Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

We’re Live With CBS National News!

Monday, September 23rd, 2019

By Jeanne Pinder

We’re live with CBS national news! We’ve been promising big news for a while now, and here it is…….

(more…)

6 Degrees Health Discovers CASH IS KING

Sunday, September 22nd, 2019

Cash payment claim strategies often saves more than what the plan would have otherwise paid proving providers will accept less reimbursement for cash………………..

(more…)

Freedom Health 100 – A New & Innovative Group Medical Plan

Friday, September 20th, 2019

Freedom Health 100 is proud to announce a new group health insurance product  – The Freedom Health 100 plan.

(more…)

Reinsurance To The Rescue!

Friday, September 20th, 2019

You never know who is behind the insurance curtain. You may think you have insurance with ABC Insurance Company,  but they may only be the “fronting” company retaining only a small portion of the risk. You might be insured with 20 or 30 carriers through a reinsurance treaty, each sharing in the risk on a prorata basis. 

(more…)

You’re Fired!

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

You’re negotiation skills suck!

(more…)

Blue Cross Ripped Us Off!

Saturday, September 14th, 2019

“They are using our money, so overpaying there is no consequence to them………So it is easier for them to pay the bills as they come in, whether they are appropriate or not……………..”

(more…)

Why Most Public School Districts Get An “F” In Health Care Management

Friday, September 13th, 2019

By Bill Rusteberg

School districts are entitlement based bastions whose decision making processes heavily weight social considerations at the expense of prudent business practices.

(more…)

How Hospitals Drive Up Health Costs

Thursday, September 12th, 2019

Every senator, virtually every congressman and every mayor of every large city has a powerful hospital system in his or her district. And those hospitals are as politically untouchable as soybean growers in Iowa or oil producers in Texas.

(more…)

ERISA Health Plan Fiduciaries Defeat DOL’s Excessive Fee Claims

Thursday, September 12th, 2019

Recent court decision is a reminder that health plan fees must be monitored and that a good fiduciary process is always the principal defense to claims of fiduciary imprudence.

(more…)

Why Would I Hire You?

Thursday, September 12th, 2019

The job pays $65,000 per year plus benefits. By the time we add up all the benefits including health insurance, workers compensation, FICA, etc., your job is worth $85,000.

(more…)

Changing Logos

Thursday, September 12th, 2019

By Bill Rusteberg

A favorite strategy to lower health care costs by plan sponsors is to change the logo on one’s I.D. card.  Everything else remains essentially the same.

(more…)

American Health Care is Broken, Especially in South Texas

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019

Brownsville and Harlingen in deep South Texas leads the country in the highest health care costs with a markup rate of 940% of Medicare, followed by three other nearby cities of McAllen, Edinburgh and Mission……………..

(more…)

The World Is Flat

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019

In the real market, healthcare costs are flat.” – Dave Chase.

(more…)

The Payer You Never Heard Of

Sunday, September 8th, 2019

You won’t see recognizable logos or insurance company names on their health insurance I.D. cards. You may wonder “what kind of insurance is this?”

(more…)

A Week In The Worst Health Care System In The World

Sunday, September 8th, 2019

By MATTHEW HAHN, MD | POLICY |

What happens when you place an entire nation’s health care in the hands of an overly-controlling, ineffective government bureaucracy and huge corporations whose mission it is to squeeze as much money from the system, no matter the cost, including people’s lives? You get the carnage that is the American health care system.

(more…)

Healthcare Cost Trends Not Looking Good

Saturday, September 7th, 2019

Medical trend continues to outpace general inflation. Those plan sponsors who abide by the law of civil obedience continue to fund the health care beast’s insatiable appetite while others are taking a different approach. The later have solved health care……….they have stopped feeding the beast…………

(more…)

How To Control Specialty Drug Costs

Friday, September 6th, 2019

By Molly Mulebriar

There is only one proven method to control specialty drug costs……… 

(more…)

The Balance Billing Myth

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019

A seemingly valid concern about Reference Based Pricing strategies on the part of consumers is the possibility of balance billing leading to personal debt, lawsuits and ruined credit. Balance billing occurs when you don’t ask the price……………

(more…)

Texas Files Suit Against Aliera Healthcare

Sunday, September 1st, 2019

The State of Texas has filed a lawsuit seeking to stop Aliera Healthcare from selling health insurance in Texas and engaging in the business of insurance without a state license.

(more…)

The Rise of Indentured Servants In Health Care

Saturday, August 31st, 2019

More than 50% of doctors are now in employee positions and generally beholden to “big medicine” so that doctors’ fidelity is primarily to the hospital system that employs them and away from patients.

