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08/11/17

  07:30:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 316 words,  
Categories: Security, Research, ISO

MedBen Uses Technology, Training to Protect Your Personal Data

Rose McEntire

While ransomware attacks have increased during the first half of 2017, accidental data breaches caused by employee error are also a serious problem, according to new research by Beazely, a breach insurance company. As reported by Benefits Pro, employee error comprises 30% of overall breaches, compared to 32% resulting from hacking and malware attacks.

Because personal data is essential to our daily business, MedBen has had resources in place for many years to ensure the safety of personal data – and we continue to add to our security measures. In addition to implementing a variety of client data safeguards, we employ multiple strategies to minimize the risk of human error in the use and disclosing of protected health information (PHI).

  • Every MedBen employee who works with PHI undergoes extensive training in its proper usage. Should there be a request or a need for such information to be disseminated, these employees are instructed as to who can properly view it as well as the approved means of transmittal for disclosing it when appropriate.
  • Since 2005, MedBen has been ISO 9001 Certified. This means that processes are in place for all manner of work procedures involving PHI, from their use in conjunction with claims review and payment, to customer service inquiries. These processes ensure that quality standards related to PHI use are met.
  • All electronic data transmissions are secured by an FTP server with an encrypted connection, or sent via a secure email portal that is encrypted over a secure network. All passwords on our system are coded via a one-way encryption process to prevent decryption, before being stored in our databases.

    Moreover, when we send a document containing PHI to a provider or other designated recipient, it is posted electronically on our MedBen Secure website, again over a safeguarded line.

MedBen clients who have questions about MedBen’s electronic PHI safeguards are welcome to contact Vice President of Information Systems Rose McEntire at rmcentire@medben.com.

08/10/17

  04:12:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 251 words,  
Categories: American Health Care Act

Doctor-Patient Relationship Helps Mind and Body Alike

doctor and patient

The advantages of preventive care usually focus on the physical aspects of regular wellness exams, such as reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer. But there's also a mental component that shouldn't be overlooked – and which MedBen WellLiving's "physician first" wellness approach can play a critical role.

According to The Washington Post, a recent report by mental health experts cited risk factors that, if addressed through lifestyle modification, could prevent up to 35% of the world's dementia cases. Among these factors are the chronic conditions hypertension and diabetes, in addition to smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity.

Interestingly, the stage of life in which you develop a chronic condition may also affect your mental health. The report notes that individuals with hypertension and obesity in middle age, or diabetes and smoking in later years, carry an even greater dementia risk.

MedBen WellLiving stresses the importance of a doctor-patient relationship for a variety of reasons, such as building a long-term rapport. But for the doctor, it's also vital to have a "big picture" view of the patient -- that is, to detect symptoms early on that, by themselves, may not mean much, but could very well lead to bigger problems down the road.

A wellness program that encourages smart lifestyle choices in consultation with a family doctor can benefit mind and body alike. To learn more about how MedBen WellLiving can help you to promote better overall health and lower care costs, please contact Vice President of Sales & Marketing Brian Fargus at bfargus@medben.com.

08/09/17

  03:09:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 211 words,  
Categories: Announcements, News, Cost savings, Third party administration

MedBen Surveillance System -- Ten Years of Money Saved

MedBen building

In September of 2007, MedBen introduced to its self-funded clients an advanced surveillance system that took claims management to a higher level. And nearly 10 years later, our clients continue to realize significant savings from this system, which thoroughly analyzes claims to ensure that they meet medical necessity or billing standards.

In 2016, for instance, clients saw an $9.75 average monthly savings per employee from claims surveillance. That represents a 25.1% average savings on clinically reviewed claims, after discounts and coinsurance.

Going back a few years, from 2010 through 2016 MedBen claims surveillance has saved clients, on average, $10.36 per employee per month... an annual average savings of 37.2%. Moreover, these savings are produced after network discounts are applied, but before claims are paid.

