Wellpoint to Improve Primary Care Reimbursements

The Los Angeles Times has reported that health insurer WellPoint Inc. plans to increase the fees it pays to doctor practices, and it will start paying for services like preparing care plans for patients with complex medical problems.  They report that they will  also will offer doctors an opportunity to share in some savings when better patient care leads to a reduction in costs.  Wellpoint is the parent company of Anthem Blue Cross.
WellPoint said it wants to give doctors a chance to do more for patients outside of episodic care, or just treating people when they become sick.   Under the concept, doctors will be able to spend more time with patients, listening to them and understanding their concerns, said Jill Hummel, WellPoint’s vice president of payment innovation.WellPoint also expects a return on this investment. The insurer said the approach should cut down on some of the priciest forms of medical care, emergency room visits and hospital admissions.

2011 Milliman Medical Index shows family medical costs doubled within 9 years

Last week, Milliman released its annual Milliman Medical Index, and it shows that the average American family’s medical costs have doubled in less than nine years and increased 7.3 percent from 2010 to 2011. The results also show that hospital spending, which accounts for 48 percent of total health care spending, accounts for more than 60 percent of this year’s total increase. And, outpatient facility costs increased more than any other component. The medical index illustrates the complexity of the health care cost problem, while legislative remedies to date have focused principally on health plan rate review processes and medical loss ratio restrictions. Interestingly, a new Yahoo Finance analysis of quarterly financial data shows that the health plan sector of the health care system ranked only 143rd out 215 in terms of profit margin.

MetLife’s 9th Annual Study of Employee Benefits Trends

MetLife’s new Study of Employee Benefits Trends is full of the latest – and sometimes surprising – insights about employers and their employees think about benefits. And, it delivers unique perspective on how the benefits landscape is changing.

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For example, you know that successful companies depend on a strong foundation of loyal and productive employees.

However, this year’s Study reveals:

  • A workforce that has grown more dissatisfied
     and disloyal, to the point where a startling one in
     three employees hope to be working elsewhere
     in the next 12 months.
  • Yet, employers, perhaps focused on expense
     control and lulled by a period of low turnover,
     assume employees feel as loyal today as they
     did three years ago.

Benchmarketing Tool

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