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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.

06/04/17

  03:29:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 170 words,  
Categories: Research, Third party administration, Vision, Self-funding

Vision Coverage Looks Good, Employees Say

eyeglasses

Adding vision benefits to a group health care plan sends a positive message to employees and serves as a useful retention tool, a recent survey reveals.

According to the Employee Perceptions of Vision Benefits survey (via BenefitsPRO), an overwhelming 98% of respondents agreed that including vision benefits as part of an overall health package shows companies care about their employees’ well-being. Moreover, 87% said that they're more likely to stay with an employer that provides coverage for eye exams, frames and other vision materials.

With MedBen VisionPlus, employers can provide the kind of benefits that attract and retain employees. Our plan promotes preventive care through fully-covered exams, and offers high-quality glasses and contact lenses at reduced prices.

Best of all, VisionPlus is an extremely affordable employer benefit for self-funded employers... and MedBen clients who add vision coverage to their health care plan receive a discount on VisionPlus administrative fees.

To learn how MedBen VisionPlus can complement your group's health care plan, contact Vice President of Sales & Marketing Brian Fargus at bfargus@medben.com.

06/02/17

  10:01:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 172 words,  
Categories: Announcements, News, Wellness, Cost savings, Third party administration, Self-funding

MedBen Cost Trend Remains Low... Especially for WellLiving Clients

Caduceus and bills

Through effective claims management and intelligent plan design, cost trend for MedBen clients in 2016 was only 3.9%. And from 2012 to 2016, client cost trend averaged just 3.5% over the five-year period.

But there's more to the story. MedBen clients who utilized our WellLiving personal wellness program saw even smaller trend: just a 1.6% bump in costs from 2014 to 2016. (Nearly 40% of our clients currently provide WellLiving to their employees.) Comparatively, national health care cost trend has averaged about 6-7% in the past several years.

The MedBen WellLiving approach of uncovering and closing gaps in care helps employer health plans to improve outcomes, better coordinate treatment, and optimize efficiency and revenue. For our WellLiving clients, that translates to even lower long-term costs, in addition to gaining a healthier workforce.

For MedBen, finding ways to help clients save money and improve population health is important to us, because we know just how important it is to them. Learn more about the many ways we can benefit your business by contacting Vice President of Sales & Marketing Brian Fargus at bfargus@medben.com.

05/30/17

IRS Announces 2018 HDHP Deductible, Out-of-Pocket Limits

IRS building

As is the case every spring, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released its guidance regarding the limitations for high deductible health plans (HDHP) for the coming calendar year. Rev. Proc. 2017-37 announces the limits that will apply to any HDHP used with a health savings account (HSA) in connection with any plan year beginning in 2018.

To qualify as a HDHP in 2018, the deductible for an individual who has self-only coverage cannot be less than $1,350 (increased from last year’s limit of $1,300) or, for someone with family coverage, the deductible cannot be less than $2,700 (up from last year’s limit of $2,600).

Many plan sponsors have preferred not to use the "self-only/family-only" deductible structure for their HDHP, and instead have adopted an “embedded deductible” in accordance with IRS guidance. This allows for an individual deductible that applies to each family member, with an overall accumulative family limit, such as those used by more traditional health plans. In order to do this in an HDHP, the individual deductible must not be less than the minimum family deductible ($2,700) allowed for that plan year. Any health plan currently using the $2,600 individual embedded deductible must be amended by the beginning of the new plan year to reflect this new limit.

If a plan is using the self-only/family-only deductible structure, the deductibles may also need to increase to reflect the new limits. If you have a non-calendar year plan year, but run your deductible and out-of-pocket limits on the calendar year, you may want to consider making this change to be effective January 1st so that the deductible increase will not occur mid-year.

Full story »

05/26/17

MedBen Closed Memorial Day... But We're Open Online!

MedBen Building

The staff of MedBen want to wish you and your family a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend!

Our home office will be closed on Monday, May 29 in observance of the holiday. We will reopen at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 30.

Should you need claims and benefits information during the holiday weekend (or any other time), MedBen Access is available to help you 365 days a year. Simply go to MedBen.com and select "MedBen Access".

For those who use Pharmacy Data Management (PDM) as their pharmacy benefits manager, you can check on prescription claims and find lower cost drug options through MedBen Access by clicking on the "Rx" button located in the "My Claims" section of the MedBen Access website.

Additionally, if you're a MedBen Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) participant, you also can use MedBen Access to see your FSA/HRA balances, claims submissions and payments. When you log in to MedBen Access, you'll find an "FSA/HRA Online Inquiry" option (visible only to groups offering MedBen FSAs/HRAs) under the "My Plan" section located on the left sidebar. By selecting this option, users are automatically taken to the MedBen FSA/HRA Online System.

