity of the data, UBA is planning on releasing a separate report in which we hope to give foresight on the future of prescription benefit trends and the out-of-pocket costs associated with those plans,” says Weber.

    In the West region, trends show an increased number of four-tier prescription plans, which now make up just over 60% of the market. With copays averaging at about $23 on four-tier plans, employees are seeing a rise in the price they’re paying for medications. Further developing these data should give more clarity on how this trend will continue in the future.

    Out-of-Pocket Costs—While in-network median deductibles for single coverage remained steady across all plans for 2018 at $2,000, in-network PPO median deductibles saw an increase from $1,500 in 2017 to $2,000 in 2018. In addition, out-of-network deductibles saw a 12.5% increase, rising from $4,000 to $4,500 in all regions.

    The West region has seen a larger increase than other regions in single coverage deductibles, with an average of $2,271. This is likely due to the larger trend of moving towards plans which allow employers to split the cost with employees. Single family deductibles saw an increase as well, but it was slightly less than the nationwide average at $3,980.

    Self-Funding—The survey found a dramatic increase in employers using self-funding arrangements, with 20% of plans including a self-funding arrangement compared with 12.8% of plans in 2017.

    More significantly, data show accelerated adoption of self-funding in small group markets. The survey reports a 122% increase in the 25 to 49 life groups and a 28.5% increase in the 50 to 99 life market. Self-funding only accounts for 8.2% of plans in the West but may be on the rise as these plans become more desirable to small businesses.

    “While small groups have shown a significant increase in self-funding arrangements, we have seen a decrease in self-funding health plans for the 1000+ employer size category,” says Weber, “The large group market has seen a nearly 6% decrease in self-funding plans despite the attractive options it offers and its popularity with large groups in the past.”

    More information on upcoming trends and 2018 statistics are available in the 2018 UBA Health Plan Survey Executive Summary is available. For interviews, or to request a copy of the 2018 UBA Health Plan Survey Executive Summary, contact Jason John, COO | Partner, jason(at)haganhamilton.com or 503-565-3341.

    Contact us at jason(at)haganhamilton.com or 503-565-3341 for a customized benchmark survey based on industry, region and business size.

    About Hagan Hamilton Insurance Solutions
    We’re an independent insurance agency offering a comprehensive suite of insurance solutions to protect you from the unexpected. We don’t just sell insurance. We work closely with clients to help them make important and informed decisions every day when it comes to protection and their future. We offer comprehensive insurance solutions throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, including Yamhill County, Columbia County, Lane County, Linn-Benton County, Polk County, Washington County and Clatsop County. For more information, visit http://www.haganhamilton.com.

    About the 2018 UBA Health Plan Survey
    The 2018 UBA Health Plan Survey contains the validated responses of 14,131 health plans and 8,072 employers, who cumulatively employ over two and a half million employees and insure more than five million total lives. While other surveys primarily target large employers, the focus of the UBA survey is to report results that are applicable to the small and mid-size companies that represent the overwhelming majority of the nation’s employers, while also including a mix of large companies in rough proportion to their actual prevalence, nationally. This is an important distinction compared to other national surveys.

    About United Benefit Advisors
    United Benefit Advisors® (UBA) is the nation’s leading independent employee benefits advisory organization with more than 200 offices throughout the United States, Canada, England and Ireland. UBA empowers more than 2,000 Partners to both maintain their individuality and pool their expertise, insight, and market presence to provide best-in-class services and solutions. Employers, advisors and industry-related organizations interested in obtaining powerful results from the shared wisdom of our Partners should visit http://www.UBAbenefits.com. Reported by PRWeb 5 hours ago.

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    Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat and ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee, said the government shutdown imperils the Medicare program. The federal government went into a partial shutdown in late December after the White House and Democrats reached an impasse over President Trump’s demand for $5.6 billion to fund a wall at the southern border. Not only are federal employees and national parks feeling the pain, but so could the health insurance program for seniors, Wyden said. “Medicare… Reported by bizjournals 5 hours ago.

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    New York City is upping its spending on health care coverage. Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed that up to $100 million per year will be used to help people without health insurance. That includes immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally. The program is intended to reach an estimated 600,000 city residents. De Blasio unveiled the program at a news conference at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx after first announcing in on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." His office followed it up with a press release. “Health… Reported by bizjournals 4 hours ago.

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    SEATTLE (AP) — Washington's governor and New York City's mayor unveiled major initiatives to expand health insurance coverage Tuesday, the latest moves by key Democratic leaders to address Trump administration health policies they say are keeping people from getting the care they need. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a likely presidential candidate, proposed a publicly run health insurance option for state residents who are not covered by private employers and buying insurance off the marketplace created under former President Barack Obama's health care law. "We need to write another chapter of health care reform," said Inslee, who provided no details on how the program would be funded. Reported by SeattlePI.com 3 hours ago.

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    Dr. Robert C. Dost of Lake Ridge Dental recognized as Gold STAR Provider by TRICARE Dental Program

    LAKE RIDGE, Va. (PRWEB) January 09, 2019

    Lake Ridge Dental announced this week that Dr. Robert C. Dost has been recognized as a Gold STAR Provider by the TRICARE Dental Program (TDP), a Government managed health insurance for uniformed service members, retirees, and their families.

    Over 70,000 dentists participate in the TRICARE Active Duty Dental Program (ADDP). These dentists have the opportunity to treat over 1.4 million active duty service members nationwide. United Concordia created the STAR provider distinction to recognize ADDP providers that have been consistent in the quality treatment of ADDP members. Less than 2.5% of all participating providers receive the STAR distinction.

    In order to qualify for the STAR distinction, providers must meet and comply with several criteria throughout their contract with TRICARE. These requirements ensure that only the highest quality providers receive this prestigious distinction.

    “I am honored to be recognized as a Gold STAR Dental Provider,” said Dr. Robert C. Dost of Lake Ridge Dental. “At Lake Ridge Dental, we take great pride in being able to provide quality dental care to those who have served our nation.”

    Dr. Robert C. Dost has over thirty years of experience providing quality dental care for adults and children. Even though he received his degree several years ago, Dr. Dost has continued his dental education. This allows him to provide his patients with the latest techniques and practices.

