Employers Eye Moving Sickest Workers to Insurance Exchanges

Can corporations shift workers with high medical costs from the company health plan into online insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act? Some employers are considering it, say benefits consultants.

"It's all over the marketplace," said Todd Yates, a managing partner at Hill, Chesson & Woody, a North Carolina benefits consulting firm. "Employers are inquiring about it an brokers and consultants are advocating for it."

Health spending is driven largely by patients with chronic illness such as diabetes or who undergo expensive procedures such as organ transplants. Since most big corporations are self-insured, shifting even one high-cost member out of the company plan could save the employer hundreds of thousands of dollars a year - while increasing the cost of claims absorbed by the marketplace policy by a similar amount.

And the health law might not prohibit it, opening the door to potential erosion of employer-based coverage.

University of Arizona Cancer Center - Phoenix "Topped Off"

A construction milestone has been reached at the new University of Arizona Cancer Center at Dignity Health’s St. Joseph’s outpatient facility in downtown Phoenix as the final beam was set atop the building on Tuesday.

Located on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus at 625 N. Sixth St., on the northwest corner of Fillmore and Seventh streets, the center will open in 2015. The University is leasing the land from the City of Phoenix.

The 220,000-square-foot, five-story, $100 million facility will offer comprehensive cancer services, including specialized cancer clinics in breast, gynecologic, thoracic, cutaneous oncology and sarcoma, head and neck, gastrointestinal and hepato-pancreatico-biliary, and genitouniary cancers; as well as infusion, radiation oncology, diagnostic imaging, endoscopic/interventional radiology, patient wellness and support services, a prevention center, clinical lab space and other related support spaces.

People on the Move at the UA College of Medicine - Phoenix

When she is not in class or studying for her first national board exam, second-year University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix student Carmel Moazez, a member of the Maricopa County Medical Society (MCMS), is returning to her roots in dance and teaching the activity to blind children in the community. Moazez is pursuing a career in ophthalmology.

People on the Move at the UA College of Medicine - Phoenix

Dr. Michael Grossman, MD, a member of the Maricopa County Medical Society (MCMS) and former member of the MCMS Board of Directors, moderated at the 18th Annual Academic Excellence Day at the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix. The Academic Excellence Day is an opportunity to focus attention on the magnitude and variety of clinical and bench research done by residents, fellows, graduate students, clinical allied health staff and physician staff. 

CMS is Accepting Suggestions for PQRS Measures

CMS is accepting quality measure suggestions for potential inclusion in the proposed set of quality measures in the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) for future rule-making years. Quality measures submitted in this Call for Measures also will be considered for use in other quality programs for physicians and other eligible professionals (e.g. Value Based Modifier, Physician Compare, Medicare Shared Savings Program, etc.). 

Notices of Intent to Apply for the Medicare Shared Savings Program 2015 Program Start Date Due by May 30

If you are interested in applying for participation in the Medicare Shared Savings Program for the January 1, 2015 program start date, you must submit a Notice of Intent to Apply by Friday, May 30, 2014, 8pm ET. For more information about the application process and to register for upcoming calls, visit the Shared Savings Program Application Web site.

Interactive Tool Allows Easier Access to Physician Data

On April 23, CMS released a new interactive search tool that can help consumers and other stakeholders navigate information about the types of medical services and procedures delivered by physicians and other healthcare professionals. Users can search for a provider by name, address, or National Provider Identifier (NPI).

Review of the New Medicare PPS for Federally Qualified Health Centers - Registration Now Open

Wednesday, May 21; 12:30 - 2 pm, EST

To Register: Visit MLN Connects™ Upcoming Calls. Space may be limited, register early. 
As required by Section 10501 of the Affordable Care Act, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) will transition to a prospective payment system (PPS) beginning on October 1, 2014. This MLN Connects™ National Provider Call will describe the final policies for the new Medicare PPS for FQHCs, including the encounter-based per diem payment rate, adjustments, coinsurance, and the transition to the new payment system. 
• Review of the requirements of the Affordable Care Act for a new Medicare PPS for FQHCs 
• Proposed policies, comments, and final provisions of the new FQHC PPS 
• Resources for more information 
• Question & Answer 
Target Audience: FQHCs and other interested stakeholders. 
Continuing education credit may be awarded for participation in certain MLN Connects Calls. Visit the Continuing Education Credit Information Web site to learn more. 

CMS Issues Proposed Hospital Inpatient Payment Regulation

On April 30, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that would update FY 2015 Medicare payment policies and rates for inpatient stays at general acute care and long-term care hospitals (LTCHs). This rule builds on the Obama administration’s efforts through the Affordable Care Act to promote improvements in hospital care that will lead to better patient outcomes while slowing the long-term healthcare cost growth.

Critical Care Neurology, NeuroTerrorism & Disaster Management Symposium

The following is an announcement from Robyn G. Young, MD, FAAN, President of the California Neurology Society:

The California Neurology Society (CNS) is pleased to announce a summer CME program, "Critical Care Neurology, NeuroTerrorism and Disaster Management."

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