(more…)

Mr. Sidgwick

Friday, August 30th, 2019

By Bill Rusteberg

Mr. Sidgwick: “Self insured plan wants to cap payments made for air ambulances to some arbitrary number, $20,000 for example. Does it matter that this is for emergency care, and is this an essential health benefit under the ACA?”

(more…)

Restoring The American Dream

Friday, August 30th, 2019

For a free copy of Dave Chase’s best seller go here: healthrosetta.org/friends/

Region One Touts RGV School District’s Report Cards

Wednesday, August 28th, 2019

Great leadership, great students……………..

(more…)

BCBS of Texas Ordered to Pay $21 Million for “Willful Conduct of Fraud”

Tuesday, August 27th, 2019

A Texas judge has ordered Richardson’s Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas to pay more than $21 million to Knox County Hospital……

(more…)

Hiding Costs Behind A Co-Pay

Tuesday, August 27th, 2019

The law limits co-payments for a 30-day supply of the life-saving drug under private insurance plans to $100. It does not change the price of insulin…………………

(more…)

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas Validates Reference Based Pricing Strategies

Monday, August 26th, 2019

Blue Cross has successfully hijacked the term Reference Based Pricing  –  a damn smart marketing move……………………

(more…)

1st Year RBP Report Card

Thursday, August 22nd, 2019

A mid-size Texas employer went from a BUCA to a Reference Based Pricing plan last year. The benefits remained the same. However, a change was made in the way providers are paid.  In lieu of paying through secretive managed care contracts, the plan paid medical providers based upon a transparent reimbursement schedule tied to a percentage of Medicare allowable charges.

(more…)

How to Get Around ERISA Anti-Assignment Provisions

Thursday, August 22nd, 2019

“There are three possible ways for providers to avoid application of the anti-assignment provisions in plan documents.

(more…)

Texas School District Lowers Healthcare Costs While Improving the Quality of Care

Thursday, August 22nd, 2019

“Managing health care on a local level brings needed accountability to health care financing while providing improved access to care and higher patient satisfaction. The patient-physician relationship becomes more than just a ten-minute office visit; it becomes a true partnership.”  – Alex Zuniga

(more…)

Beginning of The End of Group Health Insurance?

Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

Will HRA’s replace group medical plans?

(more…)

$0 Investment Brings $2.4 Million Annual Return

Monday, August 19th, 2019

Is it true a South Texas Hospital system is buying up primary care practices to fatten up their cash cow?

(more…)

The ‘follow-up appointment’

Sunday, August 18th, 2019

For many people in medical debt, a trip to the emergency room leads to the courtroom


Wenzle Hufford, 76, uses a rope to tow his wife, Lucynda, with his motorized wheelchair in Kennett, Mo. Both have large medical debts. His legs were damaged when he was hit by a car; she has diabetes and heart problems. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)

(more…)

The Misconception of Risk Pooling

Saturday, August 17th, 2019

By Bill Rusteberg

As members of the +400,000 member TRS ActiveCare risk pool “The Power of Large Numbers” and “Economies of Scale” bring comfort to small Texas school districts . “We could not get comparable coverage on our own, much less at affordable rates” is the mind thought of school district officials throughout the state.

(more…)

San Antonio Suspends Paid Sick Leave Law

Friday, August 16th, 2019

“San Antonio has agreed to delay implementation until December 1, 2019. The stay will allow time for guidance from the Texas Supreme Court on the law’s constitutionality. In the meantime, San Antonio’s Paid Sick Leave Commission has agreed to work with business stakeholders to recommend changes in the ordinance to the San Antonio City Council.”

(more…)

Hospital Bills 1661% of Medicare

Friday, August 16th, 2019

Hospital billed charges total 1661% of Medicare. A typical PPO “discount” would be between the range of 50-70%. If the later, the hospital would be paid about 498% of Medicare. Plan paid 180% of Medicare. Hospital still wants more money. Plan sponsor says “Not in my lifetime!”

(more…)

The Cost of Convenience

Friday, August 16th, 2019

“More employers are seeing the value of adding a little bit of inconvenience to their health plans these days.

(more…)

Selecting a Third Party Administrator

Friday, August 16th, 2019

By William Rusteberg

With the growing suggestion that the BUCAs are inflexible third party administrators unwilling and unable to administer Reference Based Pricing plans and other strategies in the market today, more brokers are seeking new partnerships with independent third party administrators (TPA). An independent TPA can offer much more than a traditional carrier model.

(more…)

Thursday, August 15th, 2019
“Those trying the preserve the wildly under-performing and bankruptcy-inducing status quo healthcare system will do whatever it takes to try to thwart progress” – Dave Chase

Why Some Doctors Purposely Misdiagnose Patients

Thursday, August 15th, 2019

In his time at the hospital, from 1999 to 2007, his salary rose from$185,000 to $300,000, and he qualified for bonuses up to $220,000 if he met certain billing targets.

