The Health Care Game Changer You May Have Missed

Two months ago, Apple and 13 prominent health systems – including the likes of Johns Hopkins and the University of Pennsylvania – announced an agreement that would allow Apple to download onto its various devices the electronic health data of those systems’ patients – with patients’ permission. David Blumenthal and Aneesh Chopra write in the Harvard Business Review that the announcement certainly didn’t get the fanfare it deserved. There are obstacles to overcome, but nonetheless sharing of electronic health data could be a health care game changer.

“A world in which patients have ready access to their own electronic data with the help of facilitators like Apple creates almost unfathomable opportunities to improve health care and health. First, participating patients would no longer be dependent on the bureaucracies of big health systems or on understaffed physician offices to make their own data available for further care. This could improve the quality of services and reduce cost through avoiding duplicative and unnecessary testing.”

Read the whole article here.

SOFTWARE

Swiftpage Offers All-New Act! Premium Plus CRM
Swiftpage, the provider of Act! client relationship management (CRM) software, a cloud-enabled platform aimed at helping small and mid-sized businesses grow, announced the availability of Act! Premium Plus, the newest addition to the Act! portfolio, and the release of the latest version of its Premium Platform, version 20.1, in North America, Australia and the United Kingdom. The Act! Premium Plus solution offers insurance providers the ability to tailor their CRM to meet the unique needs of their business, market and industry. This is achieved through the all-new custom tables manager and industry templates features, which allow companies to bring complex data sets, unique business processes, and specialized insurance industry practices together in Act! to better manage their business. 

ACUPUNCTURE

Landmark Announces Increase, New Acupuncture Plan
Landmark announced it will increase the employee only rates by 3 percent for new business and renewals