From Health Plan Week - It is still too early to tell if the second major round of health reform in Massachusetts focused on health care cost containment and called “Reform 2.0” will be a guide for other states or the federal reform movement. Analysts say, however, that the law signed in August 2012 and being implemented in stages since then holds important elements for all health insurers to monitor, like more vigorous transparency programs for payers and providers and a push for global payment models instead of fee-for-service (FFS) contracting. Just this past Oct. Read more
From The AIS Report on Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans - Sixteen years after Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan first began collaborating with hospitals and physicians across the state on what are now 14 separate quality initiatives, the insurer is sponsoring a new effort exploring variations in episodes of care. Read more
From Health Plan Week - IRS’s decision to relax “use-it-or-lose-it” rules governing employer-sponsored Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSAs) means health insurers and employers will now need to understand the timing issues for rollovers starting this year and how to handle employees with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) tied to high-deductible health plans (HDHPs). Starting in 2014, the health reform law caps FSAs at $2,500, which sources say triggered the IRS shift to permit employees to carry over… Read more
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