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Category: Health Policy

How NQF Matters in Memphis

From the desk of Cristie Upshaw Travis, CEO, Memphis Business Group on Health  As announced in early December 2016 , I am honored to have been elected to the Board of Directors of the National Quality Forum (NQF). Do you know how much the work of NQF matters in Memphis? For example: Today, over 300 NQF-endorsed measures are used in more than 20 federal programs. These measures and programs help determine the care that Memphis-area Medicare participants receive and how... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Tuesday, January 3, 2017 | 0 comments

MBGH CEO Elected to National Quality Forum Board of Directors

On December 3, 2016, The National Quality Forum (NQF) announced the appointment of Cristie Upshaw Travis, chief executive officer of the Memphis Business Group on Health, as well as two other new members to its Board of Directors: Jonathan Perlin, MD, PhD , president of clinical services and chief medical officer of HCA; and Jack Resneck, MD , professor and vice chair of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco. According to Travis, "I am honored to... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Tuesday, January 3, 2017 | 0 comments

5 Things Employers Would Change About the ACA

Given a magic wand, employers would make signficiant changes to the ACA. Here are the top 5 changes, according to John Barkett of Willis Towers Watson: Eliminate the Cadillac Tax Approve the Small Business Healthcare Relief Act Keep pushing health care delivery system reforms --- and enforcing anti-trust rules End the employer mandate Adopt provisions that better address the root causes of the high-cost of health care  Read John's article in Employee Benefit... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Friday, May 27, 2016 | 0 comments

MBGH Among National Leaders Participating in CMS/AHIP Core Quality Measures Collaborative

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), as part of a broad Core Quality Measures Collaborative of health care system participants, released seven sets of clinical quality measures on Tuesday, February 16, 2016 ( https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/QualityMeasures/Core-Measures.html ). This first set of core measures, used as basis for quality-based payments, were developed by a new... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Wednesday, February 17, 2016 | 0 comments

Is the Affordable Health Care Act Working?

From Brian Klepper, CEO of National Business Coalition on Health: The New York Times has published a major, multi-article piece , on different aspects of the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) performance.  Here's the overview: "After a year fully in place, the Affordable Care Act has largely succeeded in delivering on President Obama’s main promises, an analysis by a team of reporters and data researchers shows. But it has also fallen short in some ways and given rise to a powerful... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Tuesday, October 28, 2014 | 0 comments

IRS Releases Employer Shared Responsibility Proposed Rules

From the National Business Coalition on Health: On Friday, December 28, IRS published proposed regulations on the Employer Shared Responsibility ("pay or play") provisions of the ACA. Read on for details and click here for a summary from Buck Consultants. The document explains how to determine large employers who must offer workers affordable, minimum coverage. It also includes guidance on determining employees who qualify as full-time and assessing the fines large employers must pay... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Thursday, January 3, 2013 | 0 comments

Health Care Provisions in the Fiscal Cliff Deal

From the National Business Coalition on Health: Both the Senate and House have now passed a bill to avert the fiscal cliff, and the bill has been signed by the President. The bill deals mostly with the tax implications of the cliff, and not much with the scheduled automatic spending cuts to domestic programs - the "sequestration" - so there will be more to come from Congress. But the personal income tax provisions, although dominating the news, were not the only provisions included in the... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Thursday, January 3, 2013 | 0 comments

Catch Up on What's Happening with Health Insurance Exchanges

Wonder what's going on with Health Insurance Exchanges, especially in Tennessee? The answer is that a lot has to happen very quickly for exchanges to be ready for open enrollment in the fall of 2013. HHS has extended the deadline for states to indicate their intention to establish a state-sponsored exchange until December 14, 2012. Click here to read Tennessee Governor Haslam's official response to this new deadline. Plus, as you know, employers have obligations to notify their... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Saturday, November 3, 2012 | 0 comments

New MBGH Member Benefit: Resolve Health Challenges with Other Employers Who Understand

Join us January 30, 2013 8:30-10:30 for our first meeting! Open to MBGH members and affiliates only. Register by email to ctravis@memphisbusinessgroup.org . You know other businesses face the same employee health and health benefit challenges as you. Instead of reinventing the wheel by yourself the next time one of these challenges arise, imagine being able to work collaboratively with these other businesses to arrive at creative solutions much more quickly. MBGH makes that... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Wednesday, October 10, 2012 | 0 comments

Survey Shows Increase in Consumerism

From the National Business Coalition on Health: Patients are morphing into health care consumers with growing use of technology for medical shopping and health engagement, according to a survey conducted by Altarum, the health services research organization. Virtually all (99%) of U.S. health citizens want to play a role in medical decisions about their care. However, consumers vary in just how much of that responsibility they want to assume: - 35% want to make the final decision with... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Tuesday, September 18, 2012 | 0 comments

How Long Will We Accept Preventable Medical Mistakes?

