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Phia Group Media


Transparency: A Building Block of Self-funding

Whether from unpredictable provider charges, “black box” claims repricing, mysterious PBM rebates, or unobtainable claims data, entities operating in the self-funded space such as employers, TPAs, brokers, and stop-loss carriers have been forced to deal with a systemic lack of transparency.
 
Join The Phia Group’s legal team as they discuss some emerging and ongoing transparency issues, measures being taken to try to resolve them, and methods you can use to get the data you need in order to lower costs.

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What We Love About Self-Funding in 2019

Valentine’s Day is upon us, and we’re feeling the love.  Too often we, as an industry, spend our time discussing issues, problems, and concerns, and don’t dedicate enough time to the features and opportunities that make self-funding great.  We focus so much on “how we save” self-funding, that we forget to celebrate the reasons why self-funding is worth saving in the first place.  Join the team as they discuss what makes self-funding such a great option for so many employers and employees, as well as the incredibly cool new innovations rolling out in 2019, that will be sure to make self-funding a sweetheart for even more employers this year and beyond.

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The Affordable Care Act in 2019: A Look Ahead

This year, we mark the ninth anniversary of the healthcare law that transformed our industry. The Affordable Care Act has been under assault from the White House, from Congress, and now, it has been declared unconstitutional by a federal court. Despite the embattled state of the ACA, the Trump administration has set an agenda for the ACA's implementation this year, and it remains the law of the land. In this webinar, The Phia Group's legal team will explore the many legal and political battles that threaten the ACA's existence while covering those key provisions that have changed, those that have remained the same, and everything in between.

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What to Expect in 2019 – Part 2

To build on last month’s webinar (Part 1), join The Phia Group’s legal team for an hour on December 12, 2018, as they present the second part of this two-part series on What to Expect in 2019. Touching on topics such as appeals, stop-loss trends, reference-based pricing, and much more, this webinar will highlight current industry happenings and our predictions to help you look forward to the coming year. Just like last month: miss this one, and you’ll be left behind.

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What to Expect in 2019 - Part 1

The future is here! As we’re about to enter 2019, the undercurrents of the self-funded industry are as exciting as they are dynamic, and changes are happening at an unbelievable pace. Join The Phia Group’s legal team as they present Part 1 of this two-part series on What to Expect in 2019, which will highlight current industry happenings and our predictions to help you look forward to the coming year.  Miss this one, and you’ll be left behind.

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Specialty Drugs: Trends and Issues Affecting Self-Funded Plans

No matter what corner of the industry you’re in, you know that health plans have had a constant need to contain costs as a result of skyrocketing medical bills. The rising cost of Rx drugs has certainly been an issue as well – and specialty drugs are a hot-button issue as health plans struggle to find ways to manage them.

Join The Phia Group’s legal team for an hour as they discuss the latest trends and issues relating to specialty drugs – including plan design, international sourcing, copay programs, and more.

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Back to School: Renewal Time

In the self-funded industry, being diligent with respect to employer groups, vendors, and contracts is always important – but sometimes knowing what to put on a checklist in the first place is more difficult than checking off the items. Renewal time means it’s time to impress prospective clients, keep existing clients happy, and make sure the vendors and contracts being utilized are the best possible fit for your groups.
 
Join The Phia Group’s legal team for an hour as they outline a laundry list of what employers, TPAs, brokers, and stop-loss carriers should look for this time of the year – and provide some guidance on how the industry’s players can stay ahead of the curve.

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Breaking the Mold: Creative Solutions for Everyday Problems

From drafting the plan document all the way to recovering subrogation claims, health plans (and the TPAs, brokers, stop-loss carriers, and other vendors that service them) need to be creative, diligent, and vigilant. Network contracts, stop-loss claims, and intricate medical claim determinations are just a few of the complications that self-funded health plans and their partners need to be able to successfully navigate.
 
Join The Phia Group’s legal team for an hour as they discuss some common snafus that health plans and TPAs face, and propose some creative solutions for managing them.

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Check out these highlight snippets from our August 14 Webinar:

July 2018 PGC FAQs (11 minutes into Webinar)

Q: What is the difference between ADA Leave & Short-Term Disability/Long-Term Disability Leave?

Jennifer McCormick: Continuation of coverage versus a leave of absence are completely different concepts. ADA leave, specifically, is granted to an individual as a reasonable accommodation. Employers began adding these provisions to their plans due to the UPS case in which there was an individual who was pregnant and unable to continue delivering packages for UPS and there was no other function that she could perform. Thus, the reasonable accommodation for her was a leave of absence under the ADA. This is separate from short-term disability or long-term disability in that the leave under the ADA is an accommodation, as opposed to a designated leave granted through a specific employer policy.


Network Contracts (28 minutes into Webinar)

Q: What can plans do about network contracts?

Jon Jablon: First, plans can terminate network contracts. Obviously, you should not do this before notifying the parties involved. However, in terminating the contracts, there are many reference-based pricing (RBP) vendors out there that can help you achieve your payment goals. Every RBP vendor has their own style and techniques, so we recommend you vet each one prior to making a decision. RBP also includes carve-out options, and some popular ones associated with high-dollar claims are dialysis carve-outs and air ambulance carve-outs. If are seeing claims that you can carve out of your plan, chances are there is some way to address it. It is also possible to carve out all out-of-network claims – so not just dialysis or air ambulance. This would be anything not covered by the preferred provider organization (PPO) contract.


Stop-Loss Issues (46 minutes into Webinar)

Q: What are some important stop-loss issues that plans should be aware of?

Brady Bizarro: We have seen a lot more new disputes lately. Many have to do with soft gaps, which may not catch your eye if you are reviewing a stop-loss policy on its own. For example, there may only be four exclusions and it may say that it otherwise mirrors the plan document, but you may not always be good to go. First, the treatment of Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) rebates, which can be an issue if you have a high volume of drug claims. A plan, in theory, gets rebates from drug manufacturers, but in reality, it is the PBM who is getting those rebates. One plan’s stop-loss carrier somehow found out about these rebates through an audit and was then reducing the reimbursement amounts by the rebate figures, even if it was the PBM and not the plan getting money. The key was interpreting the wording, as some carriers may use “refund” instead of “rebate”. Another issue relates to billing protocols, as some stop-loss policies will reimburse claims in accordance with “standardized billing protocols”. Some carriers even cite Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) billing protocols even though CMS is not the payer and this is a private payer. Medicare reimbursement rates are not the issue here, it is the way Medicare itself pays claims.


Hottest Industry Trends and Topics – This is What You Asked For

The industry is ablaze! From specialty drugs, to association health plans, to the “right to try” law, we’re all feeling the heat. The Phia Group’s leadership team attempts to address these scorching issues and perhaps cool some nerves in the process.

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Final Rule on Association Health Plans and YOU: Phia's Take

On Tuesday, June 19th, the Department of Labor issued a final rule on Association Health Plans. Supporters claim the rule will allow millions of Americans to access more affordable coverage options. Critics contend that it will reduce patient access and weaken the insurance markets, leading to increased costs for all. Join The Phia Group's legal team in this special edition webinar in which they will break down the final rule and explain the significant impact it is expected to have on the self-funded industry. 

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