July 29, 2013
Premera Blue Cross Director of Member Engagement Neal Sofian and Blue Shield of California Senior Wellness Program Manager Ritu Riyat introduced ways in which their respective health plans are incentivizing patients and providing meaningful data to improve their everyday life at a mobile health conference last week in Boston.
Sofian takes issue with the one size fits all approach to a lot of...
July 25, 2013
Health insurer Humana is turning to telehealth systems provider AMC Health in an effort to keep patients with congestive heart failure out of hospitals, saving money for the payer and improving the quality of life for a high-risk population.
In a pilot launched last month, 450 Humana Medicare Advantage members in Ohio with CHF are receiving A&D Medical Products weight scales and blood-...
October 7, 2009
Grocery store chain Safeway gives employees discounts on their health insurance for having certain body mass indexes, quitting smoking, controlling hypertension or lowering their cholesterol, according to a report from National Public Radio this week. Safeway CEO Steve Burd told the radio network that his company's employees receive a discount on their health insurance if they have a body mass...
October 6, 2009
On the same day that its former leader launched his own online healthcare start-up, Google Health announced that it had inked deals with two more health insurers: Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and American Postal Workers Union Health Plan. That brings the count up to three insurers since Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA signed on last year. Google released the announcement at the Health 2.0 event,...
October 6, 2009
The former head of Google Health, Adam Bosworth, has finally launched his long-heralded consumer health start-up, Keas, according to a report today in the The New York Times. The site offers various personalized care plans for users that aim to take their personal health information and help them make healthier decisions:
"Using the Keas system, for example, a person with Type 2 diabetes might...
October 5, 2009
"It's the first time a private payer has really come out in a big way and endorsed telemedicine," Jonathan Linkous, CEO of the American Telemedicine Association, told the Washington Times in reference to United Health Group's recent deal with Cisco. "The insurers are starting to say yes. Telemedicine doesn't have to be high tech. There is a huge benefit in terms of keeping people out of hospitals...
September 24, 2009
"It’s stupid of insurance companies to insist on an inferior device costing 10 times as much," Roger Ebert wrote in a letter to the Editor of the New York Times last week. Ebert, the famous film critic, was responding to a feature the Times had recently published about Medicare only covering dedicated text-to-speech devices, even though those devices are typically far more expensive than multi-...
September 16, 2009
It was a hard fight to get insurance companies to cover dedicated text-to-speech devices for speech-impaired patients, but it finally happened in 2001, according to a report in The New York Times. Now the fight is on to get insurers to pay for cheaper devices and software that they claim work just as well or better.
The Times report highlights one patient's struggle: Kara Lynn, an ALS, or Lou...
September 8, 2009
The Aging Workforce: How to Fight the Risks, is the title of a recent article over at CFO Magazine. It highlights some of the findings of a World Economic Forum report that urges the enterprise to take a proactive approach to its employees' health. CFO Magazine is clearly focused on the bottom line, so it's an interesting lens to look through when debating the proper role for enterprise in the...
September 1, 2009
Highmark Medicare Services (HMS) confirmed with remote monitoring service provider CardioNet that the reduced reimbursement rate for mobile cardiovascular technology will become effective today, September 1, 2009. The new rate is $754 per service and that represents a 33 percent reduction from the $1,123 reimbursement rate the service has retained all year.
"We are very disappointed at HMS'...