Once again, have a good holiday... and thanks for your continued relationship with MedBen!

05/25/17

  08:28:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 212 words,  
Categories: American Health Care Act

June Deadlines for CJR Participants

MedBen Analytics

MedBen Analytics clients should note that several important deadlines are approaching for hospitals participating in comprehensive care for joint replacement (CJR):

June 8, 2017 -- Last day to submit Calculation Error Form
Clients who have received a finding in their CJR Reconciliation: Performance Year 1 (PY1) report may wish to voluntarily respond to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The completed form must be accompanied by eligibility findings or other relevant information. MedBen Analytics clients who have questions about submitting the form may contact Manager of Operations Cari Coventry at 800-423-3151, ext. 405 or ccoventry@medben.com.

June 30, 2017 - Last day to collect pre-operative patient-reported outcomes (PRO) data on eligible total hip arthroplasty/total knee arthroplasty (THA/TKA) procedures
Pre-operative data should be collected between 0 to 90 days prior to the eligible elective, primary THA/TKA procedure. The hospital will then need to collect this patient's post-operative data 270 to 365 days (9-12 months) after the patient's procedure.

June 30, 2017 - Performance Year 2's eligible THA/TKA procedure window closes
Hospitals should collect data for Medicare patients who are aged 65 and older, and undergoing elective, primary THA/TKA procedures. A hospital will need to assess a patient's eligibility for inclusion in the voluntary data collection on the day of or prior to the THA/TKA procedure (before billing codes are submitted). Therefore, hospitals will primarily use clinical criteria to exclude patients.

05/24/17

  04:51:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 345 words,  
Categories: Wellness

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

consoling friend

Mental health does not receive nearly the publicity that it should compared to other elements of wellness. Even though one in five Americans suffer from mental illness, and over a million mental health screenings were completed online at Mental Health America last year alone, the topic remains taboo to many.

Millions of people suffering from extreme stress, anxiety, or depression may not be receiving the care they need. In fact, less than 50% of those with a diagnosis in mental health sought guidance. This could be due to the fact that a recent survey showed that less than 25% of those diagnosed with a mental illness thought people to be considerate of their condition.

Nevertheless, MedBen WellLiving has always supported a honest relationship with your physician, including discussing symptoms of extreme stress, anxiety, and depression. Such common symptoms include behavior straying from a person’s norm, such as a social person now isolating themselves or an active person now sleeping the majority of the day (or not at all). Eating habits can also change when someone is suffering from a mental illness.

Recognizing these symptoms within ourselves is important, but so is recognizing them within others. If you believe that you or someone you love may be suffering from a mental illness, seek guidance immediately. Your family physician should be able to guide you through the correct steps.

Full story »

05/21/17

  11:11:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 252 words,  
Categories: Stop-loss, Cost savings, Third party administration, Captives

MedBen Stop-Loss Captive Offers Cost Savings Through Shared Risk

Jay Ritchie

The MedBen stop-loss captive save clients money while reducing financial risk, says Jay Ritchie, Executive Vice President of Tokio Marine HCC.

Speaking at the 2017 Employer Roundtable on May 11, Ritchie noted that the success of MedBen's captive is based on its straightforward design. "By keeping things simple and avoiding unnecessary costs and excessive fees, clients realize lower costs while still offering broad benefits."

A captive brings together employers with good claims experience to spread risk among multiple groups. In doing so, small to mid-sized businesses get the advantages of larger employers, including plan design flexibility, claims data transparency, and cost management.
A key to the captive is an added "captive layer" between the employer specific deductible and stop-loss coverage, in which a portion of the group’s collective stop-loss premium is held. Claims above the specific deductible are paid from this layer, and any funds remaining in it go back to the employers.

"Employers in the stop-loss captive use the captive layer as a shock absorber," Ritchie said. "This added layer translates to lower volatility in the stop-loss specific claim layer, which in turn lowers employer risk. And the captive's cost containment can reduce short and long term cost trends."

In addition to his position at Tokio Marine HCC, Ritchie also serves as Chairman of the Board for the Self-Insurance Institute of America (SIIA).

Employers interested in joining the MedBen stop-loss captive can do so at their current effective date. To learn more, contact Vice President of Sales & Marketing Brian Fargus at bfargus@medben.com.

  11:05:00 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.

05/19/17

  05:18:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 227 words,  
Categories: Announcements, News

Millard Completes Chamber Leadership Program

Cheri Hottinger & Wayne Millard

MedBen Director of Data Processing & Technical Compliance Wayne Millard recently completed the Community Leadership of Licking County program, offered through the Licking County (OH) Chamber of Commerce. For completing the nine-month program, Wayne received a Certificate of Achievement at a commemorative ceremony on Friday, May 12.

