Costs to Rise 9%

levelfundingThe global cost of employee healthcare benefits is expected to rise by 9.1% this year according to research by consulting firm Willis Towers Watson. Hospital and inpatient services, many of which are tied to treating chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and respiratory illnesses, are driving the cost increases worldwide.

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Camera Capsules

pillcamVitamin-sized cameras, referred to as edible electronics, are helping doctors examine areas that are very tough to get to, such as parts of the small intestine. Medtronic’s Pill Cam uses up to two mini cameras, a light and up to 10 hours of battery life to travel through the GI tract taking photos at up to 35 frames per second. While the cameras can be very helpful in detecting signs of Crohn’s disease or bleeding, they do not enable a physician to remove polyps on the spot, which they often do during a colonoscopy.

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Avoid Potential Penalties with EBSO’s Legal Guidance & Support

ebso-aca-comliance3-blogManaging an employee health benefit plan is not easy given the numerous reporting and compliance challenges that exist today. With the landscape of Health Care Reform constantly changing, there can always be “gray areas” and potential penalties looming.

EBSO offers Legal Guidance & Support Services as part of their Compliance Management Solutions. These services and tools give support for the complexities of ACA compliance, employment law (ADA, FMLA, etc.), ERISA, GINA, HIPPA and other benefit regulations. Services can vary based on group size and include, but are not limited to, free legal advice and online training for employees. All of which are designed to help organizations save time and money.

As a full-service third party administrator (TPA), EBSO offers all the ACA compliance resources necessary in today’s regulatory environment – from a comprehensive range of Health Care Compliance Management Solutions for our self-insured medical administration clients to a freestanding suite of ACA Reporting Services available to any employer group, regardless of how the plan is funded or administered.

With all these options, it’s time you trust EBSO to be your compliance expert! To learn more and view a full list of Standard Compliance Services we offer, visit our website at: http://www.ebsobenefits.com/compliance-management.html.

Patients Counsel Hospitals

health-screeningsHospitals have long depended on volunteers to help at information desks, delivery of flowers and more. These days, however, some hospitals are asking discharged patients to participate on advisory councils that interact with hospital staff to improve communication with nurses, design of facilities and more. Some council members have joined physicians as they make their rounds, talking with patients or occasionally functioning as a “secret shopper” and to note how such sessions can be improved.

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Apps for the ER

mobileIn a study published in the journal titled Academic Emergency Medicine, ER physicians in 29 states showed that patients often leave decision making to their physician because the matter is too complicated for them to weigh in. To help patients and loved ones better share in decision making, some hospitals are developing apps that can provide back up information on cardiac care, appendicitis and other conditions. These aids are being especially helpful to parents who may not understand what a doctor says when they bring a sick child to the ER.

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Trusting Your ACA Compliance Management to EBSO is a Sure Thing

ebso-aca-comliance-blogThese days, managing an employee health benefit plan is NOT just that – companies face numerous reporting and compliance challenges that are continuously changing, which, in turn, has changed the game. And, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has only upped the ante.

At EBSO, we have a full-time Compliance Department helping our clients with these challenges, guiding them through the rapidly changing ACA requirements and avoiding costly penalties. Our Standard ACA Compliance Services include your basic plan General Notice Requirements as well as mandated ACA reporting techniques and fees. From the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Reauthorizations Act of 2009 to Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Fee (PCORI) calculation, our health care reform compliance services help ensure that self-funded employer groups stay ahead of the game.

As a full-service third party administrator (TPA), EBSO offers all the ACA compliance resources necessary in today’s regulatory environment – from a comprehensive range of Health Care Compliance Management Solutions for our self-insured medical administration clients to a freestanding suite of ACA Reporting Services available to any employer group, regardless of how the plan is funded or administered.

With all these options, trusting EBSO to be your expert is a safe bet! To learn more and view a full list of Standard Compliance Services we offer, visit our website at: http://www.ebsobenefits.com/compliance-management.html.

HSA Contributions Could Rise

blood-pressureRepublicans in the House have proposed H.R. 1270, and bundled it with H.R. 5445, which would increase the maximum annual deductible HSA contribution to $7,800 for individuals and $15,000 for a family. These increases are from current levels of $3,350 for individuals and $6,750 for families, respectively.

Members of the House Rules Committee were prepared to vote on the procedures for bringing the package to the House floor this week. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the increases would cost the federal government more than $20 billion in revenue over a 10-year period. President Obama has expressed opposition to the effort, saying that it would only help higher income individuals.

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Dog Days Popular

dogA recent survey of more than 1,000 workers showed that allowing people to bring their pets to work can go a long way to build community and reduce stress. Experience shows that people converge around pets, especially dogs, promoting friendly conversations that otherwise wouldn’t have taken place.

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Paid Leave Bills Advance

One of the biggest concerns of small business owners continues to be the paid and unpaid leave bills passing out of committee. In the Senate, the Healthy Workplace Act S.B. 2147 would require all employers to provide up to 7 paid sick days each year. The House passed H.B. 3297, creating the Employee Paid Health Care Time Act, requiring any employer of one or more to provide paid healthcare time at a rate of one hour for every 22 hours worked for an employer of 50 or more and one hour for every 40 hours worked for employers with fewer than 50 employees.

The Federal Government isn’t the only governmental body pushing paid leave. Several states and even the City of Chicago are considering paid leave for a variety of hardships, from bereavement to bone marrow and organ donations. A 2015 survey by NFIB shows that the vast majority of small businesses already offer some type of paid leave, with many offering up to 2 weeks per year.

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