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May 9, 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

For Health Plan PR Staff, External, Internal Forces Make It Tough to Tell Their Side
Reprinted from Health Plan Week

The vilification of health insurers by the White House, congressional Democrats and various public advocacy groups during the health reform debate — combined with an intense focus on rate hikes by state regulators and the media — has kept public relations (PR) departments on the defensive for the past two years. On top of that, they must deal with often strict internal oversight from legal and government affairs departments .... Read Full Story


From the AIS Blogs

New Hepatitis C Drugs Could Revolutionize Treatment, Double Costs

Recently, the FDA's Antiviral Drugs Advisory Committee unanimously recommended the approval of Merck & Co.'s hepatitis C therapy Victrelis (boceprevir), and today it again unanimously recommended another hep C therapy, Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s telaprevir. The FDA is slated to review both drugs next month, and industry experts expect it to approve both... Read more


Quote of the Day

“Friends don’t let friends do direct-response radio.”

— Bert Haughin, manager of marketing communications for Independence Blue Cross, speaking at a recent Medicare Marketing & Enrollment conference about an IBC radio marketing campaign that cost about $100,000 and generated just six applications.

Click here to read the MEDICARE ADVANTAGE NEWS article in which this quote appeared. (Free for MAN subscribers; $17 for non-subscribers).


Today's Datapoint

78% …of oncologists and 76% of practice managers reported that patients were more likely to turn down an oral drug over an IV/infused therapy because of the associated cost sharing, according to The Zitter Group’s new Managed Care Oncology Index.

Click here to read the SPECIALTY PHARMACY NEWS article in which this datapoint appeared. (Free for SPN subscribers; $17 for non-subscribers).


Today from Washington

People on the Move

CIVCO Medical Solutions appointed Michael Klein president of its radiation oncology division. Klein was president and CEO of Xoft, Inc....Catalent Pharma Solutions, Inc. named Rao Tatapudy vice president of scientific affairs, innovation and growth. Tatapudy was new product leader and director of new product and process development at Pfizer Inc.


Today's Featured Health Business Job Opening

Arcadian Health Plan
Behavioral Health Case Manager
South Portland, Maine

Place Your Ad Here

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Register for the FIS Healthcare Payment Solutions webinar, Payer and Provider Collaboration – Strategies to Ensure Mutual Success – May 26, 2011; 2:00 p.m. EDT.

Upcoming Webinars

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

Click here for details.

Optimizing Drug Benefit Plan Designs for the Coming Wave of Generic Competition
Tuesday, May 17, 2011

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Strategies for Managing Part D Specialty Formulary Tiers
Wednesday, June 15, 2011

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Insurance Exchanges: How Health Plans and Employers Should Prepare for the Radical Changes Ahead
Tuesday, June 21, 2011

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Medical Loss Ratio Regs: What 2010 Data Suggest About Potentially Huge Rebates in 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011

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ACO Results and Strategies: A Case Study in Three-Way Risk Sharing
Thursday, June 30, 2011

Click here for details.

Payer Strategies to Manage High-Cost Specialty Drugs That Will Hit the Market Soon
Thursday, July 14, 2011

Click here for details.

Also From AIS
Disease Management and Wellness in the Post-Reform Era
The health reform law created major opportunities for care management and health promotion programs. Get guidance on navigating the new hurdles to implementation. Learn more.

Conducting Internal Investigations in Health Care Organizations
A practical guide on how to resolve allegations of wrongdoing, by former HHS IG Richard Kusserow. (Includes CD with adaptable policy and form templates.) Click here.
AIS's Health Business Daily