(more…)

Off The Record

Thursday, August 15th, 2019

By Bill Rusteberg

While visiting Washington DC last year on business, I ended each day with a short visit to Off The Record, a bar located at the Hay Adams Hotel across the street from the White House. This place is always packed with interesting people and I had occasion to meet a few of them. 

(more…)

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019

Texas and Colorado issue cease and desist orders to health care sharing ministry………

(more…)

Hospital Administrator Morphs Into Insurance Sales

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019

See hospital administrator morph into an insurance broker before your very own eyes…………….From Hospital administrator to power broker in under five minutes…..

(more…)

Health Insurance Choices Could Get Your Client Deported

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019

New immigration regulations leave coverage purchased with ACA subsidies off the list of positives.

(more…)

Brownsville ISD Insurance Commttee

Tuesday, August 13th, 2019

If you are a new era health insurance consultant this video will drive you nuts.

(more…)

To Save Money, American Patients And Surgeons Meet In Cancun

Tuesday, August 13th, 2019

A knee replacement surgery costs an average of about $30,000 at U.S. hospitals, but only $11,000 at Galenia Hospital in Cancun, Mexico.

(more…)

North Carolina Caves – Hospitals Win Big

Sunday, August 11th, 2019

“By spending millions of dollars to oppose us and by using cartel-like tactics, these organizations were able to convince most hospitals to boycott the State Health Plan,” said Treasurer Folwell. “If big hospitals could do this to their largest customer, just think what they can do to the individual average citizen or business.

(more…)

Private Payers Pay 2.7 Times on Average What Medicare Pays Hospitals

Sunday, August 11th, 2019

With the lid ajar on Pandora’s box, we are likely to see employer demands pegged to price transparency and more strategies built on provider prices.

(more…)

The Phia Group Launches Newest Service: Patient Defender

Sunday, August 11th, 2019

Health plans, TPAs, and brokers can now contain costs while knowing that patients have a legal advocate standing by.

(more…)

Recent Health Plan Practices That Are Resulting in Underpayments to Providers

Saturday, August 10th, 2019

“Anthem is determining whether an outpatient MRI, CT scan, or PET scan is “medically necessary” based on where the service is performed.”

(more…)

Do Hospitals Charge More to Make Up for Low Government Pay?

Friday, August 9th, 2019

Answer: “NO”. Hospitals charge as much as they can get away with…..

(more…)

Risk Payment Models

Friday, August 9th, 2019

Risk payment models present a daunting challenge to the very cultural of medicine—for most physician practices. Physicians identify their practices as clinical enterprises more than businesses………………..

(more…)

Health Care Is Gobbling Up Your Wages

Thursday, August 8th, 2019

SOURCE: Axios

“In 1999, the average health insurance coverage for a family consumed 14% of the average household income …  By 2017, family coverage absorbed more than double that amount, to about 31% of take-home pay.

(more…)

Union Urges School District To Consider New Era Health Care Strategies

Thursday, August 8th, 2019
 

The Brownsville Independent School District, like many public schools across Texas, is facing mounting, crippling health care costs through their self-funded health insurance program.

(more…)

Destroying Relationships

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019

“What do you do for a living?” asks the neighbor. “I destroy relationships” replies the salesman.

(more…)

Oh Oh, Novartis Hid Manipulated Data

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019

Approved in May, the treatment’s price — set at $2.1 million — stoked concerns about the astronomical costs of potential cures for rare diseases and upset parents who initially could not get insurance coverage for the breakthrough treatment.

(more…)

The Power of Labor Unions In Addressing Health Care

Monday, August 5th, 2019

Once labor unions learn the truth about what’s driving health care costs and become aware of proven methods to reduce costs while improving benefits at the same time, they will become a powerful force for change.  

(more…)

Million Dollar Mike

Monday, August 5th, 2019

He makes millions, threatens to deprive teachers, state employees, retirees and their families of affordable health care coverage.

(more…)

Profiting From The Poor

Sunday, August 4th, 2019

The Nonprofit Hospital That Makes Millions, Owns a Collection Agency and Relentlessly Sues the Poor

Nonprofit hospitals pay virtually no local, state or federal income tax. In return, they provide community benefits, including charity care to low-income patients. In Memphis, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare has brought 8,300 lawsuits for unpaid medical bills in just five years.

(more…)

Innovative Defined Contribution Plan

Sunday, August 4th, 2019

Innovative Defined Contribution plan now available for groups of up to 99 employee lives. This could be a value add to small group health plans such as those available through Allied National (www.Alliednational.com) and others.

