Smart Benefits: Will Sebelius’ Resignation Improve ACA Rollout?
Monday, April 14, 2014
Under her tenure, the ACA rollout got off to a rocky start, including widespread website problems which prohibited some people from enrolling in the public exchanges and resulted in lower than projected enrollment figures.
Now, Sylvia Matthews Burwell, the director of the White House office of Management and Budget, takes over. But will a change in leadership make a difference at this point?
Rate Issues Remain
Burwell will likely face double-digit increases for the exchange rates once the carriers release the rates in May. That's even higher than what was anticipated, thanks largely to the delayed enrollment dates that allowed people to enroll later in the year at lower, locked-in rates.
Tech Still a Target
IT issues are likely to continue to plague the public exchanges. Since Sebelius wasn’t involved with the day-to-day design and implementation of the health IT initiatives, focusing her attention instead on reform, this area will continue to be problematic.
Advisors at Arms Length
Sebelius alienated the insurance industry from the beginning. Benefit advisors and brokers, those responsible for selling healthcare insurance to employers and educating their employees, were dismissed by Sebelius and President Obama. As a result, in many states, benefit advisors are not allowed to be involved with the exchanges.
Burwell Has A Tough Road Ahead
Burwell faces a daunting task: she needs to fix the problems Sebalius allowed to fester, and repair relations with an industry that should have been included at the start.
Let's hope she's up for the challenge.
Related Slideshow: 13 Biggest Healthcare Stories in RI in 2013
The most import stories from one of the most historic years in memory for Rhode Island healthcare.
13 Doctors Behaving Badly
Rhode Island Doctors Behaving Badly
Doctors, having professed in their professional lives to "do no harm," are typically looked at in their personal lives as upstanding citizens. But 2013 proved that not all doctors are cut from the same cloth.
With charges ranging from unprofessional behavior in the office to giving morphine to babies to breaking into a residence without permission at 3 in the morning and being in possession of marijuana, this breakdown of reprimanded doctors in 2013 is simply a must see.
12 Staying Healthy + Fit
10 Ways To Stay Healthy + Fit This Summer—Miriam Experts
Summer brings soaring temperatures, family cookouts and tempting warm-weather treats like ice cream and margaritas, and can easily sabotage your fitness and diet plans. That’s why leading nutrition and exercise experts at The Miriam Hospital shared their timeless top tips for staying fit and eating healthy while still having fun in the sun.
Summer fitness never goes out of style. Click here for tips you can use every year to maintain that beach body!
11 Well-Being Index
How Happy Is Rhode Island—Latest Gallup Well-Being Index
Rhode Island may need an attitude adjustment, according to the latest Well-Being Index numbers from Gallup-Healthways. The state's latest ranking for happiness is #37 in the nation, a drop of 2 spots from last year. And that ranking was a drop from the year before.
10 Retail Insurance
Smart Benefits: Health Insurers Go Retail
Healthcare reform has brought about lots of changes to the procurement of individual and family plans. Now, when you head to the mall, you'll be able to buy health insurance in addition to shopping for clothes. In a move that continues to gain steady momentum, leading health insurers across the country are opening retail stores to cater to individuals who now have to purchase health insurance on their own because of healthcare reform.
9 A Healthier You in 2013
13 Ways To Be Healthier in RI in 2013
As we embarked on 2013, Rhode Island's Director of Health, Michael Fine, MD, encouraged Rhode Islanders to make health and wellness a priority in the new year. Check out the 13 steps he recommended Rhode Islanders take to get and stay well in the new year. Whether you stuck to them or not in 2013, we find ourselves at another time for goal-setting and resolutions. Brush up on your healthy living and put your knowledge to good use in 2014!
8 RI’s Sexual Health
Rhode Island’s Sexual Health Worst In New England—New Ranking
Rhode Island's abysmal showing in the 2013 Sexual Health Rankings landed them at last place in New England.
The first-ever assessment of state-by-state data on 26 comprehensive health and services measures that speak to sexual health put the Ocean State at #19 overall in the US, and #6 among New England states.
7 Deloitte's Big Contract
Deloitte Awarded $105 Million Contract to Create New Healthcare System
Last January, Governor Lincoln Chafee announced that the State had awarded a $105 million contract to Deloitte Consulting to create the technology infrastructure to modernize the way the state administers Medicaid and other human service programs, and, most importantly, to create Rhode Island’s Health Benefits Exchange in compliance with the Affordable Care Act. Do you think Deloitte was the right choice? Read on for a breakdown of why Deloitte was chosen and the outlook on the exchange - who's rollout was not without its hiccups - while it was in just the conception phase.
6 Non-Profit Hospital CEO
Rhode Island Non-Profit Hospital CEOs Criticized For Big Paychecks
The American healthcare system may be quite deathly ill. But the paychecks CEOs of Rhode Island non-profit hospitals are quite healthy.
Because of the trend of for-profit chains buying non-profit hospitals, which has swept the nation over the last decade or so, only eight non-profit hospital groups remain in the Ocean State. Together, they control a total of 11 hospitals.