The Leadership program allows participants to interact with a diverse group of business experts from various job categories. Those accepted into the program are taught the importance of "strength-based" leadership in which the individual focuses on developing specific attributes at which they excel, while gaining useful exposure to area industry professionals.

When asked about the value of the program, Millard replied, "In addition to learning about the workings of businesses around Licking County, you also learn about the most important skills you bring to your job that make you one of a kind."

As for how completing the program will benefit him, Millard said, "By networking with other business people in the area, I developed relationships that can further my career while helping to build important relationships for MedBen."

Millard joined MedBen in 1999 and was named a director in 2015. He has earned Masters in Business Administration and Information Systems Management, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems, from Devry University. He has also earned 15 health care certifications from America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and other industry organizations.

Congratulations, Wayne!

05/18/17

  02:22:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 227 words,  
Categories: Announcements, News

Team MedBen Challenges Heart Disease at AHA Event

For the second year running (literally), MedBen participated with other area businesses in the Licking County HeartChase on Saturday, May 6 in Newark, Ohio. MedBen also served as a corporate sponsor for the event, which was created by the American Heart Association (AHA) to promote heart health awareness.

HeartChase 2017

A total of 27 MedBen employees participated in the 2017 HeartChase, a friendly corporate contest in which teams competed for points in a variety of heart-related activities and games. These challenges ranged from a human foosball match to a classic game of cardio concentration, as well as numerous opportunities to find "Power Up" words for additional points. As you can see from the photo above, we definitely had our game faces on!

In total, approximately 300 community members joined together to raise over $120,000 for the AHA... $30,000 more than the 2016 HeartChase event. And while MedBen didn't quite pull off the win (hey, there's always next year!), our "Code Blue" squad took 9th place among the 69 participating teams, and five of our teams placed in the Top 30.

MedBen Chairman & CEO Doug Freeman and President & COO Kurt Harden also participated in the event's Executive Challenge, each meeting their fundraising goal to raise money toward heart disease prevention. They will serve as co-chairs for next year's HeartChase.

Learn more about participating in, or organizing, a HeartChase event in your community by visiting the AHA website.

05/05/17

  11:11:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 329 words,  
Categories: News, Health Care Reform, Self-funding, American Health Care Act

AHCA Clears House Hurdle, But Faces Uphill Senate Battle

Capitol Building

It took a lot of old-fashioned wheeling and dealing, but on May 4 the Republican block of the House of Representatives managed to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA) with 217 "yea" votes ‒ just one vote above the minimum number required for passage. Now the bill moves to the Senate, where its members are expected to make major changes, or even introduce alternative legislation.

Leading up to the successful vote, the biggest obstacle in the way of AHCA victory regarded coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions. The current bill promises that such coverage will remain available to all, though potential cost concerns proved a deal-breaker for some GOP House members.

While the AHCA debate has focused primarily on individual coverage, there are provisions in the bill that will affect self-funded employers as well. These include:

  • Removing employer mandate penalties effective 2016, though employer reporting remains;
  • Delaying the Cadillac tax until 2026;
  • Repealing employer and individual contribution limits to health flexible spending accounts (FSAs), for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2016; and
  • Expanding health savings accounts (HSAs) to allow both spouses to make catch-up contributions beginning in 2018, and increasing maximum contribution limits.

Of course, the likelihood is that any bill that survives the Senate will be very different than the House version. In addition to zero backing from Democrats, Republican Senators face numerous difficulties in passing the current AHCA bill: Lukewarm public support, opposition by major medical organizations and patient advocacy groups, and a pending Congressional Budget Office review that may make the bill an even harder sell.

While we obviously don't know for certain what the future holds for the AHCA or health care reform in general, we do have some thoughts on what may happen, and what we'd like to see in the final bill... and we'll be sharing them at our upcoming MedBen Employer Roundtable on Thursday, May 11 in Newark, OH. If you haven't already signed up, please do so today by contacting Sales Analyst Sally Wood at swood@medben.com or (800) 423-3151, ext. 502.

05/04/17

Check Your Compliance with HSA and HDHP Requirements

IRS Building

Health savings accounts (HSAs) are becoming more and more popular as a vehicle to empower health savings and lower premium costs, but the related regulations – particularly those pertaining to the associated high deductible health plan (HDHP) – can be confusing.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) applies detailed rules on the set-up and administration of HSAs. In order for the account holder to benefit from tax advantages associated with such an account, the individual must also be covered under a qualifying HDHP.

To ensure that your HSA is in compliance, we recommend that you review it against our new educational summary, High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) used with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), which can be found at MedBen.com.

