Wednesday August 27, 2014

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Consumer-Driven Health News

States Offer Employees Rich, Low-Deductible Plans

State employees enjoy comparatively “rich” employer-sponsored health coverage, according to research. Unlike their private sector brethren, state employers have been slow to shift to high-deductible plans to save money. In those where they were offered, relatively few employees chose to enroll in them.

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Michael Cannon's Large HSA Proposal

Other than expanding HSAs I haven’t had any real idea on how to make that happen. Somehow I missed a long-standing proposal by the Cato Institute’s Michael Cannon for “Large HSAs.” I just recently came across a paper Cannon had published in 2008 that pretty thoroughly explains the idea. The policy proposal is really pretty simple and is a serious, innovative idea that deserves more attention than it got when it was first published.

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Let's Stop Trying to Force Consumers to 'Engage' With Their Health Care

Health care is full of buzzwords. The latest is “engagement.” If you want to change the world, you need to change the words. Words that signify the loss of independence need to be replaced with words that empower health consumers and emphasize how technology can make their lives easier. Instead of “engagement,” let’s talk about how we “empower” people with chronic diseases by providing them with the tools to escape the shadow of their illnesses.

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Overcoming Barriers to Patient Financial Engagement

As the healthcare industry shifts to a more consumer-focused market, providers are spending more time trying to open the channels of communication, educate patients about their conditions and involve them more fully in decisions about their care to encourage better outcomes and lower costs.

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In Ambitious Bid, Walmart Seeks Foothold in Primary Care Services

Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, has spent years trying to turn some of its millions of customers into patients. Now, the store is making an aggressive push to become a one-stop shopping destination for medical care. The company has opened five primary care locations in South Carolina and Texas, and plans to open another seven by the end of the year.

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