It's important to note that while the electronic claims surveillance is leading edge, it's the human factor that makes the real difference. Because once the system flags a claim, physicians drawn from a panel of over 125 board-certified specialists review it and work directly with providers to ensure cost-effective, patient-sensitive outcomes.
MedBen's surveillance system combines technology with a physician-driven approach to deliver clients lower costs... and it's just one part of a claims management strategy designed to maximize your health care savings. Find out more by contacting Vice President of Sales & Marketing Brian Fargus at bfargus@medben.com.

07/30/17

  09:26:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 231 words,  
Categories: Prescription, Cost savings, Research

Working Together, MedBen and Employers Consistently Beat Rx Trends

pharmacy

Keeping prescription drug plan costs in check is one of the greatest challenges for self-funded employers nowadays... but year after year, MedBen is helping clients beat pharmacy cost trends.

From 2014 to 2016, MedBen clients experienced average pharmacy cost trends of just 3.5% per year. In contrast, national trends for employer pharmacy plans averaged 8.7%.

A new drug pricing forecast (which predicts a 7.6% national drug cost increase in 2018) attributes these trends to spikes in specialty drug use and rising pharmaceutical costs. So even with these harsh realities, how are MedBen clients seeing better results?

Part of the answer lies in the fact that we believe your money belongs to you. That's why, rather than holding back a portion of pharmacy rebates and discounts, MedBen returns 100% of them to the rightful owner -- the client.

The trend difference also lies in helping our clients promote preventive care. Many medications that help to prevent or control chronic conditions, such as simvastatin for high cholesterol and lisinopril for hypertension, are available as inexpensive generics. Conversely, medications to control diseases that weren't detected in their earlier stages can cost an Rx plan hundreds or even thousands of dollars a month.

By controlling prescription drug spending, employers can have a meaningful impact on overall health coverage costs. To learn more about how MedBen works with clients to beat pharmacy trend, contact Vice President of Sales & Marketing Brian Fargus at bfargus@medben.com.

07/28/17

  08:04:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 367 words,  
Categories: News, Health Care Reform

Obamacare Lives. So Now What?

Capitol building

In the early morning hours of July 28, the Senate narrowly voted down a so-called "skinny repeal" of Obamacare... and in doing so, sealed the probability that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will remain the law of the land for the foreseeable future.

While calling the skinny bill a "repeal" was something of a misnomer, the limited legislation, if passed by both houses of Congress (unlikely, but not inconceivable), would have effectively ended the ACA's employer mandate, which requires that businesses with 50 full-time employees offer affordable health insurance. Additionally, it would have brought welcome relief from the mandate's time-consuming employer paperwork requirements, including the annual filings of IRS forms 1094/1095. The failure to pass the bill means that the yearly head counts (and headaches) will continue... and increases the likelihood that the long-delayed, and universally reviled, Cadillac tax may actually be implemented in 2020.

The "repeal and replace Obamacare" movement has risen from the ashes so many times, it's anybody's guess as to whether this failed vote truly represents the Republicans' last attempt to pass a new bill. But GOP members have made no secret of their desire to move on to tax reform and other matters, so it would appear that no further efforts to push through new health care reform legislation will happen anytime soon.

And what of Obamacare’s future? President Trump has repeatedly said the ACA should be allowed to "implode," with the expectation that Democrats in Congress would have no choice but to join Republicans in drafting a new bipartisan bill. More likely in the short term, however, is that both parties will agree to work together to address Obamacare’s most pressing problems, such as the lack of available individual coverage in many rural areas. What happens after that... again, it’s anybody's guess.

What we do know for certain is that as long as the ACA stays on the books, businesses must continue to follow the rules for providing minimum essential coverage to employees. And toward this goal, MedBen will continue to assist clients in ensuring that their plans comply with all federal and state regulations. Clients with questions regarding the ACA are always welcome to contact Vice President of Compliance Caroline Fraker at 800-851-0907 or cfraker@medben.com.

07/27/17

  03:20:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 261 words,  
Categories: Wellness, Compliance

When Using Wellness Technology, Follow the Rules

wearable fitness tracker

FitBits and other wearable fitness trackers are popular incentives for worksite wellness programs, but employers need to exercise caution about how data from these devices is used, according to new rules from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

A recent International Foundation survey found that the promotion of wellness-related technology in the workplace is expected to increase in the next two years. But when an employer integrates such technology into a wellness program, it must be sure that any information collected through such devices is being used for legal purposes.