As always, the MedBen Compliance Department is here to help you with the design of your HDHP. Additionally, the IRS has information regarding HSAs available on its website at www.irs.gov. If you have any questions, please contact Director of Compliance Annette McNair at amcnair@medben.com or (800) 423-3151, ext. 410.

05/02/17

  06:43:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 160 words,  
Categories: News, Hospitals, MedBen Analytics, Bundled Payments, Research, Value-based care

With Readmissions, Cost Savings Are in the Details

hospital bed

Among the advantages of MedBen Analytics' proprietary reporting platform is that it allows providers to drill down into hospital readmission data. Now, a new study demonstrates the financial value of this accessibility.

University of Michigan researchers recently found that hospitals participating in bundled payment and other value-based programs have lower readmission rates than those that use fee-for-service alone. From 2005 to 2015, program participants saw a 2.9% reduction in readmissions each year for heart failure patients, as well as 2% drop for heart attack and a 1.9% decrease for pneumonia.

With MedBen Analytics, hospitals have the ability to review readmission details - even those that occurred at different hospitals - and compare current episodes with benchmark data. Using this information, providers can evaluate readmission activity, analyze their underlying causes, and make changes as needed.

MedBen Analytics delivers insights on readmissions, lengths of stay and other cost-oriented variables, enabling hospitals to make informed care decisions. Learn more by contacting MedBen President and COO Kurt Harden at 888-633-2364 or kharden@medben.com.

05/01/17

  07:39:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 221 words,  
Categories: Prescription, Wellness, Cost savings, MedBen University, Municipalities

MedBen Municipality Group Costs Rose Just 1% in 2016

Municipality groups administered by MedBen are seeing only minimal cost growth, according to an analysis of industry-specific benchmarks at the 11th Annual MedBen Municipality Roundtable on March 30.

In presentations to attending clients, MedBen President and COO Kurt Harden and Vice President of Sales & Marketing Brian Fargus reviewed cost and utilization trends for their medical and pharmacy plans, and pointed out areas of opportunity for future savings. Their observations included:

  • Per employee per year (PEPY) costs for MedBen’s municipality block rose only 1% in 2016, well below the current trend leading stop-loss carriers are using. The five-year trend for our municipality block averaged 3.2% per year.
  • Of the 14 municipalities performing better than their industry block average in claims costs, ten (or 71%) utilize our proprietary wellness program, MedBen WellLiving.
  • In regards to pharmacy plans, MedBen presented examples of the impact of high cost combination medications and provided recommendations on how to control the effect of those costs.

Of course, much more information was shared at Municipality Roundtable, as is the case at all MedBen University events. Speaking of which, interested employers (clients and non-clients alike) can get more useful advice on plan design, wellness, health care reform, and other topics at the 2017 MedBen Employer Roundtable on Thursday, May 11. For more information or to sign up, contact Sales Analyst Sally Wood at (800) 423-3151, ext. 502 or emailing swood@medben.com.

04/25/17

  10:36:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 326 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Welcome Back, Allergies

gardening

According to the Centers for Disease Control, allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S., with an annual cost in excess of $18 billion. It is estimated that more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year.

Seasonal allergies are those allergies that come with the change of seasons and usually begin in February. However, a mild winter and rainy spring (sound familiar?) promotes rapid growth of these allergens, which means they can be prevalent even sooner.

Approximately two-thirds of spring allergy sufferers actually have year-round symptoms. These include a runny nose, coughing, sneezing, and/or itchy, watery eyes (or even dark circles around them).

The most common seasonal allergy triggers include grass, pollen, and mold. Though these are triggers for symptoms, the actual cause of allergies lies within the immune system. It mistakes innocent things in the environment for a serious threat and attacks them, resulting in symptoms.

Combating the symptoms often includes an antihistamine, but knowing your triggers is important to ensure you’re taking the right precautionary and reactive measures. To do so, a trip to your family doctor is a good place to start. They may refer to see an allergist who will further investigate the cause and treatment regimen for your symptoms.

Full story »

  04:14:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 107 words,  
Categories: Announcements, News, MedBen Analytics, Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR)

CJR Year 1 Reconciliation Reports Available

MedBen Analytics logo

Earlier today, CMS delivered the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) Performance Year 1 (PY1) Reconciliation Reports and related files. MedBen Analytics has begun the process of auditing the Net Payment Reconciliation Amount (NPRA) for our clients.

A hospital will earn a positive NPRA if the aggregate capped episode cost for PY1 (episodes ending on or before 12/31/2016) is less than the aggregate target price and the composite quality score was Acceptable Good or Excellent.

The CMS CJR Reconciliation: Performance Year 1 reports will be sent to our clients via secure email today. Clients with questions regarding these reports may contact Manager of Operations Cari Coventry at 800-423-3151, ext. 405 or ccoventry@medben.com.

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