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11/03/17

  10:23:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 204 words,  
Categories: Wellness, Cancer, Diabetes, Preventive care

With Worksite Wellness, the News Is Good

checkup

Three recent news items that caught our eye...

So, what’s the connection? All three of these positive findings coincide with increased efforts to detect and treat chronic conditions and diseases as early as possible... efforts that start with regular wellness exams and age- and gender-appropriate screenings.

The MedBen WellLiving program is based on the simple idea that an emphasis on preventive care delivers long-term advantages – financial in addition to physical. For diabetes and high cholesterol, early detection allows for plan members to receive specialized counseling on controlling their condition. And for a major disease like breast cancer, treatment in its earlier stages may save hundreds of thousands of dollars... to say nothing of its life-saving potential.

Better health is good news to your employees and your business. Learn the benefits of MedBen WellLiving by contacting Vice President of Sales & Marketing Brian Fargus at bfargus@medben.com.

10/31/17

  08:52:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 271 words,  
Categories: Announcements, News, Quality, ISO

MedBen Continues to Maintain ISO Standards, Latest Audit Finds

ISO 9001 Certified

MedBen continues to maintain ISO 9001 standards, according to a recent audit of the company's management system by independent auditor SAI Global.

Following an onsite audit on October 4th of various internal functions and processes, the auditor reported that, "Based on the evidence verified and findings of this audit, the management system is being managed and utilized by all employees interviewed.”

"The recommendation from this audit is that your certification continues."

For this audit, SAI Global verified that MedBen's 2017 Quality Objectives, which include an ongoing commitment to improving customer satisfaction and reducing operating cost in key processes, continue to be addressed and fulfilled.

The auditor also praised a new MedBen document called the "Risk Matrix." Created to support a new ISO 9001:2015 requirement that Certified companies consider risk and opportunities in their management system, the matrix provides an easy way to access relevant company issues (i.e., product expansion, security risks) and confirm that they have been thoroughly examined prior to implementation.

"MedBen has always identified risks and opportunities in the course of doing business, and always worked on mitigating risk," noted MedBen Chairman & CEO Doug Freeman. "The matrix is a simple demonstration method that we can use to review and document consideration of those risks and opportunities."

Back in June, SAI Global recommended MedBen for ISO 9001 recertification - the third such reassessment audit since we first earned certification in 2005. But between the triannual recertifications, MedBen also undergoes twice-yearly surveillance audits to ensure that quality standards continue to be met at all times.

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

10/27/17

  07:25:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 214 words,  
Categories: News, Consumer-driven Health Plans, Flexible spending accounts (FSAs)

IRS Bumps Up Health FSA Contribution Maximum

IRS building

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced the annual inflation adjustment for flexible spending accounts (FSAs) for the 2018 tax year. As has been the case in previous years, contribution limits will see only modest increases or remain unchanged.

The 2018 dollar limitation on voluntary employee salary reductions for contributions to health FSAs is $2,650, up slightly from the current $2,600 maximum. Funds from these accounts can be used to pay for qualified medical expenses, including (but not limited to): deductibles, copays, and coinsurance; insulin, bandages, and other pharmacy items; eye exams and vision expenses; and dental and orthodontic expenses. Health FSA funds can also be used to pay for common over-the counter medications (i.e., aspirin, ibuprofen, and cough syrup), but only if accompanied by a doctor's prescription.

The dependent care FSA maximum annual contribution will hold steady at $5,000 in 2018. These accounts reimburse the employee for employment-related dependent care while the plan participant and spouse work (or look for work), such as payments to a day care center or baby-sitter, or expenses to care for a disabled spouse or other tax dependent.

MedBen clients who would like to increase their Health FSA employee maximum to $2,650, or who have any questions regarding FSA contributions, are welcome to contact Director of Administrative Services Sharon A. Mills at (800) 423-3151, Ext. 438 or smills@medben.com.

10/22/17

  08:23:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 213 words,  
Categories: Wellness, Reporting, Cost savings

Claims-Based Wellness Approach Pays Healthy Dividends

heart and EKG

Unlike traditional wellness programs that require employees to complete imprecise and unreliable health risk assessments, MedBen WellLiving takes a claims-based approach. And that distinction makes a big difference on the long-term success – and savings – of your program.

Right at the start, MedBen WellLiving uses claims data analysis to identify plan members that could benefit from specialized nurse coaching. Likewise, our “physician first” emphasis not only eliminates the redundancies of on-site biometric screenings, it provides data for future analyses.