    Lake Ridge Dental offers family and cosmetic dentistry for patients in and around Lake Ridge, Virginia. The practice offers numerous services including Invisalign aligners, dental implants, teeth whitening, veneers, and emergency treatments. Lake Ridge Dental understands that it can be stressful to visit the dentist. They strive to provide their patients with a calm and relaxing environment.

    Active duty and retired service members and their families can learn more about the TRICARE Dental Program (TDP) and find a provider on TRICARE’s website at https://tricare.mil/CoveredServices/Dental/FindDentist.

    About Lake Ridge Dental
    Lake Ridge Dental specializes in routine dental care, family dentistry, and cosmetic dentistry. The popular dental practice offers a number of services for adults and children. Lake Ridge Dental patients can choose between two accomplished providers, Dr. Robert C. Dost and Dr. Ofeliya Kara. The dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, and office staff at Lake Ridge Dental are pleased to offer quality care to their Lake Ridge patients.
    For more information about Lake Ridge Dental, please visit their website at https://lakeridgevadentist.com Reported by PRWeb 13 hours ago.

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    The event will analyze critical topics including how InsureTech will continue to disrupt technology markets in 2019 and beyond

    NEW YORK (PRWEB) January 10, 2019

    HealthCare.com is pleased to announce it has been selected as a presenting InsureTech company at the Needham Growth Conference in New York City on January 16, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. It is one of a handful of private companies invited to present at the two-day conference featuring public and private company presentations, Q&A sessions and one-on-one meetings for qualified institutional, private equity and venture capital investors.

    “We were honored to receive an invitation to speak at the Needham Growth Conference and look forward to discussing how the InsureTech space is evolving and changing the way individuals shop, compare and purchase their health insurance plans,” said Jeff Smedsrud, co-founder of HealthCare.com and the organization’s presenter.

    HealthCare.com features a comparison health insurance shopping engine that connects consumers with its network of licensed insurance brokers and insurance carriers. Additionally, HealthCare.com markets its own direct-to-consumer proprietary specialty insurance products under the name of Pivot Health.

    About HealthCare.com
    HealthCare.com is an online health insurance company providing a data-driven shopping platform and insurance content to help American consumers enroll in individual health insurance and Medicare plans. HealthCare.com also develops and markets a portfolio of proprietary, direct-to-consumer health insurance and supplemental insurance products under the name Pivot Health. Founded in 2014, the company is headquartered in New York City, and is backed by PeopleFund and individual investors including current and former executives of Booking.com and Priceline. HealthCare.com is a 3-time honoree of the Inc. 500 list of America’s fastest-growing companies. For more info, visit http://www.healthcare.com. Reported by PRWeb 14 hours ago.

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    Fenway Health offers expert testimony as GLAD successfully argues that Mutual of Omaha stop denying all forms of insurance, including life and long-term care insurance, to Massachusetts residents who use PrEP for HIV prevention

    BOSTON (PRWEB) January 10, 2019

    One of the country’s largest insurance providers has agreed to stop denying all forms of insurance, including life and long-term care insurance, to Massachusetts residents using the HIV prevention medication Truvada for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Following an investigation by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office and a separate lawsuit filed by GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), Mutual of Omaha has formally agreed to change its underwriting practices. Fenway Health was proud to assist both efforts with expert testimony and research by Kenneth H. Mayer, M.D., Medical Research Director and Co-Chair of The Fenway Institute.

    “Multiple studies have long shown that Truvada is an incredibly effective way to prevent the transmission of HIV and it is standard to offer it to gay men and others at high risk of infection,” Mayer said. “Mutual of Omaha’s categorical exclusion of Truvada users from life and long-term care insurance was irrational and based on a gross misunderstanding of how HIV gets transmitted.”

    Truvada is a tablet containing two types of antiretroviral medication that block HIV from replicating in the body. Taken once a day, Truvada is highly effective at preventing the transmission of HIV. The medication has been approved as a way to prevent HIV transmission by the Food and Drug Administration since 2012 and has been recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since 2014 as a treatment for people at high risk of HIV infection, such as gay men.

    “Throughout the 35 years we’ve been fighting AIDS, we’ve learned that access to medicine and health care isn’t enough. Even when science unambiguously shows the way, we have needed legal advocacy to protect the health of our community,” Mayer added. “We’re incredibly grateful to GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders and the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office for taking this on.”

    “Ken has been working in this field since day one of the epidemic. His detailed and comprehensive knowledge of PrEP and HIV prevention, coupled with his ability to clearly and directly explain the science were instrumental in this process,” said GLAD AIDS Law Project Director Ben Klein.

    In announcing its agreement with Mutual of Omaha, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office explained that the company “has revised its underwriting practices to ensure that it does not deny, rate, or otherwise take any adverse action against any Massachusetts resident who applies for any type of accident, life, sickness, or health insurance with Mutual of Omaha, including long-term care insurance, based on the applicant’s use of Truvada for PrEP.”

    Through strategic litigation, public policy advocacy, and education, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) works in New England and nationally to create a just society free of discrimination based on gender identity and expression, HIV status, and sexual orientation.

    Since 1971, Fenway Health has been working to make life healthier for the people in our neighborhood, the LGBT community, people living with HIV/AIDS and the broader population. The Fenway Institute at Fenway Health is an interdisciplinary center for research, training, education and policy development focusing on national and international health issues. Reported by PRWeb 12 hours ago.

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    2019 Award Recognizes Innovative Fintech Company for Delivering Exceptional Financial Support and Benefits to its Growing Workforce

    CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (PRWEB) January 10, 2019

    Built In Boston, the leading hub for Boston startups and technology companies, announced today that MineralTree is among the top ten places to work in the Boston area. The fast-growing Accounts Payable and Payment Automation solution provider ranked ninth out of fifty honorees in the small business category.

    “Our company thrives because of the talented, committed and passionate people on our team,” said BC Krishna, MineralTree founder and CEO. “We’re proud to receive this award, which confirms that we are able to attract excellent talent and also offer competitive compensation, outstanding benefits, and a welcoming workplace.”

