Wednesday April 1, 2015

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Consumer-Driven Health News



Know the Rules to Make Medicare, HSA Decisions

Caught at the intersection of two developing workplace trends is a little-known but critical issue for aging baby boomers: the impact of Medicare on health savings accounts. It’s important because more people are working after retirement age and more employers are adding HSAs as an employee benefit.

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This Doctor Posts His Prices Online. Health Care Should Move in Same Direction.

There’s a cost-cutting revolution going on in American health care. Anesthesiologist and co-founder of the Surgery Center of Oklahoma Dr. Keith Smith is at the epicenter of that revolution. Smith posts prices online for his practice. It quickly became clear that Smith’s surgery center provided care priced at one-tenth to one-fifth of what neighboring facilities bill while providing at least the same level of quality.

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It Costs WHAT to Have a Baby at Indiana's Hospitals?

Hospital fees are notoriously complicated. Now, the Indiana Hospital Association has unveiled a website that aims to make hospital pricing at least a little more transparent, providing average fees for a number of procedures at hospitals around the state along with quality measures. Here are five different common conditions that could require a hospitalization and a sense of the range of hospital bills that they could incur.

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Wellness Metrics Moving Beyond Health Care Costs

Recent data from the National Business Group on Health and Optum show businesses are discovering different ways of measuring a return on investment on wellness programs. As wellness programs evolve, employers have shifted from a focus on cost to other areas like increased employee productivity and how wellness impacts the company overall.

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IRS Wants Your Advice About the Cadillac Plan Tax

The Internal Revenue Service is asking for commenters thoughts on how the IRS ought to define "applicable coverage" for Cadillac plan tax purposes, determine the cost of that coverage, and adjust the statutory dollar thresholds that govern when the tax kicks in. Comments are due May 15.

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