Entries in Announcement (128)

Monday
May232016

How are health plans meeting behavioral health needs of members?

By Claire Thayer, May 23, 2016

There’s been a lot of awareness about mental health lately, especially during the month of May – officially recognized as Mental Health Month, via Mental Health America .  In the spirit of this awareness, AHIP recently released a new 28-page issue brief on behavioral health benefits and mental health coverage from collective case studies of 11 member health plans. This new issue brief, Ensuring Access to Quality Behavioral Health Care: Health Plan Examples, identifies innovative approaches to these key areas:

  • Awareness and Education
  • Identification and Outreach
  • Timely access to care
  • Quality measurement
  • Evidence-based clinical criteria
  • Care Coordination and integration
  • Programs targeting opioid use

Health Plans profiled in the report include:

  • Anthem
  • Beacon Health Options
  • Blue Shield of California
  • CareFirst
  • Cigna
  • Health Care Service Corporation
  • Health Partners
  • Highmark
  • Humana
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Wellcare

To read this complete Issue Brief: Ensuring Access to Quality Behavioral Health Care: Health Plan Examples

Tuesday
May102016

Walgreens raising awareness on mental health with online screening tools and telehealth services

By Claire Thayer, May 10, 2016

Walgreens and Mental Health America have forged an ambitious initiative to screen 3 million people for mental issue, by the end of 2017. Walgreens is well positioned to step up to expand mental health services and treatment options and has announced it will offer access to 1,000 therapists and psychiatrists via MDLive’s subsidiary, Breakthrough.

Walgreens new dedicated mental health “answer center” is designed to help connect people to Mental Health American’s Online Screening Program— free, scientifically-based online screenings for a number of conditions including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD and others.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that getting access to services for treatment of mental health illness continues to be a concern:

  • Approximately 60 percent of adults, and almost 50% of youth ages 8 to 15 with a mental illness received no mental health services in the previous year.
  • African American and Hispanic Americans used mental health services at about one-half the rate of whites in the past year and Asian Americans at about one-third the rate.
  • One-half of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14; three-quarters by age 24.
  • Despite effective treatment, there are long delays−sometimes decades−between the first appearance of symptoms and when people get help.

Further reading:

Wednesday
Apr202016

Cyber attacks – a new reality for health care organizations

By Claire Thayer, April 20, 2016

The healthcare industry as a whole is at a critical juncture in its efforts to curb medical identity theft, data breaches and health care fraud. More than any other industry, health care is now leading the way for the highest number of records breached - 84.4 million alone in the first half of 2015. Hospitals, health plans, health systems and provider organizations are all doubling down on efforts to address vulnerabilities related to cyber attacks. And, the sooner the better – as consumers are starting to take notice - about 50% say they wouldn’t hesitate to find another healthcare provider if they were concerned about the security of their medical records.

Cyber threats now have the full attention of the c-suite. A recent HIMSS Cybersecurity Survey finds:

  • 87% of healthcare leaders indicated that information security had become a critical business priority
  • 66% of healthcare organizations experienced a significant security incident
  • 57% of healthcare organizations have allocated a full-time resource to address cybersecurity
  • 81% of respondents believe more innovative and advanced tools are needed to combat security threats

These and issues pertaining to identity management in health care are the focus of a recent MCOL infographoid, co-sponsored by LexisNexis Healthcare, highlighted below:

MCOL’s weekly infoGraphoid is a benefit for MCOL Basic members and released each Wednesday as part of the MCOL Daily Factoid e-newsletter distribution service – find out more here.

Monday
Apr182016

Health Systems Advised to Tread Carefully When Considering Provider-led Health Plans 

By Claire Thayer, April 18, 2016

McKinsey & Co released an in-depth paper that explores both growth and evolution of provider-led health plans and offers key questions health systems should think about when evaluating their current plans or considering offering stepping into to provider-led plan market space. Here are some of the highlights gleaned from this paper.

The authors point out that overall, the growth in enrollment of provider led plans has increased 6% since 2010, growing from 12.4 million in enrollment to 15.3 million in 2014. While during this same time period, growth in the number of provider-led health plans was modest, increasing just 3% from 94 plans in 2010 to 106 in 2014. The enrollment growth was most pronounced in the Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and Individual Markets

The authors point to 4 important questions that are critical for health systems to consider when evaluating provider-led health plan (PLHP) offerings:

  • How can consumerism benefit a PLHP
  • When is growth through a PLHP most likely
  • Is an alternative type of administrative infrastructure possible?
  • What can be gained through granular analytics?

For further reading:

Article Summary: The market evolution of provider-led health plans [McKinsey & Company]

Full Article: The market evolution of provider-led health plans [McKinsey & Company]

Tuesday
Apr122016

52% of healthcare IT leaders evaluating cloud-based solutions for population health management

By Claire Thayer, April 12, 2016

A recent HIMSS Media survey of healthcare IT leaders identifies five key challenges in using connected health IT applications to support population health management:

  • Care Coordination – 23.5%
  • Financial investment in IT – 21.4%
  • Data Management – 18.4%
  • Patient Engagement & Adherence – 14.3%
  • Cohort identification and risk stratification – 12.2%

With the growing consumer interest in all things mobile, it’s not a surprise to see that many of these health IT leaders are giving serious considerations to population health platforms that support telehealth systems with back-end integration services.  Notably, 52% are evaluating cloud-based solutions and more than half say they intend to adopt mobile wellness monitoring apps for their population health management needs.