    “This award is especially meaningful given the rapid growth of opportunities in the fintech sector. We’re very glad great people choose MineralTree over others to further their careers,” he said. MineralTree excelled in key areas examined by the award judges—from health insurance and wellness to its unlimited vacation policy to onsite amenities.

    The Built In Boston award is just the latest honor for MineralTree, which employs more than 70 employees in its Cambridge, Massachusetts headquarters and other locations throughout the world. It is currently seeking talented applicants for a wide range of positions.

    ###

    About MineralTree
    MineralTree provides the easiest to use Accounts Payable (AP) and Payment Automation solutions for finance professionals at middle market enterprises. MineralTree streamlines AP, giving customers’ unparalleled visibility and significant cost savings in an affordable, integrated platform that is guaranteed secure. For more information, visit http://www.mineraltree.com. Reported by PRWeb 12 hours ago.

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    The Karis Group, an Austin, Texas based company, announced today that it has selected Zachery “Zac” Jiwa as its new President & Chief Executive Officer effective immediately.

    AUSTIN, Texas (PRWEB) January 10, 2019

    The Karis Group, an Austin, Texas based company, announced today that it has selected Zachery “Zac” Jiwa as its new President & Chief Executive Officer effective immediately. Mr. Jiwa succeeds the past Chief Executive Officer, Mike Martin, who retired from the company in December after 9 years of service. The transition was announced as part of an orderly succession plan and transition of leadership at the 22-year old company and employer of choice in the Austin community.

    “We are blessed to have someone of Zac’s caliber and experience assume the role of CEO and lead The Karis Group within the healthcare marketplace,” said Dr. Tony Dale, Founder and Board Chair. Dale continued “Zac is well-versed in the healthcare marketplace and a technology visionary with broad experience in business operations. He has a proven track record of execution and is an effective communicator who is team and client focused with exceptional leadership capabilities.”

    Mr. Martin, who has led the company since 2010, added, “I am pleased our succession plan has worked so well and the company is well prepared for its next chapter of growth. We are confident that Zac and our leadership team are very capable to grow the business and be great servants to our clients and customers throughout the U.S.”

    Prior to joining The Karis Group, Jiwa was founder and CEO of MI7, Inc. an Austin-based company focused on integrating electronic health records and clinical data systems. His distinguished career includes leadership roles at Microsoft’s Health Solutions Group, the State of Louisiana’s Department of Health and Hospitals and Children’s Hospital of Austin. Jiwa also served as an Innovation Fellow for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 2012 to 2014.

    About The Karis Group

    The Karis Group, Inc. is an Austin, Texas-based company founded in 1996. The organization is a leader in providing patient advocacy services through its trademarked Karis360 that saves its customers time, money, and especially reduce the frustration and chaos often associated with the healthcare marketplace. Moreover, the company specializes in providing churches and Christian schools across the U.S. with employee benefits options and alternatives for paying one’s medical bills without the use of health insurance through its trademarked Karis Health Choice services.

    From its offices in Austin, Texas, the company operates on a faith-based business model and sets aside 10% of its net income each month for serving a “higher purpose” in supporting ministries and missions around the world and charitable work in the Austin community. Learn more at: thekarisgroup.com. Reported by PRWeb 9 hours ago.

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    New state health insurance program will be good for school employees but a state budget challenge. Reported by Seattle Times 5 hours ago.

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    As Westmoreland Coal Co. tries to emerge from bankruptcy, union members from one of its mines are picketing at the company's headquarters in Englewood to protest efforts to cut retirees' health insurance and pensions. Reported by Denver Post 1 hour ago.

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    Basic health insurance for most affected federal workers will stay in effect, but circumstances are murkier for contractors. Reported by NPR 7 hours ago.

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    Four-center practice will provide primary, specialty care to Medicare Advantage customers

    PHILADELPHIA (PRWEB) January 14, 2019

    Cigna-HealthSpring’s Medicare Advantage (MA) customers in Philadelphia have a new option for their medical care with the addition of four Dedicated Senior Medical Centers (Dedicated) to their network, effective immediately.

    ChenMed has opened Dedicated practices in the Olney, North Philadelphia, Mayfair and West Philadelphia sections of the city, providing the access to care and convenience patients expect, including walk-in appointments; extended office visits; on-site specialists, labs, X-ray, echocardiograms, ultrasounds, and medication dispensing; as well as door-to-door transportation to those who need it. These centers are now available to customers in Cigna-HealthSpring’s Achieve (HMO SNP), Advantage (HMO), Alliance (HMO), Preferred (HMO), PreferredPlus (HMO) and TotalCare (HMO SNP) plans.

    Dedicated adheres to the ChenMed approach to high-touch care for Medicare-eligible seniors, that, according to the September American Journal of Managed Care, reduces hospital admissions by 50 percent; decreases health care costs by 28 percent; and improves patient use of preventive medications by up to 41 percent (see AJMC release and abstract). The peer-reviewed journal report shows that Dedicated helps MA customers, including those with major and multiple chronic conditions, enjoy more healthy days than MA customers served by standard medical practices.

    “As a customer-centric organization, we continue to seek relationships with physician and hospital systems that improve customer access to high-quality care,” said Thomas Kowalczyk, Cigna-HealthSpring’s market manager in Philadelphia. “ChenMed’s approach to personalized care has shown to help their patients receive the results-driven care they need when they need it.”

    Gaurov Dayal, M.D., ChenMed president, new markets and chief growth officer, said, “Our primary care physicians are able to invest substantively more time with patients, because their patient panels average just one-fifth the national average for general and family practitioners. Instead of the U.S. average of one PCP to 2,300 patients, Dedicated PCPs serve a maximum of just 400 to 450 patients. And, it’s the power of MA plans, like those offered by Cigna, that enables us to earn the trust needed to truly transform care for seniors.”

