Midweek Update

The FEHBlog is attending a subrogation conference in beautiful Asheville, NC.  But that’s no reason not to share these interesting tidbits:

  • Employee Benefit News reports on five things that plan sponsors should know about the new, lengthy DOL fiduciary rule. Although the rule is focused on retirement plans, it also applies to health savings accounts. 
  • That publication also reports on new trends in controlling employer sponsored health plan costs according to a Willis Towers Watson survey. “Much of employers’ planned design changes will focus on creating — and maintaining — a healthier population of employees.”
  • Healthcare Dive tells us about a new CMS Medicare payment model initiative involving primary care providers.  “Building on the Comprehensive Primary Care initiative launched in late 2012, the five-year CPC+ model seeks to benefit patients by helping primary care practices support patients with serious or chronic diseases to achieve their health goals and work with hospitals and other clinicians, including specialists, to better coordinate care.”
  • Employer sponsored coverage must be minimum value (bronze level) and affordable in order to meet the requirements of the ACA’s employer share responsibility mandate. Coverage is affordable if the employee share of the self only premium for minimum value coverage does not exceed a certain percentage of the employee’s W-2 income (or another proxy).  The IRS has announced that for 2017 that percentage will be 9.69%.
  • Finally Beckers Hospital Review reports that “Even though CMS’ star ratings system for hospitals is based solely on patient experience scores, researchers from Harvard have found that higher rated hospitals do in fact have lower mortality and readmission rates than their lower rated counterparts.” Surprise!