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10/18/17

  09:07:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 596 words,  
Categories: Announcements, MedBen Employees

MedBen Employees Celebrate Silver Anniversaries (Part Two)

25 Anniversary celebrants

On this blog, MedBen has been honoring employees who are observing benchmark anniversaries with the company in 2017 – among them, three marking their 30th anniversaries and eight celebrating 25 years. In this latter group, we earlier highlighted four silver anniversary celebrants... and below, we are pleased to spotlight the remaining four.

Eugene Danner

Eugene Danner started out at MedBen as an Examiner for dental, life, and disability claims. But when a job position in the Information Systems Department opened up, he grabbed it... and in the process, found his true calling as a Technical Services Analyst.

MedBen has been in business for nearly 80 years, due in large part to the stability provided by loyal team members like Danner. In turn, he appreciates MedBen's ability to anticipate and adapt to marketplace changes and that "leadership acknowledges when employees take the time and effort to solve issues."

On a personal level, Danner likes the convenience of working local and the chance to advance from within the company. "The life that I have been able to provide for my wife and her two children for the last 25-plus years means a lot to me," Danner said. "I also appreciate the investment opportunities for retirement that MedBen provides."

Caroline Fraker has always been something of a stickler for details. Beginning in 1992 as Compliance Analyst, and today as Vice President of Compliance and Chief Privacy Officer, she takes great pride in helping MedBen clients stay on top of regulatory issues and better understand how those issues affect their plans.

Fraker appreciates MedBen for "the opportunity to be involved with smart, dedicated people who are all working to provide the best service possible. I know that may sound hokey, but at other places I’ve worked the people are working for themselves – not each other or their clients," she said.

Like other employees celebrating an important anniversary this year, Fraker credits her co-workers for making her job so enjoyable: "The people at MedBen have truly become my work family. I love coming to work each day!"

Full story »

10/17/17

  04:25:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 377 words,  
Categories: Wellness, Cancer, Preventive care

Here’s Your Sign: Breast Cancer Screening

doctor consultation

What do 12.4%, 22% and 100% all have in common? Breast cancer.

12.4% of women born in the United States will develop breast cancer. That’s nearly 1 in 8 women who will find that the disease, in which malignant cells form in the tissues of the breasts is invading their body.

Nearly 100% of women diagnosed in the early stages (stages 0-1) receive a treatment plan, a good prognosis and survive. Physical examinations from your family physician and self-monitoring for changes (and then notifying your physician of those changes) are all great places to start in detecting the disease. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, different people have different symptoms of breast cancer and some do not show any symptoms at all. So, if you’re waiting for a sign before you get a screening, here it is: When breast cancer is caught in later stages of 4-5, that 100% substantially drops to 22%.

These statistics are one reason MedBen WellLiving promotes breast cancer screenings through biannual mammograms for women ages 40 and older. And it seems to be catching on, too; According to a recent study, the death rate from breast cancer decreased 40% from 1989 to 2015, thanks in part to early detection.

The fact is, we don’t know exactly what causes breast cancer. We do, however, know what inflates the risks including, genetics, hormones, and obesity. Some can be managed, while other can not. However, we all have an opportunity to receive a mammogram and other recommended screenings to hopefully catch it in the earliest stages possible. For more information, seek guidance from your family physician.

SOURCES: Cancer.gov, Cancer.org, Washington Post, National Breast Cancer Foundation

Full story »

10/08/17

  08:31:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 337 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Health Care Reform

Issue 2 Offers Uncertainty for Sponsors of Prescription Drug Plans

pills

The Ohio Drug Price Relief Act, better known as Issue 2, has sparked plenty of debate (and earned TV stations a lot of money in ad time). If approved, the initiative would enable the state to buy prescription drugs for Medicaid and state retirement programs at prices comparable to what the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pays for them.

While it is difficult to predict what will happen if Issue 2 passes, the issue is specific in its requirements of the state on drug payments it makes to pharmacies, but short on implementation details. This poorly-worded mixture will likely lead to uncertainty, confusion, and litigation… and while not directly affecting employer-sponsored drug plans, these elements may lead to unforeseen long-term consequences.

If Issue 2 passes and is implemented on its language alone, it’s possible that the following scenario could play out at pharmacies statewide:

  1. The pharmacy buys a medicine at $100.
  2. The state, by mandate under Issue 2, would be required to pay the pharmacy (in this example) the VA price of $75.
  3. The pharmacy will lose money on every one of those prescriptions.