    All Cigna products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Cigna HealthCare of South Carolina, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Georgia, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of St. Louis, Inc., HealthSpring Life & Health Insurance Company, Inc., HealthSpring of Florida, Inc., Bravo Health Mid-Atlantic, Inc., and Bravo Health Pennsylvania, Inc. The Cigna name, logos, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. Call 1-800-668-3813 (TTY 711) for more information. Cigna-HealthSpring complies with applicable federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. Cigna-HealthSpring cumple con las layes federales de derechos civiles aplicables y no discrimina por motivos de raza, color, nacionalidad, edad, discapacidad o sexo. English: ATTENTION: If you speak English, language assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-800-668-3813 (TTY 711). Spanish: ATENCIÓN: Si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-800-668-3813 (TTY 711). Chinese: 注意:如果您使用繁體/中文,您可以免費獲得語言援助服務 請致電 1-800-668-3813 (TTY 711). Other providers are available in our network. Cigna-HealthSpring is contracted with Medicare for PDP plans, HMO and PPO plans in select states, and with select State Medicaid programs. Enrollment in Cigna depends on contract renewal.

    About Cigna-HealthSpring
    Cigna-HealthSpring is a health services company committed to helping Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries live healthier, more active lives through personalized, affordable and easy-to-use health care solutions. Cigna-HealthSpring offers a variety of options and services to support healthy aging and meet customers’ individual health care needs through personal attention, wellness and preventive care.

    About Dedicated and ChenMed
    Dedicated operates four primary care medical practices serving seniors in diverse Philadelphia communities (Mayfair, North Philadelphia, Olney and West Philadelphia). Dedicated brings concierge-style medicine — and better health outcomes — to the neediest populations, as evidenced by a five-year report (see release; report) comparing ChenMed outcomes against quality measures reported by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. The value-based care provider primarily serves seniors with low-to-moderate incomes, most of whom are managing multiple chronic conditions.

    Dedicated’s (ChenMed’s) mission is to honor seniors with affordable VIP care that delivers better health. To do that, Dedicated relies on innovative technology and a talented, resourceful, and compassionate team of providers. Founded by Dr. James Chen, a Taiwanese immigrant and cancer survivor, ChenMed operates more than 50 medical centers in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Well-known ChenMed brands also include Chen Senior Medical Center and JenCare Senior Medical Center. Reported by PRWeb 2 hours ago.

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    Five-center practice will provide primary, specialty care to Medicare Advantage customers

    CHICAGO (PRWEB) January 14, 2019

    Cigna-HealthSpring’s Medicare Advantage (MA) customers in Chicago’s South suburbs and Southside communities have a new option for their medical care with the addition of JenCare Senior Medical Centers to their network, effective immediately.

    JenCare operates five centers in Chicagoland providing the access to care and convenience patients expect, including walk-in appointments, expanded hours, expansive office visits, medication dispensing and even door-to-door transportation to those who need it. These centers will be available to customers in Cigna-HealthSpring’s Advantage (HMO), Premier (HMO-POS) and Primary (HMO) plans.

    JenCare adheres to the ChenMed approach to high-touch care for Medicare-eligible seniors, that, according to the September American Journal of Managed Care, reduces hospital admissions by 50 percent; decreases health care costs by 28 percent; and improves patient use of preventive medications by up to 41 percent (see AJMC release and abstract). The peer-reviewed journal report shows that JenCare helps MA customers, including those with major and multiple chronic conditions, enjoy more healthy days than MA customers served by standard medical practices.

    “As a customer-centric organization, we continue to seek relationships with physician and hospital systems that improve customer access to high-quality care,” said Dr. Stanley Borg, senior medical director with Cigna-HealthSpring in Illinois. “JenCare’s approach to personalized care has shown to help their patients receive the results-driven care they need when they need it.”

    “By focusing on delivering quality and armed with the support of carriers like Cigna-HealthSpring, our physicians can provide more time for each patient, which helps earn patient trust,” explained Len Scarpinato, DO, MS, FACP, FAAFP, JenCare Illinois chief medical officer. “Care driven by what works best for the patient makes a real difference in their health and well-being.”

    JenCare Chicago primary care physicians (PCPs) share their cell phone numbers with their patients. They encourage calls and texts anytime, and they welcome walk-in appointments.

    All Cigna products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Cigna HealthCare of South Carolina, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Georgia, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of St. Louis, Inc., HealthSpring Life & Health Insurance Company, Inc., HealthSpring of Florida, Inc., Bravo Health Mid-Atlantic, Inc., and Bravo Health Pennsylvania, Inc. The Cigna name, logos, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. Cigna-HealthSpring complies with applicable federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. Cigna-HealthSpring cumple con las layes federales de derechos civiles aplicables y no discrimina por motivos de raza, color, nacionalidad, edad, discapacidad o sexo. English: ATTENTION: If you speak English, language assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-800-668-3813 (TTY 711). Spanish: ATENCIÓN: Si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-800-668-3813 (TTY 711). Chinese: 注意:如果您使用繁體/中文,您可以免費獲得語言援助服務 請致電 1-800-668-3813 (TTY 711). Other providers are available in our network. Cigna-HealthSpring is contracted with Medicare for PDP plans, HMO and PPO plans in select states, and with select state Medicaid programs. Enrollment in Cigna-HealthSpring depends on contract renewal.

    About Cigna-HealthSpring
    Cigna-HealthSpring is a health services company committed to helping Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries live healthier, more active lives through personalized, affordable and easy-to-use health care solutions. Cigna-HealthSpring offers a variety of options and services to support healthy aging and meet customers' individual health care needs through personal attention, wellness and preventive care.

    About JenCare Senior Medical Centers
    JenCare operates five primary care medical practices serving seniors in diverse South Chicago communities (Ashburn, Berwyn, Glenwood, Jeffery Manor and Oak Lawn). JenCare brings concierge-style medicine — and better health outcomes — to the neediest populations, as evidenced by a five-year report (see release; report) comparing ChenMed outcomes against quality measures reported by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. The value-based care provider primarily serves seniors with low-to-moderate incomes, most of whom are managing multiple chronic conditions.

    JenCare’s (ChenMed’s) mission is to honor seniors with affordable VIP care that delivers better health. To do that, JenCare relies on innovative technology and a talented, resourceful, and compassionate team of providers. Founded by Dr. James Chen, a Taiwanese immigrant and cancer survivor, ChenMed operates more than 50 medical centers in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Well-known ChenMed brands also include Chen Senior Medical Center and Dedicated Senior Medical Center. Reported by PRWeb 2 hours ago.

