Blue Cross to Gift $1.6 Million to Address Social Determinants in Texas

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas is gifting more than $1.6 million to 17 community-based organizations all over the state to address social determinants of health like access, transportation, housing, and job opportunities. Research continues to show that one’s healthcare is largely influenced by factors outside a hospital or doctor’s office, and for organizations who end up paying or providing healthcare to those who suffer from poor housing, food insecurity, or other determinants, investing in wellness through social factors is both a benefit to the community and the budget. BCBS of Texas and other organizations have continually made grants to… Full Story

Holmes Murphy Adds VP of Business Development

Don Harrison will be Holme’s Murphy’s Vice President of Business Development for South and Central Texas, as the largest employee-owned broker in the country looks to to expand client relationships in the region. “After spending nearly a decade working with Don in the past, I’m thrilled to get another opportunity to join forces. With the goal of building the most talented brokerage and consulting team in the industry, there is no better leader than Don,” said Travis Brashear, Vice President, South and Central Texas Market Leader via release. “He has built his career on finding solutions based on the needs of his clients and… Full Story

Insights From CEOs of Baylor, UnitedHealthcare, Catalyst, Caddis, and More

Providers, health plans, and pharmacies are uniting into single entities while evidence shows that investing upstream with primary care improves quality and reduces healthcare costs. In a battle against ever increasing premiums, employers are looking at ways to spend less on healthcare, with more and more moving to self-funded plans, educating their employees about how their choices impact everyone’s cost, and redesigning their pharmacy benefit plans for up to 50 percent savings. These are just a few of the insights shared during the D CEO 2019 Healthcare Roundtable, a sponsored discussion from the July issue with North Texas Healthcare leaders.… Full Story

HealthMarkets Receives Marketing Honors

HealthMarkets was honored with seven different marketing industry awards at the Insurance Marketing and Communications Association Conference and Showcase Gala this month. HealthMarkets chief marketing officer Michael Stahl received the inaugural IMCA Icon Award for his inspirational strategy, energy, and performance. In addition, the North Richland Hills-based health insurance marketplace company received two Best of Show and four Award of Excellence honors. To find recipients, marketing categories such as strategy and goals, design and presentation, content/audience and focus are all evaluated by teams of marketing, advertising, communications design, and audiovisual professionals from several industries. “We are honored to have the… Full Story

Ranking: Texas’ Has High Hospital Capacity and Lowest Insurance Rates

Texas ranked within the middle 20 percent with an overall condition of “average” according to MoneyRates.com’s study of each state’s healthcare. Texas’ nation-worst health insurance rates and low vaccination rates were balanced out by high hospital and nursing home capacity. The state’s highest performing category was in nursing home capacity, which was in the top 20 percent of all states, and hospital capacity was in the top 40 percent. The lowest category, coming in at the bottom 20 percent, was health insurance coverage. Child vaccination and patient care doctors were the next lowest ranked categories, both being place in the… Full Story

Why QuikTrip Employees Never See a Hospital Bill

Employers are often resigned to accept healthcare spending increases year after year, but via a local partnership with Texas Health Resources, Care ATC, and an innovative approach to health insurance, QuikTrip is bucking the trend. In order to better provide for their employees and their families and save money along the way, QuikTrip processes and pays their own health insurance claims, effectively serving as their own insurance company. There are several advantages for employers to make this move. They are able to easily access their employees claims information and design the health plan accordingly. They also have discounted direct contracts… Full Story

How Trump’s Transparency Executive Order Will Impact North Texas Healthcare

Last week, President Trump signed an executive order meant to improve price transparency in healthcare. As the market moves toward increased transparency, local healthcare companies are trying to figure out how it will impact their business, and some are very well-positioned to embrace the move toward a purer market. “Opaque pricing structures may benefit powerful special interest groups, such as large hospital systems and insurance companies, but they generally leave patients and taxpayers worse off than would a more transparent system,” the order reads. In January, a federal law went into place forcing hospitals to post their prices, though these… Full Story

Tenet and Aetna Ink Multi-Year Deal

Tenet Healthcare Corp. has reached a four-year agreement with Aetna to keep members in-network at all of Tenet’s hospitals, emergency, outpatient centers, and employed physicians. The deal follows similar agreements with Humana and Cigna over the past year, after negotiations with Cigna dragged on for 11 months. The agreement with Aetna, which is now owned by CVS Health and covers 39 million members, has an option to extend for a fifth year. Ron Rittenmeyer, Executive Chairman and CEO of Tenet, said via release, “We value our relationship with Aetna and look forward to continuing to provide their members with high-quality,… Full Story

Expert Opinion: Medicare For All vs. Price Transparency

The cost of healthcare dominates today’s political discussion; the public consistently ranks it as the  number one issue they want government to address. So far, the discussion has centered on two polar opposite two avenues of approach: greater government control thorough various flavors of “Medicare for all;” and unleashing the forces of market competition through greater healthcare price and quality transparency. One of these two approaches ultimately is likely to prevail at the expense of the other.  Which one will is presently in doubt, but the resolution may not be long in coming. Medicare for All is a central theme… Full Story

Texas Needs to Prepare for 2021 – Now

I recently read an interesting article by the Kaiser Family Foundation analyzing uninsured adults in states not expanding Medicaid coverage as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA expanded Medicaid coverage to nearly all adults with incomes up to 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). In examining the Kaiser fact sheet, some interesting points stood out: In the U.S., only 14 states have not expanded Medicaid; If all states expanded Medicaid, 4.4 million uninsured non-elderly adults would be eligible for coverage (1.4 million live in Texas) Of the Texans eligible under Medicaid expansion, 67 percent are… Full Story