Because pharmacies are unable to “cost shift” to private employers or Medicare – those reimbursements are controlled by the pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) – the options for that pharmacy include:

  • Shifting cost to the very few “cash” customers (a small proportion of patients);
  • Turning away all patients under state reimbursement (predominantly Medicaid); and/or
  • Close their doors in those markets dominated with Medicaid and poor cash pay customers.

It is likely that if Issue 2 passes, retail pharmacies in poor urban neighborhoods and poor rural counties with heavy Medicaid populations will have to close their pharmacies or turn into “convenience marts” or sundry shops, and these patients, because of limited travel capabilities, will lose access to necessary medicines.

Drug company prices have become a big concern for health plans. The Issue 2 legal mandate will not address those concerns. In fact, it could harm competition and make the situation worse in Ohio.

Related materials:

  08:12:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 569 words,  
Categories: Announcements, MedBen Employees

MedBen Employees Celebrate Silver Anniversaries (Part One)

Recently, we recognized three MedBen employees who in 2017 are marking 30 years with MedBen... a noteworthy achievement, to be certain. But no less impressive is that eight of our employees are this year celebrating their 25th anniversaries with us, and they also merit special recognition. MedBen is proud of our long-time association with each one of them, and their contributions to our growth and continued success cannot be understated.

The 25th anniversary celebrants include: Keith Caudill; Eugene Danner; Caroline Fraker; Nanette Gray; Kelley Hahn; Tammy Murphy; Diana Vlachos; and Janet White. Below, we spotlight four of these employees -- we'll do the same for the remaining four in an upcoming article.

25th Anniversary celebrants

Keith Caudill joined MedBen as a Programmer/Analyst at a time when the company was making the transition from paper-based recordkeeping to storing data on a secure computer network. Now a Senior Programmer/Analyst, he has played a huge part in ensuring the safety and privacy of client information, while allowing fast access to those employees whose jobs require it.

"I’ve really enjoyed working with everyone over the years... I’ve met a lot of good people and had fun here," Caudill said when asked about his 25 years with MedBen. "I also like how the company supports and encourages us to support local charities."

Nanette Gray has, at different times, worked in the Claims and Customer Service Departments, and today works in both… sort of. In her role as Customer Service Liaison for the Claims team, she provides claims information necessary for representatives to answer plan members’ questions accurately and efficiently.

"I like working for a company that not only cares about your job performance, but how their employees are doing on a personal level as well," Gray said. "We aren’t just employees here, we are a family of people that care about one another."

Gray added that MedBen also cares about the community and offers many ways employees can reach out, such as through Families Helping Families, in which employees "adopt" less fortunate children at Christmas time.

Full story »

10/06/17

  10:33:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 154 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Health Care Reform

HHS Revises ACA Contraception Mandate

birth control

The Trump administration announced on October 6 that the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) contraception mandate will be scaled back to allow exemptions for employers that claim a religious or moral objection to covering birth control, The Washington Post reports.

Two new regulations, issued by the Health and Human Services Department (HHS), will take effect immediately. The first exempts entities with "sincerely held religious beliefs" from the mandate, while the other exempts entities that object "on the basis of moral conviction [that] is not based in any particular religious belief," HHS said.

This policy essentially broadens exemptions already available to churches and faith-affiliated charities, colleges and hospitals. Those employers could opt out of providing contraceptive coverage by notifying their insurer, third party administrator or the federal government – and the same option will apply under the new rules.

MedBen clients with questions regarding these regulations are welcome to contact Vice President of Compliance Carline Fraker at cfraker@medben.com.

10/05/17

  05:01:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 229 words,  
Categories: Announcements, News, Wellness, Preventive care

In Praise of Primary Care

doctor and patient

At KevinMD.com, family physician Glen R. Stream reminds us that this week is National Primary Care Week (just in case you somehow forgot), and the critical role that these doctors play:

"A wealth of research continues to show that primary care not only reduces costs, but also helps achieve high-quality care that effectively manages population health. It is key to delivering on the 'triple aim' of better health, better care, at lower costs.

"Primary care is truly the best buy in health care and, with the right investments, it has the potential to provide even greater value to the health care system."

