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Obesity Now Classified as a Disease

From the National Business Coalition on Health: A new story in Benefits Pro describes the challenges employers face when employees are overweight or obese. Studies estimate compensating for obesity costs employers upward of $70 billion a year.  Possibly further upping those costs and complicating the issue is a decision this summer by the American Medical Association to classify obesity as a disease, elevating it from a condition.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Sunday, November 17, 2013 | 0 comments

Value-based Benefit Design AND Value-Based Payment Are Essential

National Business Coalition on Health: Over the past year, diverse policy centers and stakeholder coalitions including the Bipartisan Policy Center, Brookings Institution, The Commonwealth Fund, Kaiser Family Foundation, National Coalition on Health Care, Partnership for Sustainable Health Care, and Urban Institute presented plans for reforming the U.S. health care system.  In a recent JAMA analysis of proposals from these respected organizations, value-based insurance design and ... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Sunday, November 17, 2013 | 0 comments

Moving from Participation to Outcomes-Based Wellness Models

From the National Business Coalition on Health: In a new Employee Benefits News story , wellness consultant Dee Edington says companies seeking to make a business case for wellness are too quick to ditch participation-based programs for outcomes-based models and should wait until initiatives have a 70% participation rate and two to three years of data.  Consultant Cortney Rowan of Altitude said employers should create wellness incentives with the intent of measuring outcomes to... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Sunday, November 17, 2013 | 0 comments

New Employer Tool: Use of Biometric Screening in the Workplace

From the National Business Coalition on Health: Three national health organizations have published new guidance intended to help employers create more successful programs for gathering health-screening information from employees.  Known as “biometric screenings,” the gathering of such information — ranging from height and weight to blood pressure and cholesterol levels — can play a key role in an employer’s workplace wellness program.  The Health Enhancement Research Organization... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Sunday, November 17, 2013 | 0 comments

IRS Eases Restrictions on Flexible Spending Accounts

From the National Business Coalition on Health: IRS has announced that employers can allow FSA participants to carry up to $500 of their  balances into the next year — and it can be effective in plan year 2013.  Up until now, any money remaining in the account would have been forfeited. The added FSA flexibility is a response to comments from the public about the challenge of accurately predicting medical expenses, especially for certain income levels, and the unnecessary... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Sunday, November 17, 2013 | 0 comments

Payment Change Improves Quality and Reduces Cost

From the National Business Coalition on Health: A new case study released by Catalyst for Payment Reform (CPR) with support from the Milbank Memorial Fund shares the story of South Carolina’s Birth Outcomes Initiative (BOI). This is a great example of how changing payment policies resulted in quality improvements as well as cost savings. Payment policies are a strong motivator for provider change and must be part of our quality, safety, and affordability efforts in Memphis! The case... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Sunday, November 17, 2013 | 0 comments

Final Mental Health Parity Rules Published

From the National Business Coalition on Health: The Obama administration has released final rules for the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.  The law requires most health plans to provide more generous mental health coverage, comparable what they cover for physical illnesses.  Previously, insurers often charged higher co-pays or set stricter limits on mental health services.  The act doesn’t require employers to provide mental health coverage, but... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Sunday, November 17, 2013 | 0 comments


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