(more…)

HEALTH FUND REFUSING TO PAY FOR LIFE-SAVING DRUG

Sunday, August 4th, 2019

There is only one known cure for the disease……… however the drug, priced at $2.1 million, is too expensive and not covered by health fund……toddler has only one more month to receive a new drug that could cure him………………

(more…)

New Drug Costs $2.1 Million – A Plan Sponsor’s “Poison Pill”

Sunday, August 4th, 2019

“Specialty drugs account for about 1% of prescriptions but 95% of prescription costs.” A new drug approved this year will bankrupt health plans……………..Plan sponsors should carefully study their Rx formularies to determine if there are other “Poison Pills” lurking…….then take action.

(more…)

Tooth Fairy To File Bankruptcy?

Friday, August 2nd, 2019

Seven year old boy files Tooth Fairy claim…………….No-limit tooth provision to set record reimbursement rate……….Tooth Fairy spokesman hints at bankruptcy….. 

(more…)

Trump Administration, In Shift, Announces Plan To Permit Drug Importation

Friday, August 2nd, 2019

“These manufacturers would be able to use a new National Drug Code (NDC) in doing so, possibly enabling them to offer lower prices than are available under their existing distribution contracts…………………….”

(more…)

Managed Care (PPO) Prices May Be Secret No More Under Trump Proposal

Tuesday, July 30th, 2019

The end of PPO’s may be coming to an end sooner than we thought…………..

(more…)

School Gives Raises, Health Insurance Takes It Away

Sunday, July 28th, 2019

 

A large Texas school district recently approved an across the board 4- 4.78% pay raise. Or is that number really 1% before taxes? The difference goes to area medical providers in the form of higher health care costs memorialized within secretive managed care contracts crafted by third party intermediaries. If the district had taken better advice, they could have lowered their health care costs 15-25% without a reduction in benefits, thus giving their employees a significant raise this year. Other Texas school districts are doing just that………………..

(more…)

Doctors Hospital At Renaissance Flexes Political Muscle in Deep South Texas

Saturday, July 27th, 2019

“The hospital opened in 1997 and has recently become a force to be reckoned with”…………..Much has changed since the following article was written in 2009 and it hasn’t been an erosion of influence…..

(more…)

Fort Worth Projecting $11 Million in Healthcare Savings in 2019

Friday, July 26th, 2019

“Hospital systems are seen as the evil empire, and facility costs are seen as driving healthcare expenses,” Dickerson says. “So we tried to keep people from going to hospital system.”

(more…)

Watch Aetna, Blue Cross, United Healthcare & Independent TPA Give Their Sales Pitch

Friday, July 26th, 2019

The Brownsville Independent School District recently went out for Request for Proposals for TPA services for the district’s self-funded employee health plan. The four finalists include Aetna, Blue Cross, United HealthCare and one independent TPA.

(more…)

Medicare Provider Utilization & Payment Data

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019

Mission Impossible Assignment for Plan Sponsors

Nothing is secret about health care costs although many third party intermediaries wish it so. Piecing all the data towards responsible stewardship of an employer sponsored health plan is not impossible. Reviewing managed care contracts is not impossible either. Once I was told I would never get my hands on a Blue Cross hospital contract. I did. – Bill Rusteberg

(more…)

End Surprise Medical Billing

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019

“If Congress cannot address even obvious market failures in private health care, a federal takeover of our entire health-care sector will become that much more attractive.”

(more…)

Surgical Company Sees Big Money Opportunity In Texas

Monday, July 22nd, 2019

Each investment would be $15 million, with an estimated 30 percent return on investment each year for a decade……………..

(more…)

How The Eastern Cherokee Took Control Of Their Health Care

Monday, July 22nd, 2019

“It doesn’t look like a hospital, and it doesn’t feel like a hospital,” Kristy Nations said on a recent visit to pick up medications at the pharmacy. “It actually feels good to be here.”

(more…)

Middle Class Anger Over Health Care Costs At Tipping Point

Saturday, July 20th, 2019

American Health Care: If you’re poor it’s free, if you’re rich it’s affordable, but if you’re a middle class American you’re screwed.

(more…)

TRS Seeks TPA Services

Friday, July 19th, 2019

A quick read of the minimum requirements knocks out all TPA’s except the BUCAs. This will be a bidding war between Aetna (incumbent), Blue Cross and United HealthCare. Smart money is on Blue Cross. Sadly though, changing the logo on the I.D. card won’t solve the problem of runaway health care costs………….

(more…)

Is Texas Single Payer Government Health Plan Imploding?

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

The TRS ActiveCare program is a ticking time bomb for Texas conservatives and a point of light for Texas liberals. Unless it’s fixed quickly Texas will become a Blue State faster than a melting raspa in deep South Texas on an August afternoon.

(more…)