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March 30, 2011

Today’s issue is brought to you by AIS's Health Plan Week, the industry's leading source of objective business, financial and regulatory news of the health insurance industry.

Today's Featured Story

Cost Must Be Considered by HHS In Defining ‘Essential Benefits’
Reprinted from Health Plan Week

Economists and researchers are cautioning HHS to create an “essential health benefits” package that provides key protections for consumers, but not make it so generous that potential high costs could cause insurers to drop out or not want to participate in state insurance exchanges in the first place .... Read Full Story


From the AIS Blogs

Plan for Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program Now

The Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program doesn’t kick in until Oct. 1, 2012 (FY 2013), but CMS is now collecting the data that underpin the program and against which IPPS hospitals will be measured ... Read more


Quote of the Day

“I know a lot of states have been putting out RFPs, asking for assistance with outside entities for the design of [health insurance exchanges]. So, if that spigot of money gets turned off [by Republican efforts to cut health reform spending], particularly where states are in their own budget crises, [states will be challenged to implement exchanges since] there’s not a lot of excess money floating around if the feds aren’t going to fund it.”

— David Tuomala, director of actuarial consulting at Ingenix Consulting, told AIS’s Health Reform Week.



Today's Datapoint

28 million…fewer Americans would be uninsured as a result of full implementation of health reform, according to a new report commissioned by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.



Today from Washington

People on the Move

Krystal Knight has joined the Medicare Rights Center’s Washington, D.C., office as state program and policy coordinator. Knight was public policy associate at the National Association of Community Health Centers.... Illinois' Cook County Department of Public Health promoted Terry Mason, M.D., to interim CEO. Mason replaces William Foley, who resigned last week. Mason was chief medical officer.


Today's Featured Health Business Job Opening

The Burchfield Group
Data Validation Systems Project Manager
St. Paul, Minn.

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Upcoming Webinars

Medical Homes: Health Plan Pilots that Have Improved Outcomes and Lowered Costs
Thursday, March 31, 2011

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CMS’s New Past Performance Assessment: Steps MA and Part D Plans Must Take Now to Avoid Harsh Penalties
Thursday, April 14, 2011

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Setting Out-of-Network UCR Rates: Evaluating FAIR Health’s New Benchmark Data and Other Alternatives for Insurers and Employers
Thursday, April 21, 2011

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Medicare Advantage Marketing for 2012: Steps to Take Now to Succeed Amid Reform-Driven Changes
Tuesday, May 10, 2011

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Payer Strategies to Manage High-Cost Specialty Drugs That Will Hit the Market Soon
Thursday, May 12, 2011

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