How is Plan Design Evolving Due to the Pandemic?

How is Plan Design Evolving Due to the Pandemic?

It’s that time of year again where companies are re-evaluating their healthcare plan designs to ensure they are as effective and efficient as possible.

According to Employee Benefit News, the COVID-19 pandemic has helped to shine a light on potential areas of improvement. 

Telehealth is one of the top concerns. Telehealth proved its necessity, and employers, now more than ever, understand the importance of its inclusion into plans. Being able to connect with doctors remotely for primary care as well as specialty care has been vital for the immunocompromised as well as healthy individuals. 

Another point of concern is integration. Do the employer’s systems all work together, or do they cause more confusion by creating too many touchpoints along the path to health?
Read more about EBN’s insights here

Innovative Diabetes Treatment Identified in Lab Mice

Innovative Diabetes Treatment Identified in Lab Mice

According to The Next Web, an innovative new treatment has been identified for lab mice with diabetes.

The cure involves using stem cells that are introduced into the body and begin producing the insulin that the pancreas cannot. 

The treatment for mice has been shown to last up to nine months.

According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 10% of the US population is currently living with a diabetes diagnosis. 

Read the full article here.

 

CMS Expands Telehealth Services

CMS Expands Telehealth Services

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, telehealth services are being offered by more physicians and hospitals than ever. With the goal of limiting the spread of the coronavirus, CMS is expanding acceptable uses on a “temporary and emergency basis.” The expansion announced on March 17  includes Nephrology services. 

Effective immediately, Nephrology outpatient office visits, individual and group education, transitional care, and more can be conducted via telemedicine.

Read the full article here.

If you’re interested in implementing a telemedicine benefit for your employees, learn more here or contact us today.

 

Reducing Healthcare Spending

Reducing Healthcare Spending

According to a recent news article by medicaleconomics.com, the US spends approximately $1.3 Trillion more on healthcare than the average country. The average being approximately 10.6 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). 

In order to approach this reduced level of spending without affecting the quality of care, a few shifts are required:

1 – Hospitals must be used only in life-threatening emergencies. Designing plans that encourage the use of primary care as a first-tier of support is key.

2 – Make care closer to home or work. Using technology to make appointments quicker and easier and creating more convenient care centers will help patients keep appointments without risking a loss of income. 

3 – Cost transparency. Making it easier for patients to understand what they’ll be charged and where their money will be most effectively spent is important to reduce overall spending.

4 – Ensuring pre- and post-care is obtained. Healthcare is an ongoing engagement and using technology to ensure that patients adhere to all necessary care can greatly reduce re-admissions and relapses. 

Read the full article here.

If you want to learn more about leveraging these tips with your healthcare plan, please contact us today to discuss the programs PEG Benefits has available for healthcare cost reduction. 

 

Where Does the Money Go?

Where Does the Money Go?

According to a recent article by Time magazine, Americans have the highest healthcare spending per person and the lowest life expectancy out of the six developed nations studied.

In an effort to see where the money goes, the article claims that in a privatized insurance system, most of the money goes to healthcare administration. 

While most employed adults get insurance through employer-sponsored plans and are happy with the coverage. The portion of expenses that their employer pays directly affects the wages and other benefits the employer is prepared to offer. 

Read the full article here.

Contact PEG Benefits today to learn how employers can reduce their healthcare spend so employers can put more of that money in their employee’s pockets.

Diabetes Study Underlines Importance of Fitness

Diabetes Study Underlines Importance of Fitness

As reported by Healio, overall fitness is more important than BMI. A recent study published in Diabetes Care found that diabetes patients that were physically fit had a lower mortality rate regardless of BMI. 

During the study, mortality rate was accessed over a period of ten years and studied over 8,000 adults with a median age of 57. Fitness was accessed via the Bruce protocol exercise treadmill test. 

This study underlines the importance of both chronic care management and wellness programs in the workplace.

Contact PEG Benefits today to learn more about implementing one or both of these programs in your organization. 

Read the full article here.

 

Administrative Costs Account for One-Third of Healthcare Spending

Administrative Costs Account for One-Third of Healthcare Spending

According to Revcycle Intelligence, administrative expenditures for healthcare were over $812 billion in 2017, accounting for over one-third of costs, according to this study by the Annals of Internal Medicine. 

The high administrative costs were attributed to inefficiencies in the multi-payer system, siting that Canada spent about half that on administrative costs.

Administrative spending has been on the rise since 1970.

  • Payers represented 9.6 percent of total expenditures by insurers and other third-party payers and 7.9 percent of national health expenditures.
  • Hospitals accounted for 26.6 percent.
  • Physician offices administrative costs also increased to over $169,000 for each physician.
  • US nursing homes came in at 26.7 percent.

Read the full article here. 

 

Prescription Drug Prices Skyrocket in 2019

Prescription Drug Prices Skyrocket in 2019

In a recent Consumer Reports article, the magazine reports that 30% of those taking a prescription drug reported a price increase in 2019. 

Why is this happening? A variety of factors, but here are a few: 

  1. There are currently no federal regulations that limit drug prices or price increases. 
  2. Middlemen continue to play a role in selling drugs. The more layers of profit between consumers and drug companies, the more money needs to be generated from consumer sales.
  3. Coverage reductions are also playing a part. With Employers looking to save money everywhere they can, prescription drug plans are often changed from year to year. 

Read the full article here.

 

2019’s Top Trends in Employee Benefits

2019’s Top Trends in Employee Benefits

Curious about the trends in employer-sponsored benefits? According to Benefits Pro, here are the trends of 2019. How does your company stack up?

Diversity in Plans

More and more, employees are given the option to choose from a variety of offered healthcare plans.

Further customizing the employee benefits experience, some employers are starting to give a core medical plan along with a budget of discretionary funds. Those funds can then be used to choose “add-on” coverages to build a customized solution that meets the treatment plans they desire.

HDHPs

High deductible health plans (HDHPs) are being offered by more and more companies. And, healthcare savings accounts are now being offered at 51% of all companies.

Voluntary Benefits

With high deductible plans becoming the norm, voluntary benefits are being offered frequently as a way to fill the perceived gap in coverage.

Wellness

There continues to be a high focus on wellness with employers trying to offset the cost of benefits by keeping their workforce healthy. Additionally, rewards such as reduced premiums or HSA account contributions are often being offered for healthful metrics.

Read the full article here.

 

 

Public Entities in Need of Relief From Rising Medical Costs

We have been providing Medicare Coordination services for early retirees for a state on the East Cost since 2007 and it continues to provide significant savings after almost 10 years. The latest projections revealed the following:

Savings in 2016:  $701,020.90

Estimated Future Savings from 2016: $5,042,159

Total Savings Since 2007: $72,082,833

Since 2007 we have saved this state over $72 million in health costs by shifting liability to Medicare!  These savings are scalable and relative—a city a tenth of the size of this state could experience over $7 million dollars in health care savings to their plans.  These are real savings that do not negatively impact the employees in any way.

Interested in learning more? Need literature or help in approaching a client?  Give me a shout!