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Catching up…

Summer is supposed to be slow down time – this one is proving to be anything but.

Worker’s comp

There are several acquisitions likely to be announced over the next few weeks, one relatively small one as early as today.  When I get confirmation I’ll post.  A couple are  “tuck-ins”, additions that are seen as meshing well with existing businesses and/or add a strategic benefit.

Chris Brigham M.D.’s book Living Abled is getting considerable traction; employers would be well-advised to consider giving copies to injured workers.  Another target market would be treating providers, and I’d strongly encourage case management firms to make sure each of their staff gets and reads the book.

The feds have a great effort underway to get input on the best ways to establish work – employment – as a health “outcome” measured by health plans, exchanges, and other stakeholders. This is both long-overdue and very welcome.  Sign up and tell ’em what you think!


Exchange enrollment, Health insurance prices, and access to care

Renewals via Exchanges are proceeding apace, with an update from several large states indicating

  • enrollee retention is pretty high
  • enrollees are doing a lot of shopping around for price, coverage, benefits and networks
  • re-determining subsidy eligibility and levels is a challenge as it is based on income data and other information

In California, rates are up by 4% on average, a slight decrease from last year’s 4.2% bump.  About 2% of enrollees will have to switch plans if they don’t want an increase of 15% or more; in contrast 20% get good news; their rates all drop. 

Overall, folks who shop around will be able to find a plan – in the same tier – for about 4.5% less than they are paying today.

One datapoint on access comes from Michigan, where availability of appointments for Medicaid recipients actually increased after Medicaid expansion. I was surprised to learn that privately insured patients’ access decreased albeit by a very small margin.

Enjoy the weekend, and before you slather on that sunscreen, read this –  all that sunblock and sun protection may be doing harm too – it can lead to chronic Vitamin D deficiency, a very bad thing.

2 thoughts on “Catching up…”

  1. <<>>

    Better, they should treat their injured workers better, rather than throwing a book at them. Just ask Linda Ayres and Cecilia Watt what they are going through as injured workers being harassed by defense lawyers and employers, and being harmed by physicians, et al.

  2. Richard, I understand your sentiment, but putting insureds names in a public forum is not wise.

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates



A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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