Archive for June, 2010

DHCFP Speaks

June 29, 2010 1 comment


Not everyone is familiar with the Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy (DHCFP) as Commissioner David Morales readily admits. But, this state agency is trying to drive health care cost control reform as much as anyone in the state. Alongside Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and private industry studies such as the McKinsey study cited in earlier blogs, DHCFP is exposing the truth about rising health care costs: the biggest driver is that hospitals and doctors are getting paid much more money. Their prices have been escalating in part due to unfair competition according to AG Coakley as well as Insurance Commissioner Joseph Murphy. Read more…

Wellness incentives – a lesson from workers compensation

June 25, 2010 1 comment

As consultants and advocates for our clients, we want our clients to have a broader set of pro-active tools to reduce the cost of health insurance. One of those tools that still is mostly untapped is employer-sponsored Wellness initiatives at the worksite. Wellness is hardly a new concept. Many researchers have reported on the success of Wellness programs but they have been sparsely implemented. One of the biggest problems with Wellness programs is that only some of the gains in health care expense control are achieved in the near term. Many of the gains are not achieved until later in life as a result of decreases in the incidence of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. And given that the average employee changes jobs every seven years or so, many employers feel that the benefits are passed on to future employers. hat poses a problem. How do you incent businesses to pay for Wellness programs when they may not get many of the benefits? Read more…

Healthcare organizations find themselves at risk of “low tech” privacy breaches

In an age of ever-increasing dependence on electronic records and cyber-security, it should come as little surprise that there is a steady diet of new examples of data breaches and the loss of private data. This is especially true in the case of healthcare institutions and providers. Read more…

Promote wellness and control your medical costs

Wellness programs in the workplace are designed to educate and assist employees to live healthier lives. But there is no denying that the overall health of employees can certainly help to reduce medical costs. Did you know that 15% of employees accrue 78% of medical expenses, and that 75% of health care costs are directly related to lifestyle and are preventable? As we enter the next phase of wellness, we find that many human resources professionals looking for new ways to proactively control their medical costs. We hosted a discussion this week with Interactive Health Solution (IHS), a partner firm that provides health awareness and preventive care programs that can help reduce the severity of claims, and ultimately allows the workforce to be more productive.  Read more…

Taking the risk out of international growth

Today every company faces some kind of global challenge. We held an hour-long webcast earlier today that explored the complexities of protecting an international operation and spoke specifically on how to protect executives and board members, whether traveling overseas or those managing from the U.S. The list of nuances to consider within certain countries is endless, but we managed to touch on those that we see most often. We explored different exposures that foreign resident directors face when serving on the board of an international company, including the potential for both civil and criminal liabilities. For example, did you know that officers can be held personally liable in France if deemed to have mismanaged a company, or that a breach of data privacy in the U.K. is considered a criminal offense? We also touched on some countermeasures that can be taken to protect directors, officers and other management in these situations. If you have execs traveling overseas or coordinate a global insurance program, the recording of the presentation is worth checking out.

BP in a catch 22

Consider the dilemma facing the CEO of BP and the CEOs of other major deep-sea drilling companies in light of the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico as they contemplate possible securities and other liability litigation. Tony Hayward, BP’s CEO, needs to protect BP’s reputation in order to maintain loyalty for its consumer products like its gas station chain as well as maintain morale among its employees.  It does this by, among other things, taking a conciliatory note about the responsibility of BP to pay all types of reimbursements to the public arising out of the accident.  Meanwhile, securities litigation professional plaintiff firms are taking notes that will no doubt conclude that Hayward is not best protecting shareholders by making these concessions to pay all reasonable costs.

Read more…

Ask the Experts: Healthcare reform potential impact on primary care doctors

There was an article in the New York Times recently focused on one aspect of national reform, the push for more graduates to become primary care physicians. Pete Reilly of WGA’s Healthcare Practice takes a look down the road to the potential impact this will have on insurance rates for healthcare providers and the influence it could have on the increased use of electronic medical records.