And you won't believe how handsomely the CEOs of these hospitals are paid.
5 Healthiest Counties
Rankings: Where the Healthiest Rhode Islanders Live
Where do the healthiest residents in Rhode Island live? According to 2013 rankings by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a national foundation focused on improving public health, Bristol County took top honors -- while Providence County was the bottom of the list of the five counties in the state.
4 Health Exchange Rebrand
Rhode Island’s First Health Benefits Exchange Launches
In July, The Rhode Island Health Benefits Exchange announced a number of important updates and initiatives – including a new name and the creation of 70-100 new jobs – in preparation to enroll Rhode Islanders in quality affordable health insurance plans starting on October 1, 2013.
Dubbing the Health Exchange HealthSource RI and announcing the state's new contact center in Providence, the exchange announced it would employ 70-100 Rhode Islanders when fully operational who would be accessible to individuals and small employers to talk in-person or over the phone with engagement specialists who would provide personalized assistance in finding, comparing, and purchasing health insurance options available through HealthSource RI.
3 Heart Health
RI’s Go Red Day 2013: 10 Ways Women Can Keep Their Hearts Healthy
According to the AHA, nearly half of American women do not know that heart disease is their No. 1 killer, and less than half know the best blood pressure and cholesterol levels for cardiovascular health. Making red visible on Mondays could help sound the alarm and keep heart health ever present in the lives of American women.
2 Health Exchange Launch
Healthsource RI Announces Health Benefits Exchange Rates
In late August, HealthSource RI announced the plans and rates that were to be offered through the state's health benefits exchange when open enrollment began on October 1 for individuals and small businesses. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, United HealthCare, and Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island all signed on to offer 28 plans through the exchange.
The exchange launched on October 1st with no shortage of hiccups, but the launch was relatively smooth by comparison to those in states whose exchanges were facilitated federally. By November, the exchange had processed over 4500 applicants. And by December the New York Times noted that the RI exchange was the second-best performing in the country with enrollment exceeding target rates by a sizeable margin.
1 Patients Rank Hospitals
New England’s Best Hospitals Rated By Patients
Traditionally, hospitals are rated and ranked on a combination of sound technical care, adequate resources, and impressive statistics. But an increasing emphasis is being placed on perhaps one of the more important measures: the patient’s perspective. With that in mind, GoLocal has sifted through and analyzed the results from a government-sponsored survey of more than 50,000 patients in 176 hospitals in New England (full chart here), and emerged with the first-ever patient-based ranking of the region’s top hospitals.
GoLocal consulted with patients, experts, and hospital administrators for their take to contextualize the rankings- click here to read the story.
- Smart Benefits: 5 Healthcare Trend Predictions for 2013
- Smart Benefits: Be Prepared For Fall Open Enrollment Changes
- Smart Benefits: Consumer Engagement is Key to Better Healthcare
- Smart Benefits: Employers Are Tangled Up in Healthcare Reform
- Smart Benefits: Gay Marriage Ruling + Employer Compliance
- Smart Benefits: Healthcare Reform Drives Coverage Innovation
- Smart Benefits: Large Employers Need to Report in 2015 Under ACA
- Smart Benefits: More States Reject State-Run Health Exchanges
- Smart Benefits: New Study Shows Health Costs Hurt Small Biz Hiring
- Smart Benefits: Pay or Play Delay Could Bode Well for Employers
- Smart Benefits: Reverse Auctions Bring Down Health Benefit Costs
- Smart Benefits: The Naked Truth About Healthcare Costs
- Smart Benefits: Why You May Not Want To Grow Your Business
- Smart Benefits: 5 New Healthcare Reform Taxes
- Smart Benefits: Better Data for Better Care
- Smart Benefits: Controlling Healthcare Costs Through Choice
- Smart Benefits: Employers Need To Prepare For Health Exchanges
- Smart Benefits: HSA Contribution Limits Rise For 2014
- Smart Benefits: Healthcare Reform Will Limit Plan Design Choices
- Smart Benefits: Low Exchange Enrollment Means More Taxpayer Costs
- Smart Benefits: More Taxes, Less Pay
- Smart Benefits: Newport Preservation Society Wins On Wellness
- Smart Benefits: Polls Show Most Americans Skeptical of Obamacare
- Smart Benefits: Romney Vs. Obama on Healthcare
- Smart Benefits: The New Year Means New Benefit Decisions
- Smart Benefits: Will HealthSource RI Meet Enrollment Expectations?
- Smart Benefits: 14 Things To Know About Obamacare
- Smart Benefits: 5 Reasons Why Healthcare Reform Hurts Workers
- Smart Benefits: Blue Cross Blue Shield RI Gets Rate Hike Approval
- Smart Benefits: Counting Employees Right For Healthcare Compliance
- Smart Benefits: Employers Who Ignore Obamacare Will Pay
- Smart Benefits: HSAs Look Good as Obamacare Decision Looms
- Smart Benefits: Healthcare Reform—Big Rewards for Wellness in ‘14
- Smart Benefits: MA’s Tax Breaks For Wellness Sets a Good Example
- Smart Benefits: NE Health Exchanges—Who’s Ahead, Who’s Behind?
