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Empowering Plans: P192 – Places, Promises, and Plan Documents

On May 23, 2024
In this installment of The Phia Group’s Empowering Plans podcast series, attorneys Jon Jablon and Cindy Merrell discuss a health plan that lost its ERISA protections because of a pre-cert snafu. Specifically, the provider was quoted benefits at U&C, but that’s not quite what the SPD said – so the court called it a promise outside the SPD, and the security blanket of federal law flew right out the window! Tune in for the full details, and advice on how to not let this happen to you!

The Cost of Cancer

On May 21, 2024
During the COVID 19 pandemic, experts anticipated that we would see a surge in undiagnosed cancers. That prediction proved to be accurate. Driven by this ongoing issue, on March 8 the Biden Administration announced updates to its “Cancer Moonshot.” Combining efforts to address navigation, research, treatment, costs and coverage – for health benefit plans, this new focus on cancer represents both an opportunity and risk. Cancer and oncology claims have always been one of the most expensive items health plans encounter. Only those who are aware of ongoing developments and plan ahead will minimize risks and maximize beneficial outcomes. Join The Phia Group as they delve into this and other new regulatory and legal developments, including the aforementioned “Moonshot,” the effect of the Dobbs decision on cancer care, specialty drugs, high cost threats – both present and forthcoming, and a very important personal message from Ron Peck.

The Stewardship of Hospitals

On May 16, 2024
Hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, long-term care facilities, primary care physician practices, nursing homes, hospice care. They are the most indispensable institutions of any functioning society, but unlike a Fortune 500 company or professional sports franchise, the identity of their respective owners often remains an afterthought. That is, unless you work for or are served by a financially distressed health care system, such as for example Steward Health Care, the massive private-for-profit healthcare conglomerate that recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Empowering Plans: P191 – Derby Reflections and Gambles on Healthcare Strategies (Part 2)

On May 14, 2024
In this concluding episode of our special two-part series on the Empowering Plans Podcast, Adam Russo and Corey Crigger return to unpack more significant developments in the self-funded space. This episode focuses on Walmart’s surprising withdrawal from the healthcare arena—a sector it heavily invested in just a year ago. Listen as they analyze the impact of this move on rural markets and what it signifies for the industry's future.

Empowering Plans: P190 – Derby Insights and Gambles on Healthcare Strategies (Part 1)

On May 9, 2024
Join us for a captivating two-part episode of the Empowering Plans Podcast. Adam Russo, CEO and Founder of The Phia Group, is back alongside Corey Crigger to delve into the exhilarating 150th Kentucky Derby and share why Corey’s insights are indispensable. This episode also addresses pressing concerns in the self-funded sector that are crucial for our clients. Packed with valuable information, we had to split the discussion into two parts!

Empowering Plans: P189 – SCOTUS Showdowns and Derby Delights

On May 3, 2024
The Empowering Plans podcast gets a southern infusion in this very Kentucky-centric podcast! Cindy Merrell and Corey Crigger get together to discuss the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby. Before you hear about all things Derby, Cindy and Corey review two impactful Supreme Court cases that were argued in the last session and discuss the implications of presidential immunity as well as the role EMTALA can play in state regulations. No other podcast in the country will break down SCOTUS cases and Derby winners like the Empowering Plans Podcast!

The End of a (Brief) Era

On May 2, 2024
Five years ago, Walmart, the multi-billion-dollar retail behemoth, opened its first-ever health clinic in Georgia. Soon, dozens more Walmart-sponsored clinics started opening their doors across not just Georgia, but also Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, and Texas. Most of these pop-up clinics operated in rural communities where chronic diseases were rampant and (affordable) primary care options were scarce. Irrespective of the pandemic soon unfolding, they served their purpose: customers shopping for microwaveable dinners and bath supplies could stop by for a doctor’s appointment, get stitched up, take a flu test, or even get X-rays done, all for a very reasonable fee. As many of these shoppers/patients either lacked health insurance or had high deductible plans with imposing out-of-pocket costs, these clinics represented their only viable option for obtaining any semblance of proper healthcare. Surely, some had not been to a doctor of any type for years.

Empowering Plans: P188 – Fiduciary Duties in the Spotlight – Lewandowski v. Johnson and Johnson

On April 25, 2024
Attorneys Brady Bizarro and Andrew Silverio discuss the pending case of Lewandowski v. Johnson & Johnson, a lawsuit brought against plan fiduciaries for violating their fiduciary duties under ERISA. How did they violate those duties? By failing to negotiate drug prices and sufficiently oversee their PBM or investigate alternatives. No matter who wins, this case highlights the importance of ERISA’s fiduciary duties and the gravity of the decisions fiduciaries are (or should be) making.

Not Surprised – First NSA Analysis Shows That You’re Paying Too Much…And Phia Can Help!

On April 25, 2024
On Dec. 27, 2020, the No Surprises Act (NSA) was signed into law, with an eye towards protecting patients against so-called “surprise” balance bills. The law leaned heavily on “good faith” negotiations between payers and providers, as well as “objective” decision making via independent dispute resolution. Three years later, The Brookings Institution reported that you are paying nearly four-times what Medicare pays (an average of 390%) and are spending at least 50% MORE than an average PPO network. The bottom line? Providers are winning and you are paying MORE now than you did before the NSA’s passage.

The Phia Group’s CEO, Adam V. Russo, Named Recipient of the Free Market Medical Association 2024 Be A Beacon Award

On April 24, 2024
Canton, MA – April 24, 2024 – The Phia Group’s CEO, Adam V. Russo, was presented with the Be A Beacon Award at the Free Market Medical Association (FMMA) Annual Conference in recognition of his outstanding leadership and achievements in transforming healthcare.

The Phia Group's 2nd Quarter 2024 Newsletter

On April 17, 2024
The Phia Group is off to a great start in the second quarter of 2024! Check out our newsletter to get acquainted with some of the latest happenings in our neck of the woods.

Empowering Plans: P187 – Decoding ACA FAQ #66: Essential Health Benefits Unpacked

On April 11, 2024
Listen in as Kelly Dempsey and Brian O'Hara hit it out of the park in this Empowering Plans episode about Essential Health Benefits (EHBs)! The regulating bodies are at it again and issued ACA FAQ #66 on April 2, 2024! Listen in for a quick refresher on EHBs - how they started, where they are now, and where we’re going - and Phia’s interpretation and analysis of FAQ #66.

IDR: The Confusion Never Ends!

On April 8, 2024
It seems like every day that The Phia Group's consulting team is presented with an IDR-related issue brought up by either a provider in an appeal or simply a TPA trying to iron out or streamline its processes. Sometimes the question centers around the specifics of the IDR process, but sometimes the question instead focuses on the very concept of IDR itself and when it becomes applicable to begin with.

The Phia Group Is Named Winner of the 2024 Top Workplaces USA Award

On April 3, 2024
Canton, MA – The Phia Group, a leading provider of health care cost containment solutions, proudly announced today that it has been honored with the 2024 Top Workplaces USA award. This prestigious recognition, presented by Energage, underscores The Phia Group's commitment to fostering an exceptional workplace environment for its employees by providing such outstanding benefits as ongoing education, philanthropic events, and zero-cost health coverage for employees that have been with the company for five or more years.

Reimbursing . . . Medicaid?

On April 3, 2024
Imagine that you have recently lost a loved one, are still in the midst of grieving, feeling sleep deprived, dealing with a bevy of uncomfortable logistical issues, and then told . . . that you may have to forfeit your house.