News

Follow the Dollar: Measuring who profits from a brand-name prescription

October 28, 2016
Originally posted in Drug Channels on Thursday, October 13, 2016
by Adam J. Fein, Ph.D.
 
Now, here’s something I hope you’ll really like!
I recently collaborated with Julie Appleby at Kaiser Health News (KHN) to explain the flow of funds between a pharmaceutical manufacturer and the patient.
The resulting graphic (below) uses a typical brand-name prescription to show the profits earned by key drug channel ...

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Oncology Biosimilars: Opportunity or Not?

May 25, 2016

F. Randy Vogenberg, PhD, RPh
 
Martha M. Rumore, PharmD, JD, MS, LLM, FAPhA
 
Originally published in VBCC - April 2016, Vol 7, No 3 - Employers’ Perspective
 
The United States has the largest biologic drugs market and high prices for biologics, such as monoclonal antibodies, therapeutic proteins, immunomodulators, and growth factors. Cancer treatments utilize traditional chemical-based ...

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Employers Engaged in Benefit Design Innovation: Long-Term Trends in a 2015 National Survey

January 4, 2016

Originally posted 12/28/2015 on American Health & Drug Benefits 
 
In the past 5 years, there has been a large increase in the number of employers focused on effective ways to manage the rising cost of specialty drugs. At the same time, employers have been working hard to comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and are cognizant of the expected excise tax. As these trends collide, ...

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Will Employers Favor Private Exchanges Over Coverage Sponsorship?

October 28, 2014

Originally posted 10/17/14 on The Health Affairs Blog
 
By Brian Klepper
 
Over the past couple years, health care exchanges probably have consumed more of corporate benefits managers’ time and psychic energy than any other topic. An outstanding question is whether the rank and file of American businesses will drop the hassle that employer-sponsored coverage represents, or default ...

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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, 2014 Update: How the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally

June 18, 2014
Tom Emerick
 
Thus reads the headline in a report recently published by the Commonwealth Fund.  The short answer is we compare poorly.
Says the report, “The United States health care system is the most expensive in the world, but this report and prior editions consistently show the U.S. underperforms relative to other countries on most dimensions of performance, among the 11 nations ...

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Consensus Statement Offers Guidance on the Use of Biometric Screenings as Workplace Wellness Tool

November 1, 2013
As reported in NBCH Newsletter.
Three National health organizations have published new guidance intended to help employers create more successful programs for gathering health-screening information from employees.  Known as "biometric screenings", the gathering of such information -- can play a key role in an emplyer's workplace wellness program.
The Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO), the American ...

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Arkansas Insurance Department Releases Premium Rates

September 23, 2013
Arkansas Insurance Commissioner Jay Bradford today announced premium rates for the 71 qualified health insurance plans that will be sold on the individual market in the new Health Insurance Marketplace.  The Qualified Health Plan issuers offering plans are Celtic Insurance Company d/b/a Arknasas Health and Wellness Solutions, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Multi-State, and QCA Health ...

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Study: 6.5% Growth in Medical Costs for 2014

August 15, 2013
By Stephen Miller, CEBS -- online editor/manager for SHRM
Health care cost growth for large employers in the U.S. is projected to slow to 6.5 percent in 2014, down from 7.5 percent in 2013, according to consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Health Research Institute's annual report,Medical Cost Trend: Behind the Numbers. This projection is based on an analysis of medical costs in the large-employer ...

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Diabetes and Flu Can Be a Deadly Combination

July 25, 2013
August is National Immunization Awareness Month and the Employers' Health Coalition (EHC) would like to encourage persons with Diabetes, or other chronic conditions to contact their health care professional regarding getting flu and pneumonia immunizations this fall. 
Diabetes is the 6th leading cause of death in Arkansas.  Having the flu can be dangerous for anyone. But it can be deadly for people with diabetes.  ...

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Health Mandate For Employers Delayed to 2015

July 2, 2013
By JACKIE CALMES and ROBERT PEAR, NYTimes
WASHINGTON — In a significant setback for President Obama’s signature domestic initiative, the administration on Tuesday abruptly announced a one-year delay, until 2015, in his health care law’s mandate that larger employers provide coverage for their workers or pay penalties. The decision postpones the effective date beyond next year’s ...

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WellPoint Helps Cut Employers' Health Cost

June 28, 2013
From WSJ on June 25, 2013
By ANNA WILDE MATHEWS
As companies seek ways to curb health-care spending, insurer WellPoint Inc.WLP -0.21% is rolling out a program that lets employers pay only a set amount for a medical service, asking workers who select costlier care to pay the difference.
The idea has been tested for years by a limited number of large employers. But the new option from the second-biggest ...

