June 2005

One of the nation’s largest health care companies will analyze claims to discover unintended effects of new drugs on its members.
“The central test for any new technology,” says this medical informaticist, “is whether you can get home earlier to do things you’d rather be doing.”
The entire managed care industry is desperate to cut costs and is beginning to turn toward a controversial method to do just that.
Regional health plans and small HMOs coming late to the CDHP market haven’t missed out — yet.
As CDHPs increasingly penetrate the commercial market , their greatest contribution might lie in funding health services for retirees and in reducing the number of uninsured people by offering affordable insurance.

Departments

LEGISLATION & REGULATION
States are considering laws that require businesses to provide coverage for their employees. Wal-Mart is the biggest target.
MEDICATION MANAGEMENT
Despite a mandate to adopt utilization management programs and make patients share costs, health plans are still lining up to participate in Medicare Part D.
TOMORROW’S MEDICINE
Vertebral fusion and disc replacement are comparable, but shorter recovery time for disc replacement makes it attractive.

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