Managed Care

 

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Contributing Voices
Steven Peskin, MD

The memory tape of the golden oldie from Lovin' Spoonful was playing in my head before watching Dr. Eric Topol’s interview with Dr. Paul Offit about his recently published book, Do You Believe in Magic? The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine

The book tackles with rigor and vigor the lack of evidence for assertions and testimonials made by celebrity physicians, politicians, and stars of the small and big screen regarding the benefits for megadoses of vitamins, various nutraceuticals, and misuse of FDA-approved drugs, such as prolonged IV antibiotics for chronic Lyme Disease. Indeed, some of these may actually harm the person.

To me, the most fascinating part of this debunking of pseudo-science is the power of the placebo. Offit acknowledges the ability of the human being to heal itself. Through the connection of mind and body and conscious or unconscious thought affecting neurobiological or neurohormonal up or down regulation, we have remarkable abilities to positively or negatively impact our immune system, our perception of pain, blood circulation, digestion, and other vital functions that may profoundly help or harm our health and well being.

Just as the vaccines stimulate an immune response that prepares the body to defend itself from a viral or bacterial attack, we have the ability to autoregulate in other ways to heal ourselves. Not magic, but magical!

Steven R. Peskin, MD, MBA, FACP, is associate clinical professor of medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and is governor of the American College of Physicians, New Jersey South.

Contributing Voices
Paul Terry

January 1, 2014 marks the most monumental day in the history of American health policy. The individual insurance mandate, the sunsetting of underwriting as we know it, and the planned obsolescence of the term “pre-existing conditions” in insurance all presage a fundamentally different era for access to health care. Of the 5.7% of those in the individual market, .6% will not be eligible for financial help if they want to continue buying in the individual market. In exchange, starting today, up to 47 million nonelderly uninsured will be eligible for new and/or more affordable health insurance. The good news is that there is no turning back from this miracle arrival. The bad news is there is no starting over either. The stork delivered it with warts and all.

Contributing Voices
Frank Diamond

Health reform means that much of what health insurance plans did is being taken on by providers. An obvious example is the Choosing Wisely campaign, an effort by physician professional organizations to cut down on overtreatment and overtesting.

Contributing Voices
Jessica Cherian, PharmD, RPh
Jessica Cherian, PharmD, RPh

Nowadays, every turn of a newspaper page, click of a media page on the Internet, or flip to a news channel brings us to an update, or more likely a criticism, of the public exchanges. With all of the attention on this side of the exchanges, we might be forgetting about the private exchange.   The private exchange serves as a channel for individuals and employers to purchase health insurance that is separate from the newly opened public exchanges developed under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

 The biggest difference between the two stems from the fact that government subsidies aren’t available to those choosing to purchase health insurance from the private exchange. This explains why much of the news regarding private exchanges focuses on the group market, as employers that choose to participate in a private exchange provide employees with an subsidy to be used toward the purchase of health insurance, a method also known as defined contribution.

Contributing Voices
Craig Keyes, MD, MBA

It seems many of us have some preconceived ideas of what new Medicaid members will look like: They’ll be older, sicker, higher utilizers of services and, more challenging to care for.

But when we take a closer look at populations that will qualify for Medicaid over the next several years, a different picture appears. Chances are the new Medicaid member is going to be that part-time waiter at your favorite local restaurant or the young woman with a toddler and another on the way who decided to go back to school.

Contributing Voices
Tom Ewers and Munzoor Shaikh

Tom Ewers and Munzoor Shaikh of West Monroe Partners discuss the ins and outs of pre-close integration planning for health care payer mergers and acquisitions.

The M&A process should begin by clearly defining both the acquisition strategy, type of acquisition (Leverage Business Model (LBM) or Re-invent Business Model (RBM)) and the overall approach to integrating the two companies. Acquirers should then hone in on which consolidation and collaboration opportunities need to be pursued to generate the expected benefits. Then, they should define a clear investment thesis and operating model to help formulate the integration approach, thus completing their pre-close homework.

Next, payers should transition to the operational and IT diligence steps within the integration lifecycle. These efforts begin by building a diligence and integration team with expertise in a number of different disciplines that cover the target organization’s key capabilities and represent stakeholders from the potential acquirer.

As the strategy and pre-close phases come to an end, initiating pre-close integration planning is the next step to reach a successful transaction outcome. This is especially important for payers because not only do they tend to have specialized claims processing, but also there are various new requirements and forces at play today given the advent of the Health Insurance Exchanges (HIX). Plan early to provide clear “Day-1” direction and to set stakeholder expectations.

Contributing Voices
Paul Terry

The recent Health and Productivity Conference sponsored by the National Business Group on Health (NBGH) signaled the arrival of what social scientists have long held as vital to the success of wellness: a balance between personal and organizational engagement in health.

Contributing Voices
Randy Vogenberg, PhD, RPh

Although the results overall are not too surprising, after two rounds of end-to-end ICD-10 testing, the results at the North Carolina Healthcare Information and Communications Alliance are “scary,” executive director Holt Anderson told the Medical Group Management Association annual conference last week.

Contributing Voices
Jessica Cherian, PharmD, RPh

The Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) was an additional ACO model offered by Medicare, designed for groups that were already experienced in coordinating patient care across the care continuum. The shared-savings payment policy in this case is aligned with higher levels of both sharing and risk than that of the basic Shared Savings Program. Many had high hopes for the Pioneer groups and anticipated positive results when it came time for reporting in 2013.

Contributing Voices
Tom Ewers and Munzoor Shaikh

In several posts, Tom Ewers and Munzoor Shaikh of West Monroe Partners discuss the dynamics of health care payer mergers. Here, they describe the need for comprehensive operational and IT diligence.

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Success in health care mergers and acquisitions begins with getting the right people on the right teams.

If coordinating M&A transactions is not a common occurrence, then the chances of successfully completing a profitable transaction are slim. Studies show that most M&A transactions fail exactly for this reason.

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Meetings

Pharmaceutical Pricing and Contracting Conference Philadelphia, PA September 22–23, 2014
Private Health Insurance Exchanges Conference Washington, D.C. October 7–8, 2014
National Healthcare Facility Management Summit Palm Beach, FL October 16–17, 2014
National Healthcare CFO Summit Las Vegas, NV October 19–21, 2014
National Healthcare CXO Summit Las Vegas, NV October 19–21, 2014
Innovative Member Engagement Operations For Health Plans Las Vegas, NV October 20–21, 2014
4th Partnering With ACOs Summit Los Angeles, CA October 27–28, 2014
2014 Annual HEDIS® and Star Ratings Symposium Nashville, TN November 3–4, 2014
PCMH & Shared Savings ACO Leadership Summit Nashville, TN November 3–4, 2014
World Orphan Drug Congress Europe 2014 Brussels, Belgium November 12–14, 2014
Medicare Risk Adjustment, Revenue Management, & Star Ratings Fort Lauderdale, FL November 12–14, 2014
Healthcare Chief Medical Officer Forum Alexandria, VA November 13–14, 2014
Home Care Leadership Summit Atlanta, GA November 17–18, 2014