April 6, 2017

Around the nation: Wellmark BlueCross and Blue Shield to leave Iowa exchange

Daily Briefing
  • Iowa: Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Des Moines on Monday announced that it will not sell plans on the state's exchange effective Jan. 1, 2018. The insurer said it has lost $90 million in the Iowa exchange market over the last three years and that premiums have risen by double digits. The decision affects about 21,400, or 1.3 percent, the 1.6 million Wellmark members in Iowa, Healthcare Finance News reports (Morse, Healthcare Finance News, 4/4; Haefner, Becker's Hospital Review, 4/4).

  • Maryland: The University of Maryland School of Public Health and Kaiser Permanente are joining forces with barber shops and beauty salons to promote healthy lifestyles in black communities. Kaiser will work with New Beginnings Babershop in Baltimore to provide no-cost influenza shots and preventive care to neighborhood customers. In addition, Kaiser clinicians will visit the shop to discuss health and wellness with customers (Eichensehr, Baltimore Business Journal, 4/4).

  • New York: New York-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital—the only hospital serving downtown Manhattan—will undergo a $23 million renovation. Hospital officials said the renovation will upgrade the area where patients register for and recover from surgery in the hospital's eight operating rooms to improve patient flow, boost patient and staff satisfaction, and streamline the presurgical testing and registration process (LaMantia, Crain's New York Business/Modern Healthcare, 4/4).

How to reduce avoidable visits—in the ED and beyond

In these case studies, Advisory Board experts profile nine opportunities to use population health management to reduce avoidable emergency department visits, inpatient stays, and procedures.

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