October 6, 2013

Seminar to focus on health exchanges

Hospital to have seminar for management on health exchanges

Medical home models. Incentives to wellness. And the much-balleyhooed health insurance exchanges.

With elements of the Affordable Care Act, sometimes called Obamacare, set to go into effect in January, businesses have been adjusting budgets and making other preparations to meet its mandates that those with at least 50 employees provide health insurance to all who work at least 30 hours per week.

For smaller businesses, the decisions that come along with those preparations might overwhelm a manager whose main job isn’t taking care of human resources, said Logansport Memorial Hospital president Dave Ameen.

It’s those smaller businesses he’s hoping to educate at a health insurance reform seminar Oct. 17 that’s focusing on the health insurance exchanges.

A survey conducted by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans indicated most organizations think they understand ACA fairly well, but still need to analyze it further. Meanwhile, two in five are emphasizing wellness and wellness initiatives more because of ACA’s impact, survey results indicated, and 17 percent of respondents are already starting to redesign their health insurance plans to avoid an excise tax scheduled to be triggered in 2018 for high-cost health insurance plans.

The act “really requires preventive care and wellness to be covered,” said Ameen, who’s one of the three speakers scheduled to address seminar attendees later this month. However, on the provider side, reimbursing entities like Medicare are pushing for those measures to be carried out — and documented.

“Like in diabetes, they want us to document that we’re measuring the hemoglobin A1C levels,” he said, referring to a blood test that gauges a person’s average sugar levels over the past three months, and “that not only are we prescribing medicines, that they’re also getting the medicines filled.”

Ameen, Indiana Chamber representative Mike Ripley and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield executive Greg Leffler are slated to speak at the lunch seminar from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 17 at Ivy Tech-Logansport, 1 Iv Tech Way. Ameen said he planned to focus on how health care organizations are responding to health care reform.

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