May 2007

Top pay-for-performance programs point to increased focus on hospital incentives, efficiency measures, coordination, and standardization
MargaretAnn Cross
The secret to the success of PFFS is as old as gold. Will beneficiary satisfaction force Congress to keep the faucet turned on?
Frank Diamond
Insurers and employers are busily compiling databases to control costs and improve care, but physicians are laying claim to the data
Lola Butcher
Careful attention to a comprehensive treatment plan could forestall or prevent the need to add drugs and costs to a patient's regimen
Rachel M. Renshaw
Management of the uncontrolled asthma patient and case examples
Jill Karpel, MD
Donald A. Bukstein, MD
Robert LoNigro, MD



Departments
Viewpoint
You don't really have a true pay-for-performance program if it doesn't say so on the bottom line
David A. Sparrow
Legislation & Regulation
Consensus seems to be building over a Senate bill that is acceptable to some health plans and employers
John Carroll
Medication Management
Pharmacies can now take advantage of CPT codes to bill insurers for direct patient care. Will private payers follow Medicare in offering this service?
Martin Sipkoff
Compensation Monitor
Employer Update
Some employers in Kansas City see extended value in a locally based variant of the online health record, and health plans are playing along
Lola Butcher
Tomorrow's Medicine
Symptom relief was the only treatment for hemoglobin found in the urine. Now Solaris prevents the complement cascade.
Thomas Morrow, MD

Managed Care’s Top Ten Articles of 2016

There’s a lot more going on in health care than mergers (Aetna-Humana, Anthem-Cigna) creating huge players. Hundreds of insurers operate in 50 different states. Self-insured employers, ACA public exchanges, Medicare Advantage, and Medicaid managed care plans crowd an increasingly complex market.

Major health care players are determined to make health information exchanges (HIEs) work. The push toward value-based payment alone almost guarantees that HIEs will be tweaked, poked, prodded, and overhauled until they deliver on their promise. The goal: straight talk from and among tech systems.

They bring a different mindset. They’re willing to work in teams and focus on the sort of evidence-based medicine that can guide health care’s transformation into a system based on value. One question: How well will this new generation of data-driven MDs deal with patients?

The surge of new MS treatments have been for the relapsing-remitting form of the disease. There’s hope for sufferers of a different form of MS. By homing in on CD20-positive B cells, ocrelizumab is able to knock them out and other aberrant B cells circulating in the bloodstream.

A flood of tests have insurers ramping up prior authorization and utilization review. Information overload is a problem. As doctors struggle to keep up, health plans need to get ahead of the development of the technology in order to successfully manage genetic testing appropriately.

Having the data is one thing. Knowing how to use it is another. Applying its computational power to the data, a company called RowdMap puts providers into high-, medium-, and low-value buckets compared with peers in their markets, using specific benchmarks to show why outliers differ from the norm.
Competition among manufacturers, industry consolidation, and capitalization on me-too drugs are cranking up generic and branded drug prices. This increase has compelled PBMs, health plan sponsors, and retail pharmacies to find novel ways to turn a profit, often at the expense of the consumer.
The development of recombinant DNA and other technologies has added a new dimension to care. These medications have revolutionized the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and many of the other 80 or so autoimmune diseases. But they can be budget busters and have a tricky side effect profile.

Shelley Slade
Vogel, Slade & Goldstein

Hub programs have emerged as a profitable new line of business in the sales and distribution side of the pharmaceutical industry that has got more than its fair share of wheeling and dealing. But they spell trouble if they spark collusion, threaten patients, or waste federal dollars.

More companies are self-insuring—and it’s not just large employers that are striking out on their own. The percentage of employers who fully self-insure increased by 44% in 1999 to 63% in 2015. Self-insurance may give employers more control over benefit packages, and stop-loss protects them against uncapped liability.