Not only do Americans have to be concerned with rising premiums and higher deductibles, but the increasing cost of prescription drugs is continuing to take a toll on budgets across the country. Within the last three years alone, individuals have had to pay an average of 30 percent more for their prescriptions, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

“It’s easy to talk about the cost today, the cost to the plan, the cost to the premium – but we also have to look at the cost to society, when people are losing their jobs and having to shift to government programs for support,” Annalise Dolph, National Multiple Sclerosis Society senior directory of advocacy said in a Lund Report article.

Continue reading

Gap Insurance Rising in Popularity as Deductibles Increase

Instead of relying on a savings account to help cover the financial burden of high deductibles, many insurance companies are offering additional policies to cover excessive out-of-pocket costs. Gap Insurance is a coverage option that can be purchased by consumers who are currently enrolled in high deductible plans.

Gap plans typically have limited benefits that regardless of an individual’s situation, the policy will pay funds up to a specific amount. With high deductible plans on the rise, individuals are looking for other options to cover themselves to avoid paying a $6,000 deductible, and more in some circumstances.

Continue reading

HHS: HIPAA Limitations as Technology Advances

When it comes to electronic medical and personal information, data security continues to be a high priority of all entities within the health care industry. Ensuring that records remain intact and that security breeches are a low risk is the goal of everyone from payers to providers.

First enacted in 1996, HIPAA has provided guidelines on patient privacy and data security. The legislation addresses who must comply with the law, privacy rights and identifies electronic standards for transmitting health data.

Continue reading

Anti-Trust Concerns with Cigna-Anthem Merger

The $50 billion merger between insurance giants Cigna and Anthem has been in the works for almost a year now. Although critics have been doubtful that this merger will go through due to anti-trust issues, it seems that federal regulators are publicly demonstrating disdain for this move.

As the companies continue to wade through regulatory push back, another major deal is also being reviewed, which is much smaller by comparison. The Aetna-Humana merger is a $37 billion deal that appears to have less obstacles to tackle due to it being a smaller transaction.

Continue reading

Health Care Data at Risk for Security Breach

As more information is stored and transmitted electronically, the level of security required to preserve confidential, personal information is an essential component of any health care software. Avoiding a dangerous security breach requires experts to know what the vulnerabilities are of the current system in order to fix and reduce the risk of being hacked.

Since 2010, five out of eight major health care system data breaches have occurred in early 2015, according to IBM X-Force’s “2016 Cyber Security Intelligence Index” as reported in a Healthcare IT article. Health care is one of the top five industries that have a higher risk of cyber-attacks.

Continue reading

Technology to Impact Health Care by 2020

Once one set of technology has been implemented and users adapted to the changes, it seems that the next wave of new systems are released. As technology continues to evolve, health care as a whole must adapt to the fluid changes that are taking place.

Forbes combined a list of upcoming technologies that could have a significant impact to the world of health care in America by 2020, which is only four years away!

Continue reading

AHIP Runs Pilot Program for Physician Directory

When it comes to searching for doctors, most people take to the internet in search of a provider in their area, while others defer to their primary physician to recommend a specialist. Concern has been raised in the past that online sources may not have accurate information and up-to-date records on each physician and specialist.

To prevent miscommunicating inaccurate information, America’s Health Insurance Plan, or AHIP, is collaborating with providers and health plans to develop a program that features a comprehensive provider directory. The program is an industry first and would allow a seamless avenue to acquire physician’s information and background.

Continue reading