My heart breaks and then I get mad when I read about preventable medical mistakes, aka medical errors, causing so much pain and even loss of life for patients! When you read the full article below, you will see that in California (CA) at least 8 of the 14 hospitals cited have had penalties levied against them before. Why are these multiple-offenders allowed to stay open? Why do health plans continue to contract with these hospitals? Why do doctors continue to refer patients to these... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Friday, August 31, 2012 | 0 comments

Don’t Place Curbs on ‘Stop-Loss’ Insurance, GOP Lawmakers Tell Administration

Three Republican senators have warned the Obama administration not to place new limits on the issuance of “stop-loss” insurance, which employers purchase in order to operate self-insured health plans. A recent Federal Register notice issued by the Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services suggests that the agencies “may be considering actions to limit stop-loss coverage for small and medium plans, which would be outside the limits of the administration’s existing... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Monday, July 9, 2012 | 0 comments

Business as Usual for Employers After Supreme Court Upholds Health Reform

I have to admit that when we finally got the whole picture and the Supreme Court had upheld PPACA, it was a little anti-climactic Not because health reform itself is any less impactful, but because the employers I know have been moving forward with compliance and implementation assuming that health reform would stand and continue as the "law of the land". What else could they do? Waiting was just not an option as there was a lot of work to do. So, although the ruling itself was interesting... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Saturday, June 30, 2012 | 0 comments

New, More User-Friendly Health Reform Website from American Benefits Council

From the National Business Coalition on Health: The American Benefits Council, an important strategic partner of NBCH, has announced its new, more user-friendly website. The Health Care Reform issue page is now divided into its component pages, covering the wide variety of health reform issues addressed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). These individual topics are: § Employer Shared Responsibility § Market Reforms & Adult Child/Age-26 Coverage §... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Friday, May 4, 2012 | 0 comments

Will CFOs Play or Pay Under Healthcare Reform?

Click here for copy. Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Thursday, April 5, 2012 | 0 comments

Consumer Directed Health Plans Becoming Mainstream

MBGH attended the recent Memphis meeting presenting the results of the Annual Mercer National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans 2011. Although I had read the results when they were released in November 2011, at this meeting, I was particularly struck by the news about how employers are using Consumer Directed Health Plans (CDHPs) as shown by these survey results: 2011 saw the biggest year-over-year increase in CDHP offerings AND enrollment since 2007 for large... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Thursday, March 15, 2012 | 0 comments

Health Benefits Changes on the Horizon

Towers Watson/National Business Group on Health study finds health benefits changes are on the horizon. Although the rate of health care cost increases is expected to remain stable in 2012, employers are taking more aggressive steps to manage their rising costs and improve employee health, according to findings from the 2012 Towers Watson/National Business Group on Health (NBGH) Employer Survey on Purchasing Value in Health Care. Steps being taken focus on: Developing a... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Tuesday, March 13, 2012 | 0 comments

Health Reform Ends Lifetime Limits for 2 Million Tennesseans

In a new report on how the health reform law has impacted people, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says that the health reform law has eliminated lifetime limits on coverage for more than 105 million Americans, including approximately 2 million Tennesseans. According to Sebelius, before health reform, many Americans with serious illnesses such as cancer risked hitting the lifetime limit on the dollar amount their insurance companies would cover for their health care... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Tuesday, March 13, 2012 | 0 comments

Employers Interested in Exploring a Corporate Health Exchange Model

From Aon Hewitt: Employers Interested in Exploring a Corporate Health Exchange Model, Says Aon Hewitt  --  March 23 marks two years since Health Care Reform legislation passed. During this time, many employers have re-examined the way in which they provide health care benefits to employees. While state exchanges will not be available to employers with more than 100 employees until at least 2017, organizations are exploring alternate health care models, such as Corporate... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Tuesday, March 13, 2012 | 0 comments

TN Plans Encouraged to Give "Good Driver Discounts"

Proposed recommendations for the Tennessee Health Insurance Exchange encourage health plans and employers to establish expectations about personal responsibility and engagement through benefit designs in the Exchange.   The wellness program could provide some sort of "good driver discount" in the form of a lower premium or other incentives to those enrollees who satisfy these standards. Having the exchange plans offer these incentives will make it easier for larger employers too!... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Monday, December 12, 2011 | 0 comments

How Will a TN Insurance Exhcange Impact Employers?

