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A flood of surprise hospital bills could start arriving in U.S. mailboxes as early as January unless two giant for-profit health care companies resolve a dispute over whether thousands of doctors remain in patients' insurance networks.
America's biggest health insurer, UnitedHealthcare, is pitted against one of the country's largest employers of doctors, Envision Healthcare, in a massive contract fight over prices that Envision's 25,000 emergency doctors, anesthesiologists and other hospital-based clinicians charge.
Insurance Business Magazine
While more states take a look at legalizing marijuana, the cannabis insurance market is expanding to meet the insurance needs of this growing sector, though the availability of insurance products for cannabis businesses is still limited, according to one expert.
"There are a lot of carriers that seem to want to dip their toes into this space, but are cautious given the stigma around it being federally illegal," said Kevin Maher, senior underwriter at Canopius Group and a speaker at the Cannabis Cover Masterclass Los Angeles in March 2019.
Health Payer Intelligence
Workers and their families are spending a larger share of their income on their employer-sponsored health plans, according to a new study from the Commonwealth Fund.
Coauthored by Sara Collins, Vice President of Health Care Coverage and Access at The Commonwealth Fund, and David Radley, PhD, a senior scientist for The Commonwealth Fund's Tracking Health System Performance program, the study used the latest data from the federal Medical Expenditure Panel Survey–Insurance/Employer Component to examine trends in employer premiums at the state level.
As the state health exchange enters the final week of this year's open enrollment, Marylanders appear more interested in buying health insurance than many other Americans.
The number of people buying private policies through the state's online marketplace created under the Affordable Care Act is up a bit, while enrollment on the federal exchange that serves 39 states is down 11 percent.
Raquel Cruz has a lot of stress in her life. A single mother of three daughters, she is the manager of a small health clinic and is going to school full-time for an education degree.
But her biggest stressor is worrying about health insurance.
Cruz, 47, of Pharr, TX, makes about $30,000 a year and cannot afford the insurance offered by the pain management office where she works.
Her oldest daughters, college students, also have no insurance. Her youngest daughter, Korrie Cantu, is 17, young enough to receive coverage through the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, a federal program for low-income families who make too much to qualify for Medicaid.
Health IT Analytics
Big data analytics is a top priority for the majority of healthcare payers in 2019, but relatively few feel adequately prepared to succeed with becoming data-driven organizations, according to a new poll from North Highland.
Eighty-three percent of payers participating in the survey believe analytics is an important strategic priority for the upcoming year, but only 17 percent are confident that they have the skills, technologies, and processes in place to truly leverage health data effectively.
Just 38 percent believe their data analytics problems are easy to solve.
Chubb, a property and casualty insurer, has introduced a new supplemental healthcare insurance product, which will repay consumers for qualifying out-of-pocket expenses.
Dubbed Gap Supplement Medical plan, the new offering addresses the problems of high co-payments and co-insurance associated with high-deductible health plans (HDHPs).
Healthcare Finance News
Blockchain brings at least three advantages to payers, according to Arun Ghosh, KPMG's blockchain leader.
First, it gives them the ability to keep a record of transactions.
Secondly, blockchain can be augmented to connect payers to the EHR.
And it can be used to automate time-consuming tasks, such as claims adjudication and prior authorization.
In the broader landscape, blockchain can connect payers not only with providers, but to distributors and pharmacists in an end-to-end transaction from the first encounter to post-op care.
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NAHU Newswire is a daily brief featuring the latest news of interest to healthcare agents and brokers, selected from thousands of sources by the editors of MultiView. NAHU personnel, in accordance with internal policies, do not approve all stories selected. Any comments regarding content of this publication should be emailed to NAHU. It should not be understood or inferred from the presence of advertisements that NAHU endorses any products or services advertised. Similarly, NAHU is not responsible for the quality of journalism reflected in the articles: it should not be understood or inferred that NAHU supports the information provided. MultiView and NAHU are not liable, for any delays or inaccuracies in the information contained in this brief, nor for any actions taken or outcomes resulting from relying on the information provided herein.
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