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    Newest ez1095 2018 ACA software supports in-house processing for much faster results. Test drive with no obligation at halfpricesoft.com.

    NEW YORK (PRWEB) January 14, 2019

    Regardless of size, all employers that provide self-insured health coverage to employees must file an annual return, reporting certain information for each employee covered. Halfpricesoft.com announces the easier, in-house processing of ACA forms with ez1095 ACA software. The 1095C, 1094C, 1095B and 1094B forms for the upcoming tax season have been implemented and approved by the SSA to print on plain white paper for those wanting to print instead of efiling.

    “ez1095 2018 software is an excellent choice for saving time and money when processing of ACA forms, in-house.” said Dr. Ge, the Founder of Halfpricesoft.com.

    ez1095 software offers customers a user-friendly graphic interface and Windows menus to make the software quick and easy to set up, use and understand. Priced from just $195 per installation, ($295 for efile version)

    Customers that need to file Form 1095C, 1094C, 1095B and 1094B can download and try out this ACA software from halfpricsoft.com before purchasing with no obligation by visiting http://www.halfpricesoft.com/aca-1095/form-1095-software-free-download.asp

    The main features include but are not limited to :· Fast data import feature
    · Print Form 1095 C: Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Insurance
    · Print Form 1094 C: Transmittal of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Returns
    · Print Form 1095-B: Health Coverage
    · Print Form 1094-B: Transmittal of Health Coverage Information Return
    · Print ACA Form 1095-C, 1094-C, 1095-B and 1094-B on white paper for recipients and IRS with inkjet or laser printer.
    · PDF print 1095-C and 1095-B recipient copies
    · Efile version available at additional cost.
    · Support unlimited companies.
    · Support unlimited number of recipients.
    · Print unlimited number of 1095 and 1094 forms.

    ez1095 software is compatible Windows 10, 8.1, 8, and 7. Designed with simplicity in mind, ez1095 software is easy to use and flexible. ez1095 software’s graphical interface leads customers step-by-step through setting up company, adding employees, add forms and print forms. Customers can also click form level help links to get more details regarding the software.

    To learn more about ez1095 ACA software, customers can visit http://www.halfpricesoft.com/aca-1095/aca-1095-software.asp

    About halfpricesoft.com
    Halfpricesoft.com is a leading provider of small business software, including online and desktop payroll software, online employee attendance tracking software, accounting software, in-house business and personal check printing software, W2, software, 1099 software, Accounting software, 1095 form software and ezACH direct deposit software. Software from halfpricesoft.com is trusted by thousands of customers and will help small business owners simplify payroll processing and streamline business management. Reported by PRWeb 4 minutes ago.

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    FMCA, an international organization for RV owners, has announced the addition of Hankook Tires to its popular tire savings program.

    CINCINNATI (PRWEB) January 14, 2019

    FMCA, an international organization for RV owners, has announced the addition of Hankook Tires to its popular tire savings program. The Hankook Travelers Club offers FMCA members discounted rates on RV, light truck, and passenger car tires.

    “We are excited to add Hankook to the lineup of tires FMCA members can purchase via our tire savings program,” FMCA national president Jon Walker said. “Countless FMCA members have shared with us how they have saved significant sums of money when purchasing tires from the current providers, and it’s nice to provide another option.”

    Tires are a critical component of any vehicle, and they can be a costly expenditure. The FMCA program also provides special rates on motorhome, light truck, and passenger car tires from Michelin and RV tires from Continental. With Hankook added to the mix, members now have several brands from which to choose.

    Members can buy tires at the program price at any participating commercial Michelin, Continental, or Hankook RV tire dealer across the United States. This comes in especially handy when a tire emergency occurs while traveling in an RV.

    For more information about the FMCA Tire Savings Program, visit FMCA.com/rv-tires-discounts or call FMCA at (800) 543-3622.

    ABOUT FMCA: ENHANCING THE RV LIFESTYLE
    FMCA is an international organization for families who own and enjoy the use of self-contained recreation vehicles (RVs). The association maintains its national headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently has more than 75,000 active member families. FMCA offers its members a number of benefits, including a subscription to its monthly magazine, Family RVing; a medical emergency and travel assistance program valued at $105 per family; a tire savings program; group rates on a roadside assistance program, RV and auto insurance, and health insurance; discounted rates for RV tours and caravans; and discounts on mobile internet access plans from Verizon and Sprint. Perhaps the most important benefit of FMCA membership is the camaraderie and friendships that develop among people enjoying the common interest of RV travel. The organization can be reached at (513) 474-3622 or (800) 543-3622 and on the web at FMCA.com. Reported by PRWeb 4 minutes ago.

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    FMCA, an international organization for RV owners, has announced the addition of Hankook Tire to its popular tire savings program.

    CINCINNATI (PRWEB) January 14, 2019

    FMCA, an international organization for RV owners, has announced the addition of Hankook Tire to its popular tire savings program. The Hankook Travelers Club offers FMCA members discounted rates on RV, light truck, and passenger car tires.

    “We are excited to add Hankook to the lineup of tires FMCA members can purchase via our tire savings program,” FMCA national president Jon Walker said. “Countless FMCA members have shared with us how they have saved significant sums of money when purchasing tires from the current providers, and it’s nice to provide another option.”

    Tires are a critical component of any vehicle, and they can be a costly expenditure. The FMCA program also provides special rates on motorhome, light truck, and passenger car tires from Michelin and RV tires from Continental. With Hankook added to the mix, members now have several brands from which to choose.

    Members can buy tires at the program price at any participating commercial Michelin, Continental, or Hankook RV tire dealer across the United States. This comes in especially handy when a tire emergency occurs while traveling in an RV.

    For more information about the FMCA Tire Savings Program, visit FMCA.com/rv-tires-discounts or call FMCA at (800) 543-3622.