Additionally, WellLiving clients get ongoing wellness progress reports, such as the prevalence of chronic conditions and the costs of treating disease states within the population. They also receive compliance rates for early detection testing... again, based solely on the group's claims data.

Why does all this matter? By having a wellness program built on actual claims data and timely reporting, employers are better positioned to see where the program is working, and where incentives may be focused to improve compliance, thereby creating a healthier population

As for the savings, the numbers speak for themselves: From 2014 to 2016, WellLiving clients experienced an average claims cost trend of just 1.6%... just a fraction of national trend.

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

  08:15:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 273 words,  
Categories: Privacy, MedBen Employees, HIPAA

MedBen HIPAA Training Stresses Proper Use of PHI

HIPAA training

As part of ongoing efforts to ensure the privacy of client PHI (protected health information), all MedBen employees recently attended HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) refresher training, with sessions led by Vice President of Compliance Caroline Fraker.

While employees get regular HIPAA training at the department level, this companywide training was given to advise employees about the regulatory and contractual requirements of HIPAA and to provide an overview of technical and physical safeguards in place to protect the data we manage.

At the training session, Fraker said that "HIPAA defines how protected information can be used, discussed, accessed, and accounted for. And that goes not just for medical information, but all personal data."

Attendees reviewed the rights that all individuals have under HIPAA, as well as MedBen’s internal policies for safeguarding clients protected health and individually identifiable information. Our HIPAA Workforce Policy is accessible to all employees through the company's internal website.

"Make sure to verify who you are talking to in person, on the phone and via e-mail," Fraker said. "If you receive mail or an e-mail that looks suspicious, call the person who sent it at a verifiable phone number to make sure they sent it before providing PHI."

MedBen’s role as a business associate of its clients was also reviewed... in particular, the rules regarding the disclosure of data to vendors and stop-loss partners. "Any individual or organization that wants protected health information from us must prove that they are a business associate of the client," Fraker cautioned.

MedBen clients who have questions about HIPAA or the use of PHI are welcome to contact Fraker at 800-851-0907 or cfraker@medben.com.

10/20/17

  08:54:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 192 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Transparency, Pharmacy benefit manager (PBM)

Pharmacy Benefit Transparency? Nothing New for MedBen Clients

pills

Pharmacy benefit transparency has been given a national spotlight with Anthem’s well-publicized allegations that Express Scripts overcharged them for prescription drugs (creating, in Anthem's words, an “obscene profit windfall”). In the latest development, Anthem has announced a partnership with CVS designed to “bolster transparency” for clients beginning in the year 2020.

While MedBen applauds such efforts, our clients have experienced pharmacy benefit transparency for the last 15 years. And while transparency is important since all self-funded health plans should understand what happens to their money, it is only part of the equation. The other part is another critical element of MedBen’s pharmacy offering: pass-through pricing.

What pass-through pricing means is that the pharmacy discounts and paid rebates are passed on the client, rather than being shaved by a middleman. This is how MedBen has practiced pharmacy benefit management with our clients since we developed our program. The result is superior pharmacy benefit performance for MedBen clients.

There’s no need to wait until 2020 for true pharmacy benefit transparency... MedBen can deliver it to you today. It is how we do business. Learn more by contacting Vice President of Sales & Marketing Brian Fargus at bfargus@medben.com.

  03:34:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 185 words,  
Categories: Prescription, Reporting, Cancer, Cost savings

Specialty Drug Projection: $25 Billion Annually

pills and mortar

According to a recent Mercer survey (as reported by Reuters), over the next five years, between 40 to 50 new specialty drugs will be launched on the market each year. These could increase costs by $25 billion annually. (No, that’s not a typo… $25 BILLION annually.)

Many of these specialty drugs were developed to treat costly diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and hepatitis C. The hope is that, however expensive these medications may be, they will be a cheaper alternative to prolonged medical treatment -- but of course, drug companies offer no guarantee of their effectiveness for every patient.

It also must be stressed that certain specialty drugs are merely two or more existing medications combined into one "convenient" (and pricey) pill. To guard against the use of such drugs, MedBen offers a discretionary formulary listing high-cost drugs that have low-cost generics available. To receive an updated copy, just contact your group service representative.

Specialty drug growth shows no signs of slowing, so MedBen is committed to helping employers keep Rx spending in check. Find out more by contacting Vice President of Sales & Marketing Brian Fargus at bfargus@medben.com.

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 overstated.

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.

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