Archive for the ‘politics’ category

Healthcare Reform Radar Launched as One Stop for Help

April 20, 2010

Whether you like it or not – and there is plenty not to like (as well as to like) and yet to be defined – the health reform bill – PPACA –  is the law of the land. Yes it is big and confusing, but not as much as one might think when experts, like the links we provide put their minds to the task.

I know many of you, especially brokers have been busy answering questions for clients and putting on education sessions so the Industry Radar decided to create a special section to help.

We have looked at over 200 websites from brokers, carriers, media, consultants and more to put together our overview and links for you.

We have summarized the law by five major areas for you in a timeline and the links at the top of each page were the best resources we found – the ones in bold being the most useful. There are web links, PDFs, on demand webinars, slide decks and more for you to access for your research.

Where did we find the least resources? Amazingly – or maybe not so –  the healthplans sites were worthless in terms of the information on their sites. The five links you see are all that we could find for 100 or so national, BCBS and regional plans we follow.  The industry media was even less useful, just as they had been with HIPAA HITECH. Literally nothing to use on any site but Business Insurance. The mainstream media had numerous quality sources led by CNN and CBS.

Most helpful,  as usual, were brokers of many sizes. Gallagher, Willlis, Buck, Segal/Sibson, Trion, Precept were among the better sites as well as Benico from Huntley, Il. John Garven, a mid sized broker and long time student of the industry has a great resource center and a great website in general.

The vast majority of the 100 websites we looked at of the Top 100 BI list of brokers,  actually under a third, had any specific information readily visible and many simply had links to third party sources which has value at least.

If you would like us to include your site and any of its resources here or have any other good links email me and we will look at them.

PS – To their credit at least today UHC and Wellpoint announced that they will extend coverage to those <26 immediately, even though hteh law for that doesn’t go into effect until 9/23/2010. Bravo to them for showing leadership on a provision that can cover as many as 6 million of our children at little real cost acting in the spirit of reform. A very nice gesture.


HIPAA HITECH Solutions…Not Theory Webinar – 4/27

April 16, 2010

It has been 2 months since the HITECH Law went into affect and most organizations are still not compliant.

There have been a lot of webinars describing the legal aspects associated with HIPAA HITECH compliance but none have focused specifically on real solutions to the 4 key areas that your business needs to focus on for HIPAA HITECH compliance:

• Assessment of your risks and vulnerabilities
• Development of policies and procedures
• Encrypting ePHI for client data protection
• Having a breach notification plan in case of a problem

Privacy expert Rebecca Herold will keynote the webinar. In her article in the February 2010 issue of Compliance Today magazine she stated:

“Covered entities (CE) are now accountable for more active validation of business associate (BA) security and privacy program compliance, beyond just having a BA contract in place. It is more important than ever for CEs to take proactive measures to ensure BAs establish and maintain effective and appropriate information security and privacy policies and other supporting actions.”

In addition to Rebecca experts in all 4 areas will share their proven tools to help you get compliant, stay compliant and protect your business.

Please register here and join us for real life solutions to HIPAA HITECH.

Have you Read the Insurance Reform Bill? We Are.

March 31, 2010

One of the my problems has always been that I like to do my own research and draw my own conclusions and the new Reform bill has had so many things misrepresented I  thought I would actually read it and judge for myself.

Click here to enjoy it for yourself.

Yes it is 2407 pages in 14 pt. type, triple spaced with 2 inch margins. So really it is only 700-800 report style pages and after subtracting unimportant material is likely only around 500 enthralling policy wonk pages!

The first thing I did was organize the Index to make the linked PDF easier to search and if you would simply like to see the bill’s outline click here. It is 10 pages long but provides a good overview of the bill and makes it easy to zero in on details of areas that may interest you.

We will report more in the days ahead but my first reaction to skimming most of it is that we have a responsible regulatory framework being established involving the states and NAIC to truly develop and implement the details.

Also the claim that there is little or nothing in here to bend the cost curve is clearly wrong. There are a lot of important changes in her led by technology, paperwork simplification and more.

Curl up with your computer and enjoy! 🙂

“Just the Facts Mam” – Finding Truth in the Health Reform Debate

March 30, 2010

There is plenty that one can argue and disagree with in the new Health Insurance Reform bill and lots of areas  not adequately addressed yet.

However, it is a start and I think it is important that we honestly appraise reality and not cooked up talking points and sound bites from the right wing media and blogosphere that are simple lies.

From here on out we will employ Joe Friday of Dragnet fame to try and get us the truth – “Just the facts mam”.

We have a addressed a few of them recently and links are below:

Bill is Socialist? – NAIC charged with implementation

Reform will cause a Dr. Shortage

Pre Ex Exclusion for Kids is Not Included

Mandates are Socialism

Insurers Rates Will Rise in 201o due to New Taxes

Nazism, Communism, Socialism … Plan

The real whopper and the hardest to understand relates to the Medicare Part D “taxes” on corporations. In essence companies have been double dipping on writing off their retiree drug expenses and getting a subsidy of $663 per retiree that they got to write off as well since 2006. Now they are losing 2/3’s of the writeoff but NOT  the subsidy. Not exactly an unfair tax on plans.

We will continue to call out any item on healthcare from either side of the aisle that is not true. if you want us to track something own let us know and we will get the “facts mam, just the facts.”

I am all for civility, debate and facts. More to follow..

To Aetna’s CEO – Did you Read the Bill?

March 30, 2010

It looks like the CEO of Aetna was not well prepared for a Business Week Interview. Here is Mr. Williams comment:

Will insurance premiums go up? (BW)
The answer is yes, and some of the things that will drive those premiums are significant additional taxes the industry will ultimately have to pay in the first year.

The problem with this comment is that is flat out wrong and misleading. One might call it a lie.

There are NO new taxes on Insurers until 2013 per the Tax Foundation.

Remember Aetna is the same insurer that showed such respect for the new HIPAA HITECH law that they didn’t even communicate with their producers until days before its 2/17/2010 deadline.

At least Cigna CEO, David Cordani offers a bit more honest but still self serving appraisal of why costs increase in an interview with Neil Cavuto:

Insurance commissioners in every state will continue to be very diligent…the underlining premium costs are driven by underlining health care costs and in an environment where emergency room utilization and costs have quadruped in five years, use of MRIs have doubled in the last five years, biomedical utilization is growing rapidly. The costs will continue to grow and that’s the opportunity that wasn’t addressed.

Once again we see one of the major players in health insurance, who according to him represents 35,ooo employees not telling the truth.

This is why people find it hard to trust any insurer when even the simplest facts are disregarded.

Video of Rep. Cleaver Being Spit On Emerges

March 28, 2010

Decide for yourself if what you see here is real and the spitting reported by Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver last week.

The Tea party had offered a reward for proof of this incident. Let’s see if they pay up.

‘WE’RE THE PARTY OF HELL NO!’ – Palin and McCain

March 26, 2010


Thank you Palin/McCain…once again that “Mavericky” thing is really impressive.