At issue for wearable fitness trackers is not the number of steps recorded but rather personal data collected, such as heart rate, activity levels, and sleep patterns. Additionally, care must be taken to ensure that applicable rules under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Affordable Care Act, and other laws are being followed.

MedBen's internal wellness efforts include a walking program in which employees can use wearable fitness trackers or use their smartphones to monitor their progress. However, rather than download data from these devices, participants simply provide our Human Resources department with a printout or screen capture of their daily steps. In this manner, we can be certain that we respect the participants' privacy, while still rewarding them for achieving the minimum number of steps.

MedBen takes wellness seriously, and our expertise extends to helping clients comply with wellness laws. MedBen WellLiving clients who have questions about wellness-related technology or any other aspect of their employee wellness program are welcome to contact Vice President of Compliance Caroline Fraker at 800-851-0907 or cfraker@medben.com.

07/25/17

  04:34:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 245 words,  
Categories: Client Services

Before Helping Clients, MedBen GSRs Get Educated

Megan MIller and Heidi Smith

Your MedBen group service representatives (GSRs) know your plan, your employee population, and your health care goals. But GSRs don’t become experts in serving clients and consultants overnight – it requires the right people getting the proper training.

MedBen always first looks to hire from within, and the GSR team is certainly no exception. Most of our current GSRs started in our Customer Service department, while others have worked in Administration, Specialty Services, and various other areas of the company.

For those GSRs who are new to MedBen when they're hired, prior experience in health benefits is encouraged... and even then, they first undergo several months of customer service training, learning how to use our systems while honing their service skills.

Whether a GSR is a MedBen veteran or a newcomer, before they can "fly solo," they first receive additional instruction from our Client Services Supervisor. This includes reviewing and responding to client voice mails, then finally taking live calls while the Supervisor monitors the conversation.

Following this extensive education, there's still one more piece of initiation: A GSR doesn't become a full-fledged team member until they've successfully helped a new group through enrollment, or a current group with their renewal.

Finally, regardless of how many years of experience our GSRs have, the training never really ends. New processes, services, and client matters are discussed at weekly team meetings, to ensure that the people who work directly with our clients can provide accurate and up-to-date information.

07/24/17

  08:07:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 350 words,  
Categories: Wellness

The Sunny Side of Vitamin D

beachcomber

Ahh – sweet summertime. The warmth, outdoor activities, sunshine and… vitamins? That’s right! The sun is a great source of vitamin D.

Just thirty minutes of sun exposure to the face, legs, or back, without sunscreen, at least twice a week should give you plenty of vitamin D. Wait a minute… no sunscreen? No, thank you!

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends against getting vitamin D from unprotected exposure to sunlight. With good reason, too... that much direct sun exposure might expose you to dangerous levels of cancer-causing UV radiation, which also causes wrinkles and age spots. Even so, the once well-known thought of “getting a base tan so I don’t burn” has been debunked and deemed as providing minimal protection.

If you can’t get your fill of vitamin D safely from the sun, where can you get it? Unfortunately, the body is designed to absorb vitamin D through the skin and not by mouth. So although foods like tuna and cheese contain some vitamin D, it’s hard to find foods that provide adequate amounts. Therefore, a good alternate source of the vitamin can be found in supplements.

Be mindful however, of how much you are taking. Too much vitamin D can cause high blood calcium level, which could result in nausea, constipation, confusion, abnormal heart rhythm, and even kidney stones. Always consult your physician before adding any supplement to your diet.

Full story »

07/21/17

  05:36:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 327 words,  
Categories: News, Health Care Reform, Taxes, IRS

Reminder: PCORI Filing and Fee Deadline Approaching

IRS Building

As in years past, it's time for all self-funded employer health plan sponsors to file and pay the required Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fee. While hope continues that payment of this fee may be suspended as part of the current Administration’s efforts to reduce the burden of Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulation on plan sponsors, to date that has not happened. This means that PCORI fees must be reported and paid to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) no later than July 31, 2017.

