In late January 2020, The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a public health emergency declaration. Several payment policies and regulatory adjustments are attached to the public health emergency, including the Medicare inpatient 20% add-on payment, Medicaid matching rates, and requirements that insurers and health plans cover COVID-19 testing without cost-sharing, and waivers [...]
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When the independent think tank finds that on average, prices paid to hospitals by younger, healthier policyholders were 100 percent higher than what Medicare would have paid for the same procedures, it’s easy to understand the impact that payment contracts based on what Medicare pays can have on health plan costs. In contrast to traditional [...]
This article was published January 10, 2021 on HK-Now.com, written by Kathy Brown. (Jan. 9, 2021) — Aleia Goodison and Vincent Scileppi Jr. recognized a problem and found a solution. “Vincent and I realized that the pandemic was making it harder than usual for low-income or struggling families to provide food for themselves,” said Aleia, [...]
In an effort to revive an important promise made to the American people prior to his election in 2016, President Trump recently signed 3 executive orders aimed at bringing the cost of prescription drugs more in line with what consumers in other countries pay. One order, directed at Medicare Part D plans, would require that [...]
On December 27, 2020, the President signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA). The Act contains several provisions that impact healthcare plans and also includes several rules extending COVID relief. Below is a brief summary of the CAA provisions pertaining to employer sponsored health and welfare plans. CAFETERIA PLANS: The CAA allows [...]
According to the 2019 edition of the Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index, the United States ranks 35th among 169 recognized by the World Health Organization. This was one position lower than the U.S. earned in 2017. Spain surpassed Italy to become the world’s healthiest country and four other European nations ranked in the top 10. While [...]
Earlier this month, Diversified Group notified our clients (access blog here) that the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) leave requirements were set to expire on 12/31/20. FFCRA allowed for paid FMLA and up to 80 hours of paid sick leave under certain coronavirus related circumstances. The provision was mandatory for employers with fewer than [...]
When you consider that laws governing travel and social distancing vary from state to state, with a couple having no such laws at all, determining how your organization will regulate and discipline off-duty conduct is very challenging. And when an employee travels to another state that has different laws, which take precedence? Some experts have [...]
Guidance recently released by the FDA outlining conditions for approving a Covid-19 vaccine includes a 50 percent benchmark, meaning that any vaccine must be at least 50 percent more effective than a placebo in preventing the disease. This is the same benchmark used annually to approve flu vaccines. In the announcement, Commissioner Stephen Hahn told [...]
On June 25, 2019, Governor Ned Lamont signed into law Connecticut’s Paid Family and Medical Leave law (CTPFML). Below are some highlights from the new law updated with the most recent developments. Despite setbacks due to COVID 19 issues, the deadline to begin collecting contributions in 2021 remains intact. The new CTPFML program will expand the [...]