Tom’s Take

One Pro’s Perspective on Employee Benefits

What kind of advances in technology are shaping health care/benefits right now?

October 30th, 2019

Tom’s Take:  Hmmm, where do I even start with this one? There’s so much going on behind the scenes every day on the health care front and we don’t always see or hear about many of these developments on a regular basis. But the progress with technology has been incredible and it’s drastically improving our… Read More

Is the industry seeing any resolution with inaccurate and fraudulent health claim billing?

September 30th, 2019

Tom’s Take: Unfortunately, the health care industry has long been plagued by widespread issues of mis-billing. Think about it for a minute. How often do we see reports of extreme overcharges in the news that have us gasping at the thought of being billed hundreds of dollars for something as simple as a single dose… Read More

How are health plans being proactive about handling the opioid crisis?

September 12th, 2019

Tom’s Take: Reports from the CDC say that an average of 130 deaths in the U.S. each day are attributed to opioid addiction. That’s a startling statistic. This was a topic that came up at our last Cypress University. It’s one that Ron Peck of The Phia Group encouraged plan administrators and benefits professionals pay… Read More

How effective has the new requirement for hospitals to publish procedure costs been in improving price transparency?

July 25th, 2019

Tom’s Take: Before diving into this one, here’s a little background on the topic.   As a potential solution for improving price transparency in health care, a new federal requirement went into effect on January 1. It states that all hospitals operating in the U.S. must post prices online for the services and procedures within… Read More

What’s being done to regulate surprise billing in health care?

July 11th, 2019

Tom’s Take: Surprise billing has been a hot topic in the news lately as the current administration is looking to pass legislation in 2019 that will put an end to this widespread, high-cost problem in the health care industry.   How common is it? According to a report published in Modern Healthcare, 1 in 7… Read More

How can benefit plans gain some control over the high cost drivers in health care?

June 27th, 2019

Tom’s Take: This is an age-old question that we’ll probably be asking for years – decades even – to come. But before we tackle the how, I think we have to first consider the what … as in “what’s driving costs so high?”   A recent report from Milliman sheds some light on this as… Read More

Is any progress being made with drugmakers in containing rising prescription costs?

June 6th, 2019

Tom’s Take: As frustration has been mounting among groups like consumers, providers, employers and lawmakers for some time now, the system for prescription drug pricing is being described as “broken.” It’s an issue that, without government having more control over, is affecting health plans everywhere and making those much-dreaded announcements of needing to increase employee… Read More

What should employers be aware of when tying incentives to health screenings / workplace wellness programs?

May 28th, 2019

Tom’s Take: Incentive-based health screenings and wellness programs have become a pretty widespread tactic among employers these days. The goal with these efforts is win-win in trying to promote a healthier workforce and lower employee benefit costs.   But for as well-intended as these programs typically are, some are coming up short in the compliance… Read More

How can we help employees better understand their health plan coverage?

May 9th, 2019

Tom’s Take: No matter the plan type, confusion seems to be a universal, recurring theme when it comes to how coverage works with employee benefits. Member questions can stem from a lack of understanding in so many areas: what kinds of care are covered … how much a member’s payment responsibility is … where care… Read More

What can employers do to be part of the solution in addressing health care waste within their benefit plans?

April 25th, 2019

Tom’s Take: It’s been reported that health care waste carries a price tag of $750 billion in the U.S. each year. That’s an outrageously expensive problem, isn’t it? And while employers who offer health plans across all industries seem to be aware of the issue, there’s not a lot being done to fix it.  … Read More