All self-funded plan sponsors are required to pay a fee based on the average number of covered lives under their eligible plans – including employees, retirees, spouses and dependents. Plans subject to the requirements include self-funded medical benefit plans, such as ERISA and non-ERISA self-funded plans as well as retiree-only plans. Other self-funded plans subject to the fee include self-funded HRAs and FSAs which are not integrated with a plan sponsor’s self-funded major medical plan. Dental-only, vision-only, EAP, disease management, and wellness plans are exempt from the fee requirement.

All plan sponsors must use the IRS Form 720 dated April, 2017 to record and remit the amount due. This year, the form has again been modified to include the payment amounts due under the schedule shown below. Make sure to complete the correct section of Part II for “Applicable self-insured health plans” (line 133) and select the correct payment amount based on your plan’s year end date (line 133 (a) or (b)).

This year’s payment schedule is below. If your plan year ended on October 31, 2016, November 30, 2016 or December 31, 2016 you will owe $2.26 per covered life. All other plan years owe $2.17 per covered life. Remember, a “covered life” means each and every individual you have covered under an applicable plan (i.e., employee, retiree, spouse, and dependents).

MedBen clients who need more information about how to count covered lives under their plan or how to prepare and remit your payment, don’t hesitate to contact Vice President of Compliance Caroline Fraker at 800-851-0907 or cfraker@medben.com.

07/16/17

  10:01:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 331 words,  
Categories: Announcements, News, ISO

Following Successful Audit, MedBen Recommended for ISO Recertification

ISO 9001 Certified

MedBen has successfully completed its latest re-assessment audit of its ISO 9001 procedures and has been recommended for recertification, according to the company’s Chairman and CEO Doug Freeman.

In its written recommendation, auditors from SAI Global stated that MedBen's performance demonstrates "an overall well run, constantly evolving system" with regular input from top management. The audit report also says the company has "an effective process for the continual improvement of the management system" ‒ something Freeman says is crucial to client satisfaction and long-term success.

"Having improvement processes in place enables MedBen to move forward with a clear direction for our future, while making sure that customer needs are always being met," Freeman said. "These re-assessment audits serve as a way to confirm that we're maintaining quality, and help us to integrate new approaches that further benefit our clients."

MedBen first achieved ISO Certification in 2005, and has been recertified every three years since then. To earn recertification, the company must undergo an extensive, multi-day re-assessment audit that reviews every detail of its documented ISO standards.
Following the successful re-assessment, MedBen was awarded ISO9001:2015 Certification. The 2015 standard places a greater emphasis on risk management and organizational knowledge than earlier certification standards.

Freeman noted that having proven processes in place benefits MedBen as well as its clients. "ISO Certification demonstrates that we put our customer first, but it also give our employees the security that processes have been tested and documented, which enable them to perform their job successfully," he said.

ISO 9001 is a general quality management system standard that consists of principles that help ensure standardized levels of quality are applied throughout an organization. With the implementation of a quality management system using ISO 9001, a company can implement a process for continual improvement, as well as reduce inefficiencies and waste, thereby experiencing a significant cost savings, while maintaining a focus on client satisfaction.

SAI Global provides organizations around the world with information services and solutions for managing risk, achieving compliance and driving business improvement.

  09:46:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 251 words,  
Categories: Wellness, Cost savings, Preventive care

"Physician First" Wellness Takes a Long-Term View

doctor and patient

A common excuse for not getting an annual wellness exam: "I feel fine, so why waste my time and money seeing a doctor?" But by taking this narrow view of regular check-ups, many people fail to understand that their benefits go well beyond current health considerations.

Meirelys Castro, M.D. recently commented to the Orlando Sentinel:

"To me, physical exams are a special time with the patient to focus on self-awareness, preventive monitoring, CDC-recommended immunizations, potential emotional problems, appropriate weight and nutrition, cardiovascular risk factor screening and modification, and healthy lifestyle recommendations. You can see it’s a lot to cover and can’t be squeezed into a sick visit - which are sometimes the only time your doctor may see you."

MedBen WellLiving espouses a "physician first" approach to employee wellness, in the knowledge that preventive care is most effective when it is built on a sustained doctor-patient relationship.