With the MedBen WellLiving program, the path to better health and better care at lower costs starts with promoting prevention -- and on that path, primary care physicians serve as excellent guides. When your plan members establish ongoing doctor-patient relationships, the odds of their doctor detecting a chronic condition in its earliest stages increases exponentially. That translates to a healthier workplace and fewer high-dollar claims.

Reducing the care gap in your employee population isn’t difficult… all it takes is the right incentive to encourage annual wellness exams and regular screenings with a primary care provider. WellLiving helps you help your plan members make smart choices about their health.

Learn more about primary prevention with MedBen WellLiving by contacting Vice President of Sales & Marketing Brian Fargus at bfargus@medben.com.

09/24/17

  10:19:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 301 words,  
Categories: Announcements, News, MedBen Employees

Freeman, Delcher and Harris Celebrate 30 Years with MedBen

30th Anniversary celebrants

MedBen recently marked a most impressive benchmark: Three of our employees, including Chairman of the Board & CEO Doug Freeman, were honored for 30 years of service at an employee appreciation luncheon on Friday, September 15. Employees who had reached other noteworthy anniversaries were also recognized for their achievements.

Freeman was hired as President in 1987 to lead MedBen as it made its journey from a hospital services association to a multi-service health benefits management company. He was elected to Chairman in 2012.

From his previous employer Freeman enlisted Cara Delcher, who too was honored at the event. Delcher joined MedBen as a Systems Coordinator, and was named a Vice President in 1992. Now residing in California, she serves as Senior Business Analyst and Quality Coordinator.

Rounding out the three-decade honorees was Janice Harris, who preceded Freeman and Delcher at MedBen by several months. Initially alternating between the Administration and Information System departments, she was soon working in IS exclusively – and continues to do so today as an Operations and Security Administrator.

25th Anniversary celebrants

In addition to the 30-year benchmarks, eight MedBen employees were singled out for their 25 years of service to MedBen. These include (in alphabetical order):

  • Keith Caudill, Senior Programmer Analyst;
  • Eugene Danner, Technical Services;
  • Caroline Fraker, Vice President of Compliance & Chief Privacy Officer;
  • Nanette Gray, Customer Service Liason;
  • Kelley Hahn, Proposal Manager;
  • Tammy Murphy, Claims Examiner III;
  • Diana Vlachos, Director of Human Resources; and
  • Janet White, Claims Examiner II.

(More about our 25th Anniversary celebrants soon!)

Other MedBen employees honored at the luncheon include:

20 Years of Service: Tanya Godsell, Kathi Hay, Becca Hostetler, Sharon Mills, Darcy Sickles and Debbie Stephens.
15 Years of Service: Brian Abrams, Robin Becker and Kory McPeck.
10 Years of Service: SueMarie Beaumont, Jody Blaney, Mary Fair, Erin Kelly, Stefanie Kirkpatrick and Sally Wood.
5 Years of Service: Samantha Hammond and Heidi Smith.

  10:13:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 245 words,  
Categories: News, Reporting, Population health management, MedBen Employees

MedBen Talks Health Management at Innovation Conference

Kurt Harden

MedBen clients were among those getting useful benefits management advice at the 4th Annual Sherrill Morgan Healthcare Innovation Conference on September 11-12, 2017. MedBen itself was also well-represented at the event, both as presenters and on the conference floor.

"Preventable, chronic conditions make up about 70% of deaths in America," MedBen President & COO Kurt Harden noted during his Population Health Management presentation on the first morning of the conference. He added that "since gaps in care are related to evidence-based treatments, closing these gaps reduce risk factors, which ultimately lowers per-patient per-month and aggregate costs.”

Harden also shared the dais with Mark Morgan, President of Sherrill Morgan, to discuss the advantages of "own use" pharmacies for hospital groups. By encouraging plan members to buy their prescription drugs from the hospital’s own pharmacy, hospitals can realize substantial savings.

Brooke Hupp

MedBen Vice President of Sales & Marketing Brian Fargus and Regional Sales Manager Brooke Hupp were also in attendance, meeting with clients and providing them with Risk Stratification Reports that identify cost and risk factors in their member populations, plus identifying specific improvement strategies. Clients also received summary breakdowns chronic conditions with suggestions for reducing their groups' care gaps.

MedBen was also pleased to sponsor a cocktail reception at the Cincinnati Zoo, complete with access to the zoo's African exhibits.

