Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits

The consulting group Milliman released its 2010 group health insurance survey which finds in pertinent part, as we lawyers like to say, that group health insurers plan to make greater use of
  • pay for performance programs such as Bridges to Excellence
  • risk sharing arrangements with health care providers
  • price transparency tools for members, and
  • tiered provider networks (PPO within a PPO)
The FEHBlog notices the same trends developing within the FEHBP.

The National Business Group on Health released a survey of employee attitudes which finds that employees look to their employers and health insurers as health care information resources. 
Among the survey's other key findings:
-- 85% of respondents looked for health care information about symptoms [on the internet] before visiting a doctor while 71% of respondents said they brought a list of questions to ask their doctor during a visit. However, 41% indicated they were unsure how to discuss their concerns while 47% felt their doctors were rushed during the visit.
-- Almost four in ten employees (39%) support incentives for using proven treatments versus 16% who support penalties for using treatments that research has shown work less effectively.
Yesterday, OPM issued a benefits administration letter to payroll offices on recent changes to its Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Program.

OPM is engaged in a major campaign to help employees and annuitants stop smoking -- a campaign that enjoys the support of FEHB plans. The Washington Post reports that the top federal employee, President Obama, has quit smoking. The President deserves congratulations for that accomplishment.

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