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Recent articles from Benefits Pro and National Public Radio (NPR) claim that many patients are receiving unnecessary or “low-value” medical procedures, which are significantly increasing health care costs.

According to Benefits Pro, “health care consumers are sinking $25 billion a year on low-value procedures”. The Washington Health Alliance, after reviewing claims for 1.3 million patients in the state, found that 600,000+ patients per year are receiving treatment they do not need. The staggering cost for this unnecessary treatment is estimated at $282 million, and ultimately impacts rising health care costs.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018 11:24

FMLA Tax Credit 2018

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The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) provides employees of companies with 50 or more workers up to 12 weeks of protected unpaid leave annually for their own serious health condition, for the adoption or birth of a child or to care for a spouse, child, or parent who is ill. On December 22, 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law, creating a federal tax credit for employers providing paid family and medical leave beginning in 2018 and ending at the end of 2019.

 
Tuesday, 13 February 2018 11:16

Review your HIPAA Practices

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The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was enacted to protect the privacy of healthcare consumers, including who has access to a patient’s medical records and who can be designated to act on their behalf.  You have probably filled out a HIPAA Authorization or Acknowledgment form for every new provider you’ve seen over the last 20 years.  On the surface, HIPAA compliance seems to adhere primarily to providers and insurance carriers; however, if you are an employer sponsoring health plans for your employees, there are some basic provisions you need to be aware of.  Fines for not complying with HIPAA are very real and can range into the tens of thousands of dollars.

 
Tuesday, 30 January 2018 14:59

The Ever-Changing World of ACA Taxes

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There are several healthcare-related taxes that employers have been responsible for under the Affordable Care Act.  Some have gone through a sunset while others continue, and some were given a temporary holiday and were scheduled to start anew in 2018.

Following a short government shut-down, President Trump signed a short-term spending bill (a Continuing Resolution or “CR”) on January 22nd to reopen and fund the federal government through February 8, 2018.  Attached to the bill are suspensions of three ACA taxes and a six-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). 

Tuesday, 23 January 2018 14:39

Wellness on a Shoestring

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With a new year just beginning and resolutions in full swing, the idea of Well-being and Wellness jumps into the limelight once again. This time, our focus becomes on keeping this conversation going all year long in partnering with employers of all sizes in the exploration of company wellness programs.

Some employers struggle to understand how to create a wellness program with little or no budget, but it can  be done. 
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