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Category: "News"

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04/30/12

  05:09:50 pm, by MedBen5   , 135 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

IRS Releases HSA Inflation Adjustments For 2013

On Friday, the IRS released the cost-of-living adjustments affecting health savings accounts (HSAs) for calendar year 2013. The HSA contribution limits and high-deductible health plan (HDHP) out-of-pocket maximums will both increase. The HDHP minimum… more »
  04:55:11 pm, by MedBen5   , 185 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Plan Management

The "Other" Costs Of Obesity

As we noted here a few weeks ago, the nationwide obesity epidemic adds almost $190 billion a year to U.S. medical costs – acounting for over 20% of total U.S. health spending. But as Sharon Begley of Reuters details, medical expenses tell only one… more »

04/27/12

  06:11:07 pm, by MedBen5   , 413 words,  
Categories: Announcements, News

MedBen Hospital & Wellness Conference Covers Variety Of Subjects

On Thursday, April 26, MedBen clients and other guests filled the new MedBen Conference Center for the 10th Annual Hospital Roundtable. For the first time, MedBen also held its yearly Wellness Conference on the same day, for the convenience of clients… more »
  04:00:12 pm, by MedBen5   , 183 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Appendicitis Study Reveals Wide Price Disparity

A few weeks back, we posted a piece here about the differences in preventive care costs from one provider to another. Recent research also demonstrates a similarly wide disparity in hospital charges. According to HealthDay, a California study of the… more »
  11:08:29 am, by MedBen5   , 240 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Change To OTC Rules Debated By House Subcommittee

On April 25, politicians and health industry representatives argued the impact of limitations on the use of consumer-driven health plans for the purchase of over-the-counter drugs on consumers, physicians and employers. As noted on the Tax-News… more »

04/26/12

  10:28:36 am, by MedBen5   , 266 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Cancer Screenings: When To Test, And When Not

Getting a cancer screening is vital to better health. Also vital: Not getting a cancer screening. Confusing? Well, let’s elaborate on those seemingly contradictory statements. A benchmark of smart preventive care is getting appropropriate cancer… more »
  09:10:55 am, by MedBen5   , 173 words,  
Categories: News

Many People Ignore Prescription Drug Instructions, Study Finds

New research reveals that only about one out of three Americans correctly follow doctor’s orders when taking prescription drugs, according to The Wall Street Journal Health Blog. Demonstrating true fortitude in the name of medical progress, Quest… more »

04/25/12

  05:10:13 pm, by MedBen5   , 428 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

SBC Requirements for Health FSAs

As we’ve noted in earlier blog posts, the Affordable Care Act has imposed a significant new disclosure requirement: the Uniform Summary of Coverage document. Known as a Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC), the document must contain a… more »

04/23/12

  04:43:21 pm, by MedBen5   , 183 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

HHS Updates Listing of Counties for “Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services”

Earlier this month, Health and Human Services (HHS) released its 2012 listing of United States counties in which non-grandfathered self-funded health plans and fully-insured policies must provide certain plan notices, including appeals and external… more »
  02:44:30 pm, by MedBen5   , 182 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

FDA Responds To Criticisms Of Drug Tracking Efforts

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has responded to criticisms that it fails to track the safety of drugs after they are approved. According to Reuters, the agency said this weekend that it spends an equal amount of effort and resources on… more »
  12:17:46 pm, by MedBen5   , 142 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Romney's Reform Proposal Would Emphasize Individual Coverage

“Repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act has been a mantra for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. But the presumptive GOP candidate has his own ideas for health care reform on a nationwide scale. The Los Angeles Times reports… more »

04/20/12

  04:57:03 pm, by MedBen5   , 210 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Does Provider Emphasis On Well-Being Reduce Health Care Costs?

An interesting article in the Wall Street Journal that ties (tangentally, anyway) into yesterday’s Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute post: Instead of focusing only on blood pressure, cholesterol levels and other indicators of… more »
  04:17:30 pm, by MedBen5   , 147 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Daily Exercise May Help Smokers Kick The Habit

Nicotine gum and patches may or may not aid cigarette smokers in kicking the habit, but a major study suggests that exercise may be an effective route to quitting once and for all. According to NPR, researchers in Taiwan tracked the health and habits… more »

04/19/12

  05:07:13 pm, by MedBen5   , 458 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

New Employer Tax to Fund Patient-Centered Outcomes Research

Last week, the Internal Revenue Service released its pre-Federal Register draft of proposed rules on how self-funded plan sponsors and insurance carriers will pay the federal government to support the Patient-Centered Research Outcomes Institute. The… more »

04/18/12

  05:31:55 pm, by MedBen5   , 195 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Plan Management

Eye Screening May Reveal Onset of Parkinson's

Considering that vision exams can detect diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis and even potential memory loss, it would not be hyperbole to say that our eyes can serve as a treasure trove of medical information.… more »
  04:11:44 pm, by MedBen5   , 189 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Labor Department Updates Online Employer Health Benefit Advisor

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has released an updated version of its Health Benefits Advisor for Employers. This online resource outlines the federal laws that can affect health benefit coverage provided by group health plans. The Advisor explains… more »

04/17/12

  04:47:27 pm, by MedBen5   , 144 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Study: Obesity Accounts For One-Fifth Of U.S. Health Spending

Carrying around excess weight is a financial burden in addition to a physical one, a new study says. According to HealthDay News, researchers from Cornell University found that an obese person’s medical costs are $2,741 a year higher (in 2005… more »

04/13/12

  04:54:40 pm, by MedBen5   , 205 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Working The Late Shift May Raise Diabetes Risk

More evidence that irregular sleep habits can adversely affect one’s health: A new study by Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston found the fighting the body’s natural sleep patterns can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. According to… more »

04/11/12

  04:42:13 pm, by MedBen5   , 176 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Support For Health Care Reform Law Continues To Fall

Public support of the health care reform law has reached a new low, according to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll. ABC News reports that 53% now disapprove of the Affordable Care Act, while only 39% support it – the smallest vote of… more »
  10:43:07 am, by MedBen5   , 212 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Cancer Headlines: Higher Costs, Higher Survival Rates

Lots of cancer-related news this week… here’s a sampling: According to Kaiser Health News, a new study suggests that higher American costs for cancer care compared to Europe is offset by better U.S. survival rates – almost two… more »

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