- Smart Benefits: Next Steps in Healthcare Reform for Employers
- Smart Benefits: Private Exchanges Open Up New Opportunities In RI
- Smart Benefits: Small Employers Must Cover ‘Essential’ Benefits
- Smart Benefits: The Secret to a Winning Wellness Program
- Smart Benefits: Will Paul Ryan’s Plan for Medicare + Medicaid Fly?
- Smart Benefits: 2013 Health Insurance Rate Increases Expected Soon
- Smart Benefits: 5 Ways to Save Money on Prescriptions
- Smart Benefits: Bright Future for Primary Care in Rhode Island
- Smart Benefits: Coverage for Civil Union Couples
- Smart Benefits: Employers/Insurers To Foot Healthcare Reform Fees
- Smart Benefits: Health Insurance Stores? Yes.
- Smart Benefits: Hospital Payment Disparity in RI
- Smart Benefits: Make the Most of Your Health Plan in 2014
- Smart Benefits: New Full-Time Status Calculation Full of Confusion
- Smart Benefits: No Healthcare Rebates for RI Employers
- Smart Benefits: RI Among Worst States for Competitive Healthcare
- Smart Benefits: Small Employers—RI Exchange Or Private Plan?
- Smart Benefits: Tufts’ RightChoice Keeps it Simple for Consumers
- Smart Benefits: Will You Be Affected by the New Medicare Tax?
- Smart Benefits: 3 Ways Obamacare Hurts Employees
- Smart Benefits: 7 Hot New Wellness Tools
- Smart Benefits: Calmar Cancels Out Pain
- Smart Benefits: Don’t Let Older Workers Go
- Smart Benefits: Enrollment in Health Exchanges Not So Simple
- Smart Benefits: Health Insurers Go Retail
- Smart Benefits: How 3 New RI Laws Will Affect Employers
- Smart Benefits: Mobile Apps + iPads The Key To Wellness Success
- Smart Benefits: New Healthcare Plan Survey—How’d RI Do?
- Smart Benefits: Obamacare Brings Big Changes to Small Employers
- Smart Benefits: RI Cracks Down on Health Insurer Rating Practices
- Smart Benefits: Survey Reveals Employees and Taxpayers Hit Hardest
- Smart Benefits: Use Competitions to Up Wellness Participation
- Smart Benefits: 3 Ways to Make Wellness Standards Work
- Smart Benefits: 9 Tips for Health Benefits Open Enrollment Season
- Smart Benefits: Can Better Doc Choices Lower Costs?
- Smart Benefits: Employer Exchange Model Notice Released Early
- Smart Benefits: Expect Double-Digit Health Insurance Hikes in 2014
- Smart Benefits: Health Plan Audits—Is Your Company Ready?
- Smart Benefits: How RI Physicians Rate Local Insurers
- Smart Benefits: More Employers Offering More Health Plan Choices
- Smart Benefits: New Healthcare Reform Fee Means Higher Premiums
- Smart Benefits: Obamacare Delay Helps Employers Prepare
- Smart Benefits: RI Employers Need To Prepare For Exchanges NOW
- Smart Benefits: Switching to HSAs May Reduce Healthcare Spending
- Smart Benefits: Volunteering on Company Time
- Smart Benefits: 5 Common Compliance Mistakes Employers Make
- Smart Benefits: A Bad Week Brings Reactionary Changes to Obamacare
- Smart Benefits: Carriers Step Up No Matter What Supreme Court Says
- Smart Benefits: Employers Adapting to Private Exchanges
- Smart Benefits: Flexible Spending Accounts Get More Flexible
- Smart Benefits: Healthcare Is A-Changing
- Smart Benefits: Insurers File 1st Round of Rate Increase Requests
- Smart Benefits: More Exchanges, More Choice for Small Employers
- Smart Benefits: New Law Eliminates Limits on Deductibles
- Smart Benefits: Obamacare Extends Sign-Up for Exchanges… Again
- Smart Benefits: RI Exchange Leads Way With Focus On Small Business
- Smart Benefits: Taxpayers Could Get Stung By Local Healthcare Cost
- Smart Benefits: Wellness Programs That Pay Off
- Smart Benefits: 5 Health Benefit Cost-Cutting Trends To Watch In 2014
- Smart Benefits: BCBSRI Wants Higher Rate Hikes—Will it Get Them?
- Smart Benefits: Congress Moves to Strengthen HSAs
- Smart Benefits: Employers Are Okay With Sleeping On The Job
- Smart Benefits: Free Contraception for Women Starts August 1
- Smart Benefits: Healthcare Reform Delays Hit Consumers Hard
- Smart Benefits: Is Employer-Sponsored Wellness Here To Stay?