Even for a healthy person, wellness exams set an important foundation. The annual visit helps your family doctor to detect subtle differences from year to year that the patient may otherwise overlook, such as weight fluctuations or elevated blood pressure. Even slight changes could be an indication of a potential health issue, and the sooner it's detected, the better the chances of a positive outcome ‒ physically and financially.

By integrating MedBen WellLiving into your health plan, you invest in the long-term health of your employees... and save money in the process. Contact Vice President of Sales & Marketing Brian Fargus at bfargus@medben.com to learn more.

07/14/17

  03:11:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 191 words,  
Categories: Prescription, Cost savings

For Real Rx Savings, Generics (and MedBen) Deliver

pills and mortar

When promoting pharmacy plans, third party administrators sometimes play up their brand-name drug discounts... conveniently overlooking the fact that most doctors prescribe generic medications when available. That's why MedBen focuses on the real savings, by offering a highly competitive discount on generics.

In 2016, MedBen's discount rate on retail generic drugs (based on average wholesale price) was 76.9%. Plan members who utilized our mail order service saw an 82.3% discount.

A MedBen client learned firsthand the importance of generic discounts when they switched to a competitor's pharmacy benefits manager (PBM), only to find that the promised savings weren't delivered. We compared their plan-year pharmacy costs under the new PBM with our projected costs for the same period. While the competitor had a slightly better discount on brand drugs, MedBen’s generics discount was significantly greater... so much so, the difference in their annual savings would have exceeded $111,000, or 17% of pharmacy costs.

Nearly 90% of the pharmacy claims MedBen processes are for generic drugs, so it just makes smart financial sense to direct client discounts to maximum pharmacy savings. Learn more about our Rx Advantage by contacting Vice President of Sales & Marketing Brian Fargus at bfargus@medben.com.

07/05/17

  04:51:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 180 words,  
Categories: MedBen Analytics, Bundled Payments, Value-based care

Data Insight Key to Bundled Payment Efficiency, Say Harden at Summit

Kurt Harden

"If the data is there, we can rebuild it," said MedBen President & COO Kurt Harden at the Seventh National Bundled Payment Summit in Arlington, Virginia on June 27.

Speaking on the topic of how health systems and hospitals can make bundled payments work to their best medical and financial advantage, Harden said that these value-based programs "have given providers critical data to improve care and cost, if the data is properly deployed."

By taking disparate Medicaid data and transforming it into practical insights, MedBen Analytics is designed to give health care providers clear information that helps them to uncover inefficiencies and make improvements to the delivery of patient care, from surgery through post-acute.

Harden also demonstrated MedBen Analytics' drill-down functionality that enables users to review care from the system level all the way to individual services. "And there is no additional charge for extra users," Harden noted.

Harden attended the summit with Wendell Crain, Director of Security, Infrastructure and Web Development for MedBen Analytics.

Organizations interested in discussing MedBen Analytics' services can call Harden at 888-633-2364 or email him at kharden@medben.com.

07/02/17

  10:40:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 223 words,  
Categories: Announcements, Online Services

We're Closed July 4, but MedBen Access Stays Open 24/7

Independence Day

Happy Independence Day from MedBen! In observance of the holiday, our home office will be closed on Tuesday, July 4 and reopen at 8:00 a.m. EST on Wednesday, July 5.

Hopefully, you'll spend your holiday relaxing with family and friends... but if you should need to take care of your health plan while our office is closed, remember that both employers and plan members can take advantage of the online services offered at MedBen Access. To visit the site, simply go to MedBen.com, click on the "MedBen Access" link on the top right corner of the home page, and log in.

For employers, MedBen Access enables designated administrators to enroll new plan members, view claims data, make changes to participation status, and even order ID cards. Group-specific drop-down menus help you find what you're looking for fast.

MedBen Access is equally useful for plan members. The site makes it easy to determine the status of a claim, check current deductible and out-of-pocket accumulators, or review benefit coverage for a health service, just to name a few of the features available. And MedBen WellLiving members and FSA/HRA participants can get even more questions answered!