MedBen has worked with benefits consulting firm Sherrill Morgan for over two decades. Based in Covington, KY (right on the Ohio border), the company has provided employer consulting services since 1969.

  09:03:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 206 words,  
Categories: News, MedBen Employees

MedBen Employees Take Part in United Way Week of Caring

MedBen is proud to be among the area companies that participated in the United Way of Licking County (OH) Week of Caring from September 15 to 22, 2017. Sixteen of our team members volunteered their time and talents toward the betterment of our community.

MedBen employees rolled up their sleeves (well, those who weren't wearing T-shirts) to participate in various United Way projects. Our team members could be found throughout Licking County during the week, starting at The Woodlands' New Beginnings shelter in Newark, where volunteers spent the afternoon painting the shelves of their food pantry.

Newark's Group Home for Developmentally Disabled also saw MedBen hard at work, with team members scraping and priming the house to prep for painting. And a similar scene occurred at the House of New Hope in St. Louisville, as our volunteers took to power washing and painting the building. Quite a change of pace from paying claims, but we were happy to help!

United Way is among the many charities and non-profit organizations MedBen has partnered with over the years. We've also been honored to support Food Pantry Network, Families Helping Families, A Call to College, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Licking County Community Health Clinic, and the Midland Theatre, to name just a few.

09/22/17

  10:31:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 274 words,  
Categories: Security, Third party administration, Compliance, MedBen Employees

Fraker, Crain Moderate SPBA Conference Sessions

SPBA Fraker

MedBen Vice President of Compliance & Chief Privacy Officer Caroline Fraker was among the session moderators at the Society of Professional Benefit Administrators (SPBA) Fall Conference on September 13-15, 2017. Fraker has served as a SPBA board member since 2014.

Also lending his technical expertise to the conference was Wendell Crain, MedBen Director of Security, Infrastructure and Web Development, whose involvement and insights were specifically requested by the event organizers.

Fraker acted as moderator for the "Plan and TPA Targeted Litigation" session. Its objective was to help third party administrators in attendance better understand where legal vulnerabilities may exist for self-funded plan sponsors.

“With ever-increasing regulatory oversight and more complicated plan designs, it is important for plan sponsors to be aware of current litigation targeting their plans,” Fraker said. “MedBen takes compliance seriously and is always seeking information relevant to our clients.”

SPBA Crain

Crain also served as a moderator, leading a session about the implementation of HITRUST (Health Information Trust Alliance) certification, a form of security compliance that enables the proper storage, access and exchange of regulated data. Set guidelines relating to levels of security must be met to earn certification.

"Ensuring that these measures are in place is a difficult and time-consuming process, but worth it for your security and for the security of your customers... and for defeating those who would try to get at your data," Crain said.

Additionally, Crain co-paneled a breakout session with fellow information technology specialists to share their experiences regarding the implementation of security protocols.

Formed in 1975, SPBA strives to advance the goals of benefits administrators as well as to provide advice that helps members better serve their clients and plans.

09/18/17

  07:49:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 356 words,  
Categories: Wellness, Immunizations

Protect Yourself and Others: Get the Flu Vaccine!

flu shot sign-in

Whether you love fall or not – the changing leaves, shorter days, longer nights, and pumpkin spice everything – it is here. So, too, is flu season.

Influenza (flu) is a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory passages causing fever, severe aching, and congestion, and often occurring in epidemics. People with flu can spread it to others as far as 6 feet away, mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk.

Millions of Americans (143.2 million in 2013-2014) take the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in that the best protection from the virus is to be vaccinated annually. With good reason, too as an infected person can spread the virus one day before showing symptoms (or even knowing they are sick) and up to seven days after they get sick.

There are many misconceptions about the vaccine, what it does, and its side-effects. For example, some may think that you can get influenza from the vaccine (you can’t). In fact, if you get flu immediately following your vaccination, it’s likely that you were exposed to the virus just before or during the two-week waiting period after receiving the vaccine (it can take up to two weeks to take effect).

WellLiving highly encourages all people to speak to their family physicians about their concerns of receiving the vaccine, prior to making their final decision.

Full story »

09/06/17

  09:52:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 196 words,  
Categories: Prescription, Cost savings, Third party administration

MedBen Claim Surveillance Case Study: $100k In Savings on One Person

dollar magnified

MedBen cost containment technology, coupled with professional analysis, is saving a MedBen client almost $100,000 annually.

