Two Minute Drill

New Source of Over-Utilization? Study Indicates Use of Retail Clinics May Be Increasing Healthcare Costs

Use of retail clinics leads to higher costs.

Seems a bit counter-intuitive doesn’t it?

You’d think that the use of retail clinics like those found in some CVS and Kroger stores and typically staffed by nurse practitioners would be apt to lower total costs. In fact it’s based on this premise that some employers and carriers are encouraging employees to use these clinics by covering more of the cost of the visit.

HHS Publishes Out-of-Pocket Regs for 2017

This is hot off the presses. The most important announcement this past week is that HHS published the increased out-of-pocket regulations for 2017. Originally, the ACA was to cap deductibles at $2,000. That seems like a long time ago and was never really followed.

In the big picture, this increase seems to indicate that they see costs continuing to increase and consumers will need to consider mitigating those increases by moving to higher deductible plans.

Rx Shock: Ever Faced A 900% Increase Nearly Overnight? You’re Not Alone.

We are finding some crazy Rx trends that are translating into real world cost and care issues for our clients and their employees. Here’s a prime example. We recently found that a type 2 diabetes drug (GLUMETZA) increased in cost by 900%, nearly overnight.

After digging into it here’s what we found:

• An investment firm purchased the manufacturer
• The price of the drug quickly spiked under the new ownership
• The drug had a specific efficacy but was prescribed widely

HEALTHCARE COSTS: YOU WON’T BELIEVE THIS!

We read and hear a lot about the craziness and wild swings in pricing for common medical services. Some seem too incredulous to believe. Healthcare’s version of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.

OK. So here’s a true story. Hot off the presses. Happened just this week to someone in our sphere.

10 Healthcare Trends to Look For in 2016

It seems the kickoff of a New Year fosters predictions, Top Ten’s, and various and sundry industry-related crystal ball lists. An article about consumer healthcare trends in this morning’s Fiscal Times (10 Healthcare Trends That Will Affect You in 2016) caught my eye. Some of these trends, which we’ve also been following and have highlighted here in the past, are more likely to impact or, perhaps more accurately, continue to impact us in 2016 than others. No break-through revelations; but, all interesting nonetheless.

S&P Report Another Indicator of ACA Nearing Tipping Point?

I doubt I’m going out on a limb by saying that the “kid in the candy store” perspective that insurance companies may have had about the Affordable Care Act has all but vanished.   A new Standard & Poor’s report released this week supports that the “candy store” notion is now no more than illusion and provides further indications that ObamaCare is sputtering and may well be reaching a Tipping Point.

TIPPING POINT FOR OBAMACARE?

Sure As Heck Looks Like It.

What we’ve been sensing lately here in the Florida healthcare trenches, is now being amplified in the national press — newspapers, trade publications and leading industry blogs.

First, before talking about today’s headlines, here are a few examples of what we’ve been seeing as the 4th quarter unfolds and as 2016 fast approaches:

King v. Burwell: With Decision Imminent It’s Still Anybody’s Guess How Court Will Decide

As the Supreme Court decision on subsidies looms, many are wondering:  which way is the court leaning?  Most experts agree it’s way too close to a call.

Wondering where things stand as we wait for the high court to announce its decision?

Here’s a good, plain speaking synopsis of why it’s too close to call.  It was reported by Amy Howe at SCOTUS Blog back in March right after the case was argued before the Supreme Court:

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