In addition to offering a variety of services, MedBen Access is a secure, password-protected site, so your private information stays protected.

The entire MedBen team wishes you a safe and relaxing Independence Day!

06/30/17

  10:46:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 242 words,  
Categories: Wellness, Diabetes, Preventive care

Diabetes, WellLiving and "An Ounce of Prevention"

diabetes

With nearly 10 million Americans diagnosed with diabetes, it's imperative that the individuals take the proper steps to control the disease if they have it, and prevent it if they don't. By introducing MedBen WellLiving to a group health care program, employers can better address the diabetes epidemic.

Between 1996 and 2013, diabetes spending grew 36 times faster than spending on heart disease, the nation's leading cause of death. Moreover, 86 million adults have prediabetes ‒ and 30% of them will develop diabetes within five years without intervention.

MedBen WellLiving enables employers to follow the adage "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." The primary prevention program encourages annual wellness exams, which allows the employee's family doctor to detect possible symptoms of prediabetes as early as possible. In the initial year of the program, claims activity may reflect this rise in doctor visits... but our experience shows that short-term spending increases are typically offset by a reduction in high-cost care for complications associated with diabetes, such as heart attack and stroke.

For those at higher risk of developing diabetes, WellLiving also offers specialty care. RN Health Consultants can offer customized counseling and confidential disease monitoring to plan members who wish to take sensible measures to better control their health.

In addition to diabetes, WellLiving offers preventive and specialty care programs for a variety of chronic conditions, including hypertension, high cholesterol, and asthma. Contact Vice President of Sales & Marketing Brian Fargus at bfargus@medben.com to learn more.

06/28/17

  02:44:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 235 words,  
Categories: American Health Care Act

Saving Solutions for "Combination" Drugs

prescription

The popularity of specialty drugs is a major factor in health care spending growth, and while there may be no simple solution for controlling their costs, there are steps that employers can take. At our MedBen University roundtables, President & COO Kurt Harden has provided multiple examples of high-cost brand-name medications that are typically nothing more than a combination of two low-cost generics.

On The Atlantic website, author Marshall Allen shared his own experience of getting a prescription for a drug named Vimovo:

"Vimovo was created using two readily and cheaply available generic, or over-the-counter, medicines: naproxen, also known by the brand Aleve, and esomeprazole magnesium, also known as Nexium. The Aleve handles your pain and the Nexium helps with the upset stomach that’s sometimes caused by the pain reliever. The key selling point of this new 'convenience drug'? It’s easier to take one pill than two."

And the bill to the insurance company for this "convenience"? $3,252. That compares to about $40 for a month’s supply of Aleve and Nexium.

Based on a review of “combination” medications and other specialty drugs, MedBen offers a discretionary drug formulary to help clients control the effect of high-cost drugs with low-cost generics available. To receive an updated copy, just contact your group service representative.

Non-MedBen clients interested in learning more about our prescription cost-saving strategies are welcome to contact Vice President of Sales & Marketing Brian Fargus at bfargus@medben.com.

06/20/17

  05:17:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 382 words,  
Categories: Wellness, Preventive care

Cholesterol: The Waxy Substance that Blocks Arteries

picking produce

Imagine pouring candle wax into a straw, letting it dry, and then trying to drink from that straw. Depending on how much candle wax you used, you’d probably agree that you’d be lucky to get a drop of liquid from your cup to your mouth, if any at all. Not to mention, the amount of extra effort it would take! This example is similar to what happens when the body has chronically high cholesterol or, as your doctor may call it, hyperlipidemia.

Cholesterol is a type of fat your body makes. There are two types, HDL (good) and LDL (bad). LDL cholesterol is waxy in texture and can build up in your arteries (much like the wax in the straw), making it hard for blood to circulate throughout your body and adding extra stress on the heart. This can translate into high blood pressure and even blood clots. On the other hand, HDL cholesterol acts as a scavenger, carrying LDL cholesterol away from the arteries.

Hyperlipidemia is nearly unnoticeable at first and left untreated can lead to heart attack, heart disease, and even a stroke. MedBen WellLiving encourages cholesterol checks by your family physician every five years. This test, called a lipoprotein panel, analyzes your blood to gage your HDL, LDL, and triglyceride (another fat found in the blood) levels.