Get the answer by reading the full document (or the Executive Summary ), “Best Alternatives to a Federal Insurance Exchange in Tennessee”, just issued by the State of Tennessee Insurance Exchange Planning Initiative (the Initiative). The report provides a comprehensive analysis of the governance, structure, processes of an insurance exchange and suggests how Tennessee may want to address the issues to ensure a stable and competitive market in the state. The Small Business... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Monday, October 31, 2011 | 0 comments

State Governments Requiring More from Employees in New Health Benefits

Maybe it's time for the private sector to look at how state governments are ratcheting up the requirements for employees to get health benefits and follow suit. Whether it is called the Health Enhancement Plan, like it is in Connecticut, or the ParTNers for Health Plan, as it is in Tennessee, state governments are offering new plans that offer lower employee costs (through payroll deductions, deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance) in exchange for employee engagement in health risk... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Thursday, September 22, 2011 | 0 comments

McKinsey Projects 30% of Employers Will Drop Health Benefits

Major findings from McKinsey's early 2011 survey of 1,300 employers include: Overall, 30 percent of employers will definitely or probably stop offering employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) in the years after 2014. Among employers with a high awareness of reform, this proportion increases to more than 50 percent, and upward of 60 percent will pursue some alternative to traditional ESI. At least 30 percent of employers would gain economically from dropping coverage even if... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Monday, June 6, 2011 | 1 comments

Broker Commissions: In or Out of Medical Loss Ratio Calculations?

Health Reform Update from the National Business Coalition on Health The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is considering whether to endorse legislation that would remove broker and agent commissions from the medical loss ratio, a calculation that could give consumers valuable insights about the proportion of their premiums spent on health care costs compared with administrative expenses and salaries. Removal would have far-reaching implications for the... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Wednesday, May 11, 2011 | 0 comments

MBGH's Health Reform Meeting Outlined Key Decisions for Employers

Andy Webber, CEO and President of the National Business Coalition on Health in Washington, DC, addressed a room full of Memphis employers and community leaders at Christian Brothers University on December 14,2010, on "Health Care Reform: The Uncertain Journey Forward" Andy suggested there are three chapters in health reform, each of which include key decisions for employers: Chapter 1: Health Insurance & Benefits Regulation Will employers choose to continue grandfather status for... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Wednesday, December 15, 2010 | 0 comments

Deficit Panel Targets Healthcare Cost Reduction to Reduce US Debt

Just when we were all beginning to adjust to the sweeping changes in health insurance plans required by Health Reform legislation passed in March 2010, we are now bombarded by the possibility of more changes included in the Deficit Panel's recommendations to reduce US debt. Although many of these specifics may not become law, most experts believe that they will, indeed, be considered and debated since healthcare costs and their rate of increase contribute significantly to the Federal deficit.... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Thursday, December 2, 2010 | 0 comments

Tennessee Starts to Evaluate Health Insurance Exchanges

Should the state of Tennessee establish its own health insurance exchange or tap into the national, federal exchange? That is the question being considered by the State of Tennessee under a $1 million grant from the federal government. I attended the "kick-off" meeting on October 22, 2010 for Tennessee's evaluation of the whole health insurance exchange issue. About 200 of us gathered in the central Nashville library to hear about the proposal TN had made for planning grant funds from the... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Saturday, October 23, 2010 | 0 comments

Memphis Employers: Accountable Care Organizations Are Coming! Are You Ready?

Memphis employers, employees & their families will definitely be affected by the latest trend to hit the healthcare delivery system: Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). The concept is not entirely new but is a new version of an old idea: paying systems of care to be accountable for the health and health care of a group of people. So why all the buzz? Well, the recently passed Health Reform law requires Medicare to begin to work with these types of systems in 2012. Hospitals,... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Thursday, August 19, 2010 | 0 comments


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