    ABOUT FMCA: ENHANCING THE RV LIFESTYLE
    FMCA is an international organization for families who own and enjoy the use of self-contained recreation vehicles (RVs). The association maintains its national headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently has more than 75,000 active member families. FMCA offers its members a number of benefits, including a subscription to its monthly magazine, Family RVing; a medical emergency and travel assistance program valued at $105 per family; a tire savings program; group rates on a roadside assistance program, RV and auto insurance, and health insurance; discounted rates for RV tours and caravans; and discounts on mobile internet access plans from Verizon and Sprint. Perhaps the most important benefit of FMCA membership is the camaraderie and friendships that develop among people enjoying the common interest of RV travel. The organization can be reached at (513) 474-3622 or (800) 543-3622 and on the web at FMCA.com. Reported by PRWeb 15 hours ago.

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    A Simultaneous Rollout of XchangePoint at two of the locations will support medication optimization across care transitions

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (PRWEB) January 15, 2019

    PharmaPoin t is proud to announce that St. Joseph’s Health will open point of care pharmacies on three campuses in 2019. XchangePoint, PharmaPoint’s integrated workflow management system supporting medication optimization across care transitions, will also roll out at the St. Joseph's outpatient pharmacy locations.

    XchangePoint is designed to connect the physician, pharmacy, health insurance companies and other clinical systems utilizing integrated information to ensure better patient outcomes and satisfaction. The integration is key in order to provide effective bedside programs, medication reconciliation, post follow-up and coordinated transition care.

    “We are proud to partner with St. Joseph’s Health,” says Mike Plaia, PharmaPoint CEO. “They are recognized as one of New Jersey’s - and the New York metropolitan area’s – most respected healthcare providers. The vision to understand and respond to the needs of their communities, leverage the strengths of their system, provide a transformational healing presence and collaborate with others who share their values, is why this system continues to evolve to best meet patient needs.”

    About PharmaPoint
    PharmaPoint is an innovative, technology-enabled pharmacy management and software company. Through the management of outpatient retail pharmacies for hospitals, health systems and physician groups, our commitment to completing the care continuum results in improved patient health and satisfaction, reduced healthcare costs, and provides clients with a source of ancillary income. Additionally, XchangePoint, our proprietary integrated workflow management system supporting medication management across care transitions, is designed for pharmacy and care team members to drive medication optimization for at-risk patients in the acute, post-acute and ambulatory care settings. PharmaPoint has been recognized as one of the most innovative, inspiring and fastest growing private companies for six consecutive years (2013-2018) by Inc. Magazine. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., we are currently managing pharmacies across the United States. For more information about our company, please visit http://www.pharmapoint.com.

    #### Reported by PRWeb 2 hours ago.

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    Freedom Healthworks Expands Access to Direct Primary Care with New Practice

    INDIANAPOLIS (PRWEB) January 15, 2019

    With two decades of medical experience, Dr. Richard Schuster, D.O., has announced the opening of his new Direct Primary Care practice, Schuster Family Medicine and Osteopathic Manual Medicine, where he will focus on enhanced access and healthcare options for his patients. The new practice was built and launched in partnership with Freedom Healthworks, which has helped open and grow nearly a dozen DPC practices in the Midwest. Schuster Family Medicine and Osteopathic Manual Medicine, located in Indianapolis, will offer patients convenient, unrushed, accessible care at a flat, monthly fee without involving the red tape related to working with health insurance.

    “My practice offers a rare combination of direct primary care medicine and musculoskeletal care in a format that is affordable and accessible to most people,” said Dr. Richard Schuster. “The best part of practicing medicine the way I do is seeing someone improve and grow, and I want to do that by providing quality, affordable health care and osteopathic manual medicine to my patients.”

    Most recently, Dr. Schuster practiced within a well-known regional hospital system that had grown too large to provide the personalized service and deep healing common with direct primary care. Dr. Schuster’s passion for medicine and primary care began more than two decades ago, as the result of enduring a handful of personal injuries. During the healing process, he found a love for osteopathic medicine, completing his bachelor's degree at Kenyon College and his DO at the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

    “Dr. Schuster cares deeply for the welfare of his patients, and believes in healing them by improving their overall functionality instead of merely treating their symptoms,” said Adam Habig, president and co-founder of Freedom Healthworks. “Incorporating the Direct Primary Care element into his practice, Dr. Schuster is choosing an ideal way to enhance the health of his patients, in both the short and long run.”

    The launch of Schuster Family Medicine and Osteopathic Manual Medicine was aided by Freedom Healthworks, which empowers physicians to open their dream DPC practice while enabling patients to find a physician that best suits their needs for a clear, monthly price. As a result, under the DPC model, patients reserve their insurance for large, unforeseen expenses like specialty physician visits and hospitalizations. DPC Physicians serve fewer patients in order to deliver personal, unrushed, focused care to each. Visits are on time, last as long as necessary, (usually between 30 minutes to an hour), and care is available whenever needed, in person or , remotely by text, phone, email, and digital apps.
    Dr. Schuster’s office is located at 6117 Allisonville Road In Indianapolis, Indiana. More information about his practice can be found at: SchusterFamilyMedicine.com.

    More information on Freedom Healthworks can be found at: http://www.FreedomHealthworks.com.

    ABOUT FREEDOM HEALTHWORKS
    Freedom Healthworks, based in Indianapolis, propels the launch, growth and success of independent, Direct Primary Care (DPC) practices nationwide. By liberating physicians to serve their patients instead of insurance companies, Freedom Healthworks enables consumers frustrated by healthcare’s high cost and poor access to purchase excellent, affordable medical care from private physicians they know and trust. Freedom Healthworks was founded to help DPC physicians provide better access to high quality care while maintaining a healthy work-life balance free from the burnout plaguing the medical community. More information about Freedom Healthworks can be found at http://www.FreedomHealthworks.com. Reported by PRWeb 35 minutes ago.

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    A federal judge temporarily blocked a revised set of Trump administration rules allowing employers with religious or moral objections to opt out of providing their workers with health insurance that covers birth control. Reported by Wall Street Journal 4 hours ago.

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    Chow & Kleyne Discover Power of Water® on The Sharon Kleyne Hour Water Life Science®/Nature’s Pharma®, The Power of Water® & Your Health sponsored by Nature’s Tears® EyeMist®. Chow & Kleyne Research Global Healing Alliance & Affordable Insurance for Health.