Some causes are unavoidable (age and genetics). However, there are ways to help manage the condition. Diet and exercise are a great place to start. You can read more about diet choices to improve your cholesterol below.

Full story »

06/16/17

  08:15:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 210 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Reporting, Cost savings, Hypertension, Population health management

MedBen WellLiving Clients See Lower 3-Year Cost Trend

Mike Ketron

By promoting employee wellness, MedBen WellLiving clients are realizing significantly lower health care costs. From 2014 to 2016, employers that integrated WellLiving into their health care package experienced just a 1.6% trend, compared to 8.5% trend for non-WellLiving clients.

Reported at a recent MedBen University roundtable, MedBen noted that even though medical utilization is higher for WellLiving clients (due mainly to a higher volume of wellness exams and preventive care-related doctor visits), clients keep overall spending lower through diagnoses of diseases at their earliest stages.

MedBen employers that offer WellLiving also benefit their bottom line by reducing incidences of chronic conditions that require ongoing and costlier care. A new report from health advocacy organization The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) says that hypertension, high cholesterol, and other common conditions will cost the U.S. $42 trillion between 2016 and 2030. Americans with five or more chronic conditions make up 12% of the population but account for 41% of total health care spending.

By complementing preventive care with individualized treatment for those at higher risk of developing chronic conditions, MedBen WellLiving focuses on ways to help your entire employee population realize better health and lower costs. Take the first step to promoting a healthier, more productive workplace by contacting MedBen Vice President of Sales & Marketing Brian Fargus at bfargus@medben.com.

06/09/17

  03:57:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 158 words,  
Categories: Announcements, MedBen Analytics, Bundled Payments, Value-based care

MedBen Analytics Appearing at National Bundled Payment Summit

Kurt Harden & Wendell Crain

MedBen Analytics will be represented at this year's Seventh National Bundled Payment Summit. Kurt Harden, MedBen President and COO, and Wendell Crain, Director of Security, Infrastructure and Web Development for MedBen Analytics, will be present to demonstrate the features of our proprietary analytics software and answer your questions.

The Summit begins with a preconference on Monday, June 26, and runs through Wednesday, June 28. MedBen Analytics also serves as a sponsor for the event, which will be held at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia.

If you plan to attend, we encourage you to stop by our booth - we'd be happy to talk with you and show how MedBen Analytics takes disparate Medicare files and creates insights for success with bundled payments.

For more information about the Bundled Payment Summit, please visit the event's website. And health system providers who can't attend are always welcome to request a system demo... just call Kurt Harden at 888-633-2364 or email medbenanalytics@medben.com.

06/07/17

  03:09:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 210 words,  
Categories: News, Cost savings, Third party administration, Self-funding

Rise in Multi-Million Dollar Claims Stresses Need for Cost Management Solutions

magnified dollar sign

The elimination of lifetime maximums on self-funded health plans has led to a spike in multi-million dollar claims... and an even greater need for the claims management solutions provided through MedBen.

According to the 2017 Sun Life Stop-Loss Report, the number of multi-million dollar claimants increased by 68% from 2013 to 2016. While this group represents only 2.2% of claimants, they accounted for 23% of all stop-loss claims reimbursements in 2016.

Even before the Affordable Care Act phased out lifetime limits, MedBen had in place an advanced surveillance system that thoroughly analyzed claims to ensure that they met medical necessity or billing standards. Now, as multi-million dollar claims become more common, this system ‒ which uses over 125 certified medical specialists to review flagged claims and look for possible solutions ‒ is even more valuable for employers looking to control health care costs.

MedBen also helps clients to reduce the impact of high-dollar claims through customized plan language. Through the use of carve-outs for specific diseases and other focused strategies, employers can better manage their spending without sacrificing needed care.

With nearly 80 years of experience in group benefits management, MedBen specializes in saving clients money on even the costliest claims. Learn more about the ways we do it by contacting Vice President of Sales & Marketing Brian Fargus at bfargus@medben.com.

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