CMS Says Obamacare Premiums to Increase by an Average of 7.5% in 2016, But Squeeze on Consumers’ Wallets Will Vary Depending on Where They Live

UnitedHealthcare announces it may exit the federal marketplace because of slow growth and higher-than-expected claims; clinical laboratories may see less reimbursement Health insurance premiums in 2016 for plans offered through federal Obamacare exchanges (more formally known as the Health Insurance Marketplace) will see an average rate hike on midrange plans of 7.5%. This amount may vary widely depending on which state a consumer lives. In 2016, 38 states will have healthcare consumers apply...

Health Kiosk Offers Consumers Self-Serve Health Screenings, Preventative Health Help, and Information on Health Plans and Obamacare

SoloHealth Stations are in 3,200 retail stores nationwide and growing  There’s a hot new consumer health product working its way into pharmacies across the nation. Say goodbye to the ubiquitous self-serve blood pressure stations found next to the pharmacy counter. Say hello to the next generation of consumer self-serve health kiosks. This trend may open a door for innovative clinical laboratories to add their service offerings to the kiosks in their communities. One example of the fast...

Push by ACOs to Give Patients a Stake in Their Healthcare Provides Opportunities for Engagement by Clinical Laboratories and Pathologists

With payouts riding on patient outcomes and value, ACO providers will welcome innovative services that clinical labs and pathologist could provide that improve patient outcomes Both private health insurance companies and employers are betting on value-based insurance as the key to improving healthy behavior in patients. This will require more patient engagement in managing their chronic conditions. It will also include motivating patients to consider less expensive treatment options,...

Hospitals Generally Charge Self-pay Patients Top Price for Care, but Some Providers Now Offer Deep Discounts for Patients Who Pay with Cash

Clinical laboratories and pathology groups may want to review the prices they charge insured patients versus uninsured patients There is a certain irony in the fact that hospitals and other medical providers typically charge patients without health insurance as much as three times what they charge Medicare or an insured patient. This situation is getting increased media scrutiny, which is one reason why clinical laboratories and pathology groups may want to review their own policies for...

Physician Adoption of EHRs Accelerates, but Rural Providers Slow to Embrace EHRs

As larger numbers of physicians implement electronic health record (EHR) systems, clinical laboratories are faced with the task of building interfaces that connect their laboratory information systems (LIS) to those EHRs. Recent numbers indicate that hundreds of thousands of physicians are now enrolled in the federal HEHR incentive program.This puts medical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups squarely in the midst of the drive to encourage physicians to both implement an EHR in their clinical practice and use that EHR in ways that meet “Meaningful Use” requirements.