    GRANTS PASS, Ore. (PRWEB) January 15, 2019

    Death. That’s what awaits you if you do not drink enough water every day.

    That’s the message American Qigong Grand Master Dame Dr. Effie Chow, Ph.D., wanted to get across as she recently returned to talk with Water Life Science® creator Sharon Kleyne on Kleyne’s nationally syndicated weekly radio program, The Sharon Kleyne Hour Water Life Science®/Nature’s Pharma®, The Power of Water® & Your Health sponsored by Nature’s Tears® EyeMist® on VoiceAmerica produced by Rose Hong, founder/director of Global Dragon TV in Washington, D.C.

    In her opening remarks, Water Life Science® host Kleyne taught her listeners that “water is vital. Water is life. Water is who you are. Water Life Science® is the subject of this radio show every week.” You are nothing without water! You cannot live without the Power of Water®, the natural mystery of water, the water of water!

    As she drove home this critical truth, Water Life Science® advocate Kleyne announced that she was going to begin to involve insurance companies in the ongoing research and discussion, encouraging them to become involved in Water Life Science®, water education and alternative medicine. “If the insurance companies become more involved,” said Water Life Science® practitioner Kleyne, “they will save a lot of money, people will be healthier and live happier lives, and the world’s water crisis will be addressed in a positive way.”

    “Water is so important,” Chow agreed. An energy healer, acupuncturist, humanitarian, international speaker, Futurist and Visionary, Chow has spent more than 40 years integrating traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Qigong with western medicine. Through the Chow Healing System, Chow works with students and patients to improve posture, breath, diet, sleep and emotions. Chow proudly points to the fact that alternative medicine has now been integrated in all medical schools in the U.S. and Canada.

    ‘Still,” Chow added, “there is far to go in Power of Water® education.” Chow and Kleyne discussed big step in the right direction, Chow’s Global Healing Alliance, through which Chow is also trying to find more affordable health insurance for people who could benefit from alternative medicine. “Too much alternative therapy is not covered by insurance,” said Chow. “People become trapped on a healthcare see-saw. A patient comes to alternative medicine but can only afford a few treatments. They start to feel better, but then must go back to western medicine. Soon, they feel sick again and come back for a little more alternative medicine. This goes on and on.”

    Chow described how she has dynamically helped many patients discover improved health by increasing the amount of water they drink on a daily basis. She dramatically told the story of treating one woman and preventing a heart attack because she convinced the woman to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. A similar regimen saved and improved the life of an older man who had suffered a debilitating stroke.

    Water Life Science® researcher Kleyne added that people who care about their health and quality of life should drink 8 to 10 glasses of water every day. She added that people should drink the water one glass entirely at a time rather than sipping. “Sipping does not deliver maximum absorption!” Kleyne warned.

    For eager listeners willing to learn and live longer, healthier lives, Chow described alternative medicine in this way. “Qigong is the umbrella, the grandmother. Underneath Qigong one finds the martial arts, such as Tai Chi and other practices. There is also the system of traditional Chinese medicine, meditation, posture and breath exercises.” Chow also recommends touch and three good belly laughs a day for happier minds and healthy bodies.

    *

    If you would like to listen to the program featuring international healer Dame Dr. Effie Chow, Ph.D. and Water Life Science® educator Sharon Kleyne talking about the global water crisis, the importance of drinking enough pure water for health, Qigong and healing, please follow this link: https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/112360/global-healing-requires-global-healing-alliance

    Date aired: January 7th, 2019
    Guest: Dame Dr. Effie Chow, Ph.D., Bay Area Reported by PRWeb 23 hours ago.

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    Small Businesses Can Instantly Quote Health Insurance, Search and Compare Plans, and Access Expert Licensed Brokers

    NEW YORK (PRWEB) January 15, 2019

    Wellthie, a technology company modernizing insurance distribution, has launched a new, nationwide, online health insurance marketplace for small businesses to instantly and effortlessly search and compare health insurance costs and options. The new health insurance marketplace allows small business owners to view thousands of medical, dental and vision products with various budget ranges across hundreds of carriers throughout the country. At any stage in the searching and shopping process, users can instantly connect with a licensed broker who can expertly guide them through the purchase and enrollment in the plan(s) of their choice.

    Wellthie’s marketplace is fast, easy-to-use and transparent. Small business owners are pressed for time and budget, and with Wellthie’s new health insurance marketplace they can find the best plan options at any hour, without delay. By simply entering their zip code and the birthdates of their employees, they will be able to search, compare and understand benefits costs and options in mere minutes instead of waiting on a callback. Given the high-value purchase of employee benefits, Wellthie offers tools, education, and the immediate support of an expert, licensed broker via live chat, email, or phone to help small business owners through the shopping and purchase decision.

    “Small businesses want both the ease and convenience of researching and shopping online, while also having the support of expert brokers because they are buying an important and valuable benefit for their employees. The Wellthie experience uniquely offers both,” said Sally Poblete, Founder and CEO of Wellthie.

    Wellthie was recently recognized as an Insurtech 100 technology pioneer transforming the global insurance industry. Wellthie leverages their team’s deep domain expertise in insurance and technology to aggregate vast amounts of data and provides a simple and easy experience for users. Wellthie has partnered with innovative carriers and brokers nationally to modernize insurance distribution.

    About Wellthie
    Wellthie is a venture-backed InsurTech firm helping to modernize the insurance shopping experience, offering the first and only national small group benefits marketplace designed to help carriers maximize product distribution, small businesses find health insurance online and brokers optimize small group sales. Visit https://wellthie.com/smallbusiness/ to learn more. Reported by PRWeb 20 hours ago.

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    Here is just a starting list of true national emergencies: the opioid epidemic; homelessness; failure to provide adequate health insurance to all Americans; the incarceration rate of African-American males; failure to provide a minimum family wage to all working Americans; 40 percent of Americans not having at least $400 for emergencies; gun violence in our […] Reported by Seattle Times 11 hours ago.

