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Including a Nursing Team on Staff Provides Unique Benefits

To combat rising health care costs, companies across the country are looking to provide their employees with unique solutions. Employing a nursing team on staff is a creative alternative that offers a variety of benefits for both the employer and its employees. To better understand this option, let’s take a look at a practical example.

Rob has Hyperglycemia, meaning that high blood sugar levels are dangerous for him. He needs proper medicine and care to ensure his blood sugar levels are under control. Because of this, Rob was hospitalized 5 times in the past 2 months for reoccurring or similar claims.

This is where an in-house nursing team would be incredibly beneficial! The nurses on staff could assess the problem and provide practical solutions to prevent this continuous hospitalization.

In this case, Rob couldn’t afford the proper medication and care with the traditional health care plan provided by the company. The nursing team could notify the correct personnel to make appropriate changes in the plan that result in major savings for the employer sponsored plan.

With a large cut in costs, it is clear to see that having a nursing team on staff would be beneficial for those employees who frequently seek care for reoccurring claims. However, this solution is also worthwhile for all other employees seeking cost effective, medical alternatives as well.

Let’s say that your child is ill and needs admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). To avoid a large claim from the hospital the nursing staff reaches out to determine the root of the problem. They come up with a creative solution that avoids the large claim. Saving both employer and employee a significant amount of money.

Again, this is where offering a nursing team on staff would be valuable.

The nurses could research and explore other alternatives covered under the program. Allowing for your child to still receive the necessary care, while saving yourself and the company a significant amount of money.

In both cases, having a nursing team on staff is beneficial to significantly reducing costs for employers and employees. When looking for cost effective alternatives to offer your employees, consider the significant role a nursing team would add to your current health care coverage.

PPO Networks Provide High Costs for Companies

Many companies look to offer broad PPO networks to increase health care options for their employees. However, it is a common misconception that the more medical facilities and professionals available in the network, the better the coverage is. With the focus on these networks providing  “all-inclusive” coverage, employers often miss that there is a great variance in quality and outcome resulting in inconsistent cost for employees.

As a means of lowering costs, companies are looking at in-network facilities that provide specific services at lower costs than other facilities. In the article, “Three Ways Broad PPO Networks Can Cost You”, Andy Neary writes how this method contains its negative effects as well:

“A carrier-owned network is where plan-design creativity often goes to die. You have to look outside carrier-owned networks in order to create change and reduce costs.”

In order to combat the rising costs of the health care industry today, one must think differently. The traditional plans and networks that many companies offer can be misleading in price, quality, and outcome. This only adds to the broken health care system that is so controversial today.

It is time to break away from the traditional PPO networks if you want to provide your employees a quality health care plan at a low cost. Before deciding what network is right for your employees, contact a BCR specialist to discover all of the health care options available.

Read the full article, Three Ways Broad PPO Networks Can Cost You, for more information.

Employees Experience Out of Pocket Costs for Health Care

Health insurance costs are on the rise, causing many companies to expect their employees to pay more out-of-pocket costs to cover high deductibles in 2017. In the recent article written by Rachel Emma Silverman, she states:

“Deductibles will be a pain point for many employees. For the first time, more than half of workers—51%— have a deductible of more than $1,000 for a plan covering a single person, compared with 46% last year, according the Kaiser/HRET survey.”

One of the reasons why people are facing these drastic increases is because many companies are not aware of all the possibilities available to help reduce the costs of employee benefits. This results in the employers getting a huge price increase because of the losses taken by major insurance companies.

In order to help lower these expenses for the company, many are shifting the burden on employees. This includes asking employees to seek less-expensive and cover the difference between generic and brand medicine prices. Additionally, many companies are seeking various innovative solutions including telemedicine, which allows for employees to seek medical consultation through video or phone.

Don’t just settle on placing these high costs on your employees to maintain a healthy balance sheet. Call BCR today to access all the possibilities to help reduce the extreme costs of employee benefits.

Read the full article, Employers Shift Higher Health-Care Costs to Workers, from the Wall Street Journal for more information.

Middlemen Profit from the Increase in Insulin Prices

Millions of Americas are impacted as the trend of increasing drug prices continues. Insulin prices are beginning to soar, more than doubling in the past 5 years, creating trouble for those who depend on the drug.. However, the revenue from these increases are not going to the drug makers, but instead is landing in the hands of pharmacy-benefit managers (PBMs).

In the recent article written by Denis Roland & Peter Loftus, it states:

“Net prices, or what drugmakers retain after discounts, have stayed the same or fallen in the past two years as the pharmaceutical companies compete to offer ever-deeper discounts to stay on the preferred drug lists at insurers and the PBM middlemen.

The reason drugmakers sharply raise list prices without a corresponding increase in net price is that PBMs demand higher rebates in exchange for including the drug on their preferred-drug lists, said Enrique Conterno, president of Lilly’s diabetes business”

It is clear that the increase in drug prices reflects the growing role of PBMs as they act as the middlemen, negotiating rebates and fees based on list price. In this particular case, PBMs are taking advantage of a drug that millions of people rely on every day to maintain their blood glucose levels. These reoccurring events that continue to arise give reason to believe that the health care system needs to be more transparent, so that the American people can understand and return faith to the best healthcare system in the world.

Read the full article, Insulin Prices Soar While Drugmakers’ Share Stays Flat, from the Wall Street Journal for more insight on this topic.

How Insurance Companies Sway the Decisions of State Commissioners

Insurance commissioners hold significant power as they oversee one of the largest segments of the U.S economy. Their work impacts millions of Americans daily, forcing these commissioners to make ethical decisions with the public’s best interest in mind.

However, there are many coincidences where insurance commissioners within various states are siding with major insurance companies after being wined and dined. Although most do not consider dinner to be a gift or a form of bribery, many are suspicious about the ethics of the decision making process.

In a recent article released on The Washington Post, Michael J. Mishak writes:

“An investigation by the Center for Public Integrity found that half of the 109 state insurance commissioners who have left their posts in the past decade have gone on to work for the industry they used to regulate — many leaving before their terms expire. Just two moved into consumer advocacy.”

Some of these commissioners could very well believe that they are making decisions based on the public’s best interest. However, there is a fine line between business and pleasure raising questions about the integrity of the process. In most cases, it seems as though these positions are used as a stepping stone to reach for a higher level of work within insurance agencies. It is time to take a stand and rid the health care system of the waste and abuse similar to this that we see today.

Read the full article, Drinks, junkets and jobs: How the insurance industry courts state commissioners, from The Washington Post for more information.