Insurers develop tools for consumer empowerment | AHCA continues to move forward | Mortality drops when hospitals are being inspected, research finds
March 22, 2017
AHIP Solutions SmartBrief
Top Stories
Insurers develop tools for consumer empowerment
Insurers develop tools for consumer empowerment.
Health plans are increasingly providing beneficiaries with tools to help them manage their coverage and care as well as programs to promote wellness. Insurers have developed mobile apps that allow consumers to schedule doctor's appointments or check their coverage information; they've created comprehensive digital provider directories; and some plans have launched rewards programs to incentivize preventive care.
AHIP blog (3/21) 
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AHCA continues to move forward
AHIP indicated support for some of the changes Republicans have proposed as they gear up for a vote on the American Health Care Act, saying that the legislation "includes many essential steps for stabilizing the individual market, including continuing premium tax credits, funding for states to stabilize risk pools, more flexibility for states, and elimination of many taxes that drive up consumer costs." AHIP also praised provisions designed to promote continuous coverage, noting widespread participation is key to keeping premiums affordable.
Forbes (3/21) 
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MA Plans: From End-to-End We’ve Got You Covered
RAM Technologies is the premier solution provider for Medicare Advantage health plans. Every step of the way, from application to RAPS, HEDIS and Stars, we have the solution for you. Contact us today to see how our specialization in Medicare Advantage can provide you with the competitive advantage you need to succeed. Click Here for more info.
Providers & Suppliers
Mortality drops when hospitals are being inspected, research finds
A study in JAMA Internal Medicine found that patient mortality is lower when Joint Commission inspectors are assessing a hospital than in the weeks before and after the visit. Researchers attribute the quality improvement, which translated to 1.5% lower 30-day mortality overall and a 5.9% reduction at major teaching hospitals, to greater overall vigilance, rather than specific measures.
STAT (tiered subscription model) (3/20) 
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Survey: 53% of parents confident of same-day appointment for sick child
A survey found that 60% of parents said they were confident they could get same-day phone advice for a child who woke up sick, compared with 53% who believed they could get a same-day appointment with their child's pediatrician. The findings, based on a survey of more than 2,000 parents of youths ages 18 and younger as part of the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health, also showed that 42% of parents said they would bring their sick child to a retail clinic, urgent care or emergency department.
Arizona Daily Star (Tucson)/HealthDay News (3/20),  WJXT-TV (Jacksonville, Fla.)/The Associated Press (3/20) 
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A Best-In-Class Enrollment Tool for Your Members
At enrollment time, your members need more than plan information and premium costs - they need a mentor. myBenefitsMentor, the newly redesigned web-enabled enrollment tool from Truven Health, will quickly guide them to their best-fit plan. Watch the video, then contact us for a full demo.
Medical Update
Study ties pre-hospitalization opioid use to elevated pneumonia risk
A study presented at the annual American Academy of Pain Medicine meeting found use of prescription opioids, such as fentanyl, codeine or morphine, in the 100 days prior to hospital admission was associated with a higher risk of hospital-acquired pneumonia, compared with no exposure to the drugs. The findings were based on 40,403 patients aged 18 to 70 years admitted to the Kaiser Permanente health system over four years.
Medscape (free registration) (3/20) 
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Emerging Trends
Study examines telemedicine adoption rates among small US health practices
Video service provider SimpleVisit surveyed 100 physicians in small health practices in the US and found that although a majority of generalists view telehealth as essential to caring for elderly patients, less than 20% of providers offer video visit services. Reimbursement, the limited number of patients who would benefit from virtual care and perception of reduced quality of care were cited as the barriers of telemedicine adoption, the survey found.
Medical Economics (3/18) 
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Mobile health interventions may improve pediatric outcomes
Youths younger than 18 whose parents or caregivers used mobile health apps or text messaging had better health outcomes and behaviors, compared with those whose parents didn't use such interventions, researchers reported in JAMA Pediatrics. The findings, based on an analysis of 37 studies involving nearly 30,000 children, showed more significant improvements when parents or caregivers, children, and physicians collaborated within the digital health platform.
mHealth Intelligence (3/20) 
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Health Insurance Plan Company News
Integrated Risk Assessments White Paper
Download this complimentary white paper from ZeOmega® today. It offers compelling insights on how integrated patient-centered risk assessments can accelerate value-based care initiatives by supporting more impactful care plans, increasing engagement, and improving outcomes.
Solutions Provider News
Find health care’s best and brightest
The AHIP Career Center is the go-to resource for employers who need to reach qualified candidates. This health care-focused job board offers a more targeted approach to talent searches, with industry-specific targeting, a searchable resume database, and more. Start recruiting today!
Pharma News
FDA grants tentative approval to Mylan's HIV drug
The FDA has granted tentative approval to Mylan's efavirenz, lamivudine and tenofovir disproxil fumarate tablets, 400 mg/300 mg/300 mg, or TLE400, under the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. TLE400 will be available as a first-line treatment in patients with HIV-1/AIDS infection.
Reuters (3/20),  Seeking Alpha (free registration) (3/20) 
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Policy Watch
Lawmakers revive national association health plan idea
Later this week, Republican lawmakers will debate the Small Business Health Fairness Act, which would permit the creation of national association health plans for trade groups, business associations and similar groups to offer coverage to small employers. The idea is to give buyers greater bargaining power and access to lower rates for their members, and the measure also paves the way for sidestepping Affordable Care Act small-group requirements and would lift most state regulation of such plans.
Kaiser Health News (3/21) 
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Work towards your FAHM designation
Enroll in AHIP's recently updated Governance, Legal Issues, Medicaid and Medicaid (AHM510) course and work towards your Fellow, Academy for Healthcare Management (FAHM) designation. Take a deep dive into the overall purpose and direction of health care management, the impact of fraud and abuse, and the role of public policy with this online course. Enroll today.
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IT and business solutions are a click away
Finding the right technology to drive and support changes facing our health care system is more critical than ever. AHIP's IT Directory is like a desktop consultant, easy to search and use to find the solutions providers who can deliver results. Whether you choose to use the online version, e-book, or pdf, it'll be your go-to guide for IT and business solutions.
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Take advantage of key AHIP conference sponsorships
Reach the hundreds of health care decision makers who attend AHIP conferences to learn and network by taking advantage of sponsorship opportunities at AHIP's 2017 Institute & Expo, June 7-9 in Austin. Contact AHIP's Business Affairs Team at or 866-707-AHIP (2447) for details. 
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Product announcements appearing in SmartBrief are paid advertisements and do not reflect actual AHIP endorsements. The news reported in SmartBrief does not necessarily reflect the official position of AHIP.
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