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    Walgreens is forging alliances with tech giants like Microsoft as it prepares for war with Amazon (WBA, MSFT)· Walgreens, one of the largest pharmacy chains in the US, is up against stiff competition as rivals like CVS Health strike deals and Amazon looms.
    · As a defensive move, Walgreens has taken a partnership approach, forging alliances rather than doing outright takeovers. On Tuesday, Walgreens reached another such deal with Microsoft. In December, it partnered with Alphabet's life sciences arm Verily.
    · We spoke to Walgreens CEO Stefano Pessina about why the changing power of the consumer is driving his approach to partnerships with grocery stores, health plans, and now tech giants. 

    In the not-so-distant future, on the shelves of Walgreens stores alongside headache pills, lotions and snacks, you might start to see products from tech giants like Microsoft.

    On Tuesday, the retail pharmacy chain announced a partnership with Microsoft. It comes just a few weeks after Walgreens made a deal with fellow tech giant Alphabet's life sciences arm Verily and after a few years of striking partnerships with everyone from grocery stores to health plans to beauty subscription boxes.

    Microsoft will be Walgreens' cloud partner, meaning Microsoft will be in charge of managing Walgreens' data storage. and Walgreens employees will now use Microsoft 365 for their office software. For consumers, Microsoft and Walgreens plan to test out health offerings, including 12 pilot "digital health corners" in stores. 

    Walgreens CEO Stefano Pessina told Business Insider on Tuesday that Walgreens ultimately picked Microsoft because it was willing to treat Walgreens as a partner rather than as a customer. 

    The partnerships are an integral part of Walgreens' strategy to stay competitive as it faces stiff competition for customers. Walgreens is facing off against Amazon, which is getting into the pharmacy business through its acquisition of the online pharmacy PillPack; CVS Health, which is making a big bet on the healthcare aspect of its business through the acquisition of the insurer Aetna; and, of course, retail giant Walmart.

    Elsewhere in healthcare, the lines are blurring after health insurer Cigna acquired pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts. 

    Pessina's bet: Walgreens will have to be the place where consumers choose to go as they start to gain more power over their healthcare spending. 

    "At the end, the consumer will be in charge much more than today," Pessina told Business Insider. "They will increase their power and they will be the final decider more than today."

    He predicted that the power of insurers and pharmacy-benefit managers will diminish, as consumers increasingly choose where to purchase healthcare for themselves.

    *Read more: *The man who predicted that Amazon would buy Whole Foods now expects the tech giant will soon be the world's fastest-growing healthcare company

    *The partnership strategy*

    About three years ago, Pessina and his team realized that the pharmacy business would start to require the company to perform more functions in healthcare. But instead of buying companies outright, Walgreens decided to take a partnership approach.

    "We have always been positive on vertical integration," Pessina said. But integrating fully in the way Cigna-Express Scripts or CVS-Aetna did wasn't a possibility for Walgreens. "We realized that we could not integrate in the space. The conditions were too expensive."

    Eventually, Pessina said, the plan was to patern with technology companies as well. So far, Walgreens has partnered with health plans like UnitedHealth Group and Humana, laboratory testing company LabCorp, grocery store Kroger, beauty subscription box service Birchbox, and delivery service FedEx.

    With Verily, the plan is to offer a "virtual diabetes program" from Onduo, the joint venture between Verily and Sanofi, to Walgreens employees. It also makes Walgreens a commercialization partner for Verily, meaning that Walgreens would be the store that carries products Verily eventually develops.

    Verily has been working to understand the aspects of diabetes management that don't take place inside the hospital, the company's top doctor told Business Insider last week. 

    "It's about how do you close the loop and get people on the right medications," Verily Chief Medical Officer Jessica Mega said in an interview on the sidelines of the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco in January. "Really understanding that piece of the pie is important."

    *Subscribe to Dispensed, our weekly newsletter on pharma, biotech, and healthcare.*

    Mega said Verily's plan is to partner with companies beyond Walgreens as well.

    Pessina said that before signing the partnerships with Microsoft and the Alphabet unit, he made sure he was clear that his intention was to work with both of them.

    "They are for an open solution," Pessina said. "Because only one will not be able to offer the complete solution to customers, to be really able to take care of their health in a comprehensive way. "

    *'Digital health corners' and connecting data *

    As part of the Microsoft deal, Walgreens will set up pilot "digital health corners" where it will sell consumer health devices and software for tracking weight and exercise. They'll be staffed by an advisor who can coach customers on the products or help them interpret any confusing data. 

    The spaces will also serve as a space to manage chronic conditions, such as diabetes, or help make sure a patient understands how to use a particular medication. 

    The spaces could be similar to CVS Health's upcoming health hubs, which incorporate clinical services and blood work, as well as a "care concierge" to help customers better understand their health insurance or wellness devices. 

    Ideally, Pessina said, the plan would be to link the data each partner collects and use it to make patients healthier. For example, should a patient with diabetes or high blood pressure consent to have his or her data shared, Walgreens might be able to get insights into the groceries they're buying at its partner Kroger. 

    "We could give them enormous support because when they eat something that is not particularly healthy for them," Pessina said. That way, Walgreens and its partners could work together to find personalized ways to help a particular patient manage his or her condition. 

    With the Microsoft partnership in place, Pessina said Walgreens now has the tools to get started on the next challenge: building out the pharmacy of the future. 

    "Now we are ready, we have the platform on which we can now build this new evolution of our company," Pessina said. 

    · *Read more:*
    · We talked to the top scientist at Alphabet's life-sciences company about the common thread uniting all its seemingly random health projects — and how she plans to spend $1 billion
    · Walgreens is doubling down on Amazon's key strength, and it could change the way you get your prescriptions
    · CVS Health just revealed a key piece of its plan to change how Americans get healthcare
    · We got 6 big predictions about how Amazon could disrupt healthcare from execs in the tech giant's backyard

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here's how many children you can have in a lifetime Reported by Business Insider 21 hours ago.

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    If nothing else, the addition of ECG/EKG reinforced Apple’s commitment to evolving the Watch into a serious medical device. The company has long looked to bring its best selling wearable to various health insurance platforms, and according to a new report, it’s reaching out to multiple private Medicare plans in hopes of subsidizing the product. […] Reported by TechCrunch 14 hours ago.