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MV Calculator Finalized

June 18, 2013
The minimum value calculator (MV calculator) has been made available by the Department of Health and Human Services for  self-funded employers use to determine if their plan's benefits provides minimum value as defined in the ACA.  Download the MV calculator now.

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Wear Blue…in honor of Men’s Health Month.

June 4, 2013

June has been designated as Men’s Health Month in order to increase awareness of preventable health problems and encourage discussions between male patients and doctors.  Annual doctor visits increase the chance of early detection of health problems.   

Not sure of what to discuss with your doctor?  Download a discussion card.

Five Risks to a Man's Health.



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Final wellness programs rule published

May 31, 2013
Reported by NBCH. Yesterday HHS and the Department of Labor and the Department of Treasury published the long awaited final ruleof requirements for workplace wellness programs, allowing employers to require healthy efforts from employees to qualify for lower premiums.
 
The final regulations, consistent with the Affordable Care Act, focus on nondiscriminatory wellness programs in group health coverage. Specifically, ...

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Health Insurance Exchanges Could Affect Wellness Programs, Experts Say

April 17, 2013

According to Employee Benefit News, wellness programs could be affected if companies send employees to health insurance exchanges - either public or private - and decide wellness is not their responsibility, or if employees are less engaged. Experts say smaller companies may be most likely to move employees to the exchanges, which could mean they have less access to health data that influence wellness investments and ...

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Commonwealth Fund Tracking State Insurance Market Reforms

April 8, 2013
Last month, federal regulators at the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight released guidance on how the Affordable Care Act’s new private insurance market reforms—including guaranteed access to health care coverage and the ban on denying or limiting benefits for people with preexisting health conditions—will be enforced. While states are the primary regulators of insurance, the guidance ...

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United Health Reports Success with Diabetes Management Program

April 4, 2013
According to Employee Benefit News, a two-year study from UnitedHealthcare shows its disease management program for diabetes can help people with the condition manage it more effectively, while also reducing related costs.
The study followed 620 people with diabetes for two years, examining their compliance with six key diabetes treatment and testing requirements, including regular primary care visits and screening tests ...

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National Business Coalition on Health and Pacific Business Group on Health Release Choosing Wisely Employer Toolkit

February 26, 2013
To make it easier for employers to educate their employees about the importance of talking with their physicians about their medical care, the Nation Business Coalition on Health (NBCH) and pacific Business Group on Health (PBGH) released the Choosing Wisely© Employer “toolkit.  NBCH is a national, non-profit, membership organization of purchaser-led health care coalitions and PBGH is one of ...

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Arkansas Awarded $42 Million Grant to Support Payment Improvement Initiative

February 22, 2013
Arkansas has been chosen as one of six states seen as leading the country in efforts to dramatically improve the quality of patient care and rein in rapidly rising health care costs. The state has been awarded a $42 million State Innovation Model grant by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
In announcing the competitive grant award, the CMS Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation noted that Arkansas ...

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ACA Section 1512 Update

January 25, 2013
Employer requirement to inform employees of coverage options.   CMS announced that employers will not be required to meet the March 1, 2013 deadline of notifying their employees about Exchanges.  To learn more go to Affordable Care Act Implementation.

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NBCH Selects Six Coalitions for Diabetes Prevention Grants

January 22, 2013
Program provides resources to increase awareness and lay the groundwork for benefit design strategies to cover CDC’s diabetes prevention lifestyle change program
WASHINGTON –  The National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH) announced that six member coalitions have been selected to receive $182,000 in funding of grants and stipends to increase awareness and lay the groundwork for coverage ...

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ACHI Health Policy Board Announces New Board Member

January 4, 2013
Activities focus on improving the health of Arkansans
Fort Smith, Ark. - January 4, 2013.  With the New Year also comes a new resolve to improve health care in Arkansas.  Caryol Hendricks, Executive Director of Employers' Health Coalition has been named to the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI) Health Policy Board.  The board consists of 21 members from across the state that bring diverse ...

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Survey: Patients Welcome Active Role in Care

December 28, 2012
American healthcare consumers are buying into the notion that they must take an active role in their healthcare, according to a recent survey by Wolters Kluwer Health. 
The survey found 80 percent of healthcare consumers believe the trend of individuals taking a more active role in their own care is positive for americans.  Further, and somehwat surprisingly, the consumers feel ready to do so: 76 percent reported ...

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National Influenza Vaccination Week

December 5, 2012
Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) is a national observance that was established by CDC to highlight the importance of continuing influenza vaccination, as well as fostering greater use of flu vaccine after the holiday season into January and beyond. This year NIVW will be held December 2-8, 2012.
Historically, vaccination activity drops quickly after the end of November. CDC and its partners, including NBCH, want to ...

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