self-funded employer

Payor Approaches to Cost Concerns: Considerations for Provider Contracting and Revenue Cycle

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Hospitals and health systems face ongoing pressure to migrate away from fee-for-service models, reduce costs, and improve quality. From MACRA to commercial risk arrangements to self-insured employer cost containment models, it is important for hospitals and health systems to take a strategic approach to revenue cycle and contract negotiations.  The recent press surrounding Anthem’s rollout of its new policy regarding hospital-based imaging, which will redirect a significant portion of imaging away from hospitals to free-standing facilities, highlights the nuanced approaches insurance companies are taking to rein in what they regard as high cost services.  Add to that the proliferation of consumer-driven health care models where patients are on the hook for more of the costs of the health care services they consume and thus look for ways to shop for best quality and price.  Further, “repricing” companies engage with self-funded employers to redesign their plans to remain out of network for a host of services for which the plan will pay a percentage of Medicare, which for many

Value Based Reimbursement: CMS Dials Back; Large Employers Forge Ahead

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Last week, CMS announced in proposed rulemaking its proposal to cancel the Episode Payment Models (EPMs) and Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR) incentive payment model.  It also announced plans to revise certain aspects of the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CCJR) model, such as granting certain hospitals selected for participation in the CCJR model a one-time option to choose whether to continue their participation in the CCJR model, and a change to increase the pool of eligible clinicians that qualify as affiliated practitioners under the Advanced Alternative Payment Model track.  CMS noted in the proposed rulemaking that it “continues to believe that cardiac and orthopedic episode models offer opportunities to redesign care processes and improve quality and care coordination across the inpatient and post-acute care spectrum while lowering spending.”  CMS qualified that statement, however, by noting “it is appropriate to propose to rescind the EPMs and CR incentive payment model, and reduce the geographic scope of the CJR model” for several reasons, but most notably due to

CMMI Focuses on Behavioral Health

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The Shift to Value Based Reimbursement Needs to Address Behavioral Health Access and Costs

CMS recently announced that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) is interested in lowering the cost of care for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries with behavioral health conditions while improving the quality of care and the overall access to care for those patients, and will convene a public meeting in the fall to discuss ideas to accomplish these goals. Notably, CMMI indicated that such a model may include participation by other payers, qualify as an Advanced Alternative Payment Model, improve health care provider participation in telehealth services, and address the needs of beneficiaries with care deficiencies in certain areas that lead to poor clinical outcomes or potentially avoidable expenditures, such as substance use disorders, mental disorders with comorbidities, Alzheimer’s disease, and/or behavioral health workforce challenges.  As we deal with an aging population and continue to confront the reality that clinical interventions account for only a small part of managing

Repealing-Replacing the Affordable Care Act: Considerations for Employers with Self-Funded Plans 

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Over the last several years we have seen employers, especially those with self-funded health plans, evolve in their approach to wellness programs.   Programs have grown from gathering data – e.g., steps on a pedometer, answers to a health risk assessment – to using the information gathered to take a data driven approach to plan design for health plans and their stand alone or integrated wellness programs.  We have also seen employers roll out their wellness programs to spouses, which is a positive trend especially given the latest NIH study which suggests a link between parental obesity and developmental delays in children.  Low hanging fruit, such as targeting more hands on care management for high risk, high cost participants, identifying and implementing mechanisms to promote step therapy and generic drug spend, and removing barriers to managing chronic conditions such as $0 copays for maintenance prescriptions and lower cost office visits, have all been part of our self-funded employers’ toolkits over these past few years as the