Recently, MedBen's claim surveillance system flagged a claim from a hospital billing for an injectable specialty drug to treat a chronic disease. The drug was being administered to the patient at the hospital every three months at a cost of $42,919 per dose, for a total charge of $171,676 annually.

A medical specialist reviewed the claim and, finding that the charge for the drug was excessive, suggested that the patient receive future doses from a specialty pharmacy and receive instruction to perform self-injection at home. The specialty pharmacy and MedBen's pharmacy consultant worked with the patient to make a safe transition to self-injecting.

The cost for the drug under the new arrangement: $18,772 per dose, or $75,088 per year. That translates to a savings of $96,588 annually... 56% less than the original drug cost. And this reduction doesn't even factor in the elimination of an additional hospital fee for the drug injection.

Advanced claims surveillance and a panel of over 125 medical specialists -- technology and talent working together to save MedBen clients money. Find out how by contacting Vice President of Sales & marketing Brian Fargus at bfargus@medben.com.

  09:51:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 200 words,  
Categories: Wellness, Cost savings

Worksite Wellness Efforts Lead to More Productive Employees

businesspeople

Worksite wellness programs like MedBen WellLiving benefit an employer's bottom line... and not only by reducing claims for costly chronic conditions. A healthier workplace also results in more productive employees.

According to The Wall Street Journal, a focused company wellness study found that the employees who participated in a wellness program increased their productivity by an average of 4% during the subsequent year. Productivity change was particularly apparent in sick workers whose health improved from one annual wellness exam to the next -- their output increased by an average of 10.8%.

“Showing up feeling better means people work harder on a day-to-day basis,” said study co-author Ian Larkin, a management professor at the University of California. The authors estimated for every $100 the company spent on the wellness program, it earned $176 in output from its employees.

Through the WellLiving program, MedBen is dedicated to bettering the physical and financial health of its clients. Simply by encouraging better health and eliminating gaps in plan members' care, employers are realizing lower health care costs, reduced absenteeism, and a more productive workplace.

Learn more about the multiple ways MedBen WellLiving can benefit your bottom line by contacting Vice President of Sales & Marketing Brian Fargus at bfargus@medben.com.

  09:50:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 200 words,  
Categories: Security, Privacy

For MedBen, Your Data Security Is an Ongoing Commitment

Rose McEntire

No business is more acutely aware of the importance of data security nowadays than those in the health care industry. With ransomware becoming more prevalent, the need for heightened measures has never been greater... and for years, MedBen has been addressing this need.

Long before "cybersecurity" became common language, MedBen had gone to great lengths to ensure the safety of client information. Our commitment to allowing only authorized people to view and disseminate personal data goes back over two decades, and in the ensuing years we’ve continued to be proactive about respecting and protecting your privacy.

MedBen approaches security from three perspectives: external, internal, and physical. In all three instances, we have recently added new safeguards to our existing protections.

But having these safeguards in place is only half the story. Our cybersecurity strategy requires that we test these protective measures through periodic, unscheduled penetration attempts by IBM and other outside firms. Not only do these tests confirm the reliability of our safeguards, they provide valuable feedback that helps us further strengthen our defenses.

MedBen clients with questions regarding our cybersecurity measures are welcome to contact our Vice President of Information Systems and Chief Privacy Office Rose McEntire at rmcentire@medben.com.

  09:50:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 129 words,  
Categories: Announcements, Online Services

MedBen Closing Early on September 15

MedBen building

On Friday, September 15, MedBen will be closing at 12:00 p.m. EST for a companywide employee recognition event. We will reopen at 8:00 a.m. EST on Monday, September 18.

At the event, MedBen will pay tribute to employees who are celebrating benchmark anniversaries with MedBen... including several who have now been with us for 30 years! (More about that soon.)

Remember that even when live service representatives aren't available, many of your questions (including those pertaining to prescription plans, FSAs and HRAs) can be answered anytime, anywhere through our MedBen Access website.

Also keep in mind that MedBen.com offers resources frequently requested by customers, such as a list of FSA-eligible expenses and instructions for reading EOBs. Just select the "Plan Sponsors" or "Plan Members" button on the home page, depending on your specific needs.

08/27/17

  10:38:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 180 words,  
Categories: American Health Care Act

Effective Wellness Addresses the Costliest Chronic Conditions

wellness exam

MedBen WellLiving focuses on preventing chronic conditions in order to reduce gaps in employee care… as well as lowering the corresponding costs that make up a big chunk of employer health care spending.

A recent International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans survey found that diabetes is the number one condition impacting benefit plan health costs for 41% of the respondents. Other chronic conditions impacting costs include heart disease (27%), hypertension (26%), and high cholesterol (11%).

With an emphasis on preventive care through annual wellness examinations, WellLiving reduces the impact of Type 2 diabetes and other pricey chronic conditions. Additionally, regular cancer screenings help to diagnose this costly disease in its earliest stages.

High-risk plan members get an extra level of intervention through individualized counseling and prevention information via a registered nurse. This one-on-one approach helps to keep chronic conditions, and their corresponding expenses, in check.

Maintaining a healthy workplace and lower care costs are essential to the long-term success of a business, and WellLiving offers employers a proven wellness solution. Find out more by contacting Vice President of Sales & Marketing Brian Fargus at bfargus@medben.com.

  10:35:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 207 words,  
Categories: Announcements, Wellness, Online Services, Flexible spending accounts (FSAs)

We're Closed Labor Day, But MedBen Access Offers Helpful Online Services

American flag

Believe it or not, Labor Day weekend is nearly upon us... and the staff of MedBen want to take the opportunity to wish you and your family a safe and relaxing holiday!

Our home office will be closed on Monday, September 4 in observance of the Labor Day holiday. We will reopen at 8:00 a.m. EST Tuesday, September 5.

Even when we’re out of the office, MedBen Access stays open around the clock. And with the year already two-thirds gone, it's an opportune time to remind your employees of our online service's helpful features, which can be accessed by going to MedBen.com and selecting "MedBen Access."

For instance, if your health care plan offers a MedBen flexible spending account (FSA) option, members can check their FSA spending activity and the funds remaining to be spent – just click "FSA/HRA Online Inquiry" on the side menu. And if they need to file an FSA Reimbursement form for medical payments, explanations of benefits (EOBs) are available for downloading and printing (click on "My Claims").

Likewise, clients that offer our WellLiving program can direct plan members toward the Wellness Compliance page ("MedBen WellLiving") to confirm that they're up to date on their annual exam and recommended screenings.

Once again, have a great Labor Day!

MedBen Client Report Highlights Population Health Management Services

client report

The health care landscape may continue to shift, but MedBen remains focused on providing clients with cost-effective, employer-directed administrative services. In our 2017 MedBen Client Report, we look at the various way we're working with employers to use the freedom and flexibility of self-funding to their best advantage.

This year's report offers an overview of MedBen's population health management services, from a wellness program that helps plan members take the right steps toward "gap-free care," to pharmacy benefits that promote the proper use of prescribed medications while keeping costs as low as possible.

The report also shows how MedBen tailors its services to client needs – what we refer to as "personalized benefits management." This approach takes many forms, such as through our dedicated group services representatives and a compliance team that works one-on-one with clients to address regulatory issues specific to their plan.

We recently sent the Client Report to our self-funded group contacts and brokers. If you have not yet received one or would like to request additional copies, please contact Sales Analyst Sally Wood at swood@medben.com. Or, if you're an employer interested in knowing more about the ways that MedBen's population health management services can benefit your business, you're welcome to contact our Sales and Marketing Department at 888-627-8683.

08/17/17

  05:11:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 338 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Weighing the Pros (and Cons) of Protein

protein drink

There’s a lot of hype these days about protein – diets call for high protein intake, body builders seek protein shakes, and there’s even protein ice cream. But is protein really that important?

To put it bluntly – yes. Protein is a very important component of every cell in the body as it is the building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues, and to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals.

Since protein is a macronutrient, the body requires a lot of it. But too much of a good thing does exist. When significant amounts of protein are consumed with few carbohydrates, ketosis – in which the body stops burning carbs for fuel because there is an insufficient amount and starts burning its own fat – occurs. Ketones (more commonly associated with diabetes) can build up in the blood, making it more acidic, potentially leading to other serious conditions. Also note that by concentrating on protein sources, dieters may be getting too much salt, and not enough calcium, potassium, or other nutrients typically found in fruits and vegetables.

All diets are a balancing act, but your balance may be different than other individuals. The Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. However, always consult your doctor so that your medical history (such as diabetes, anemia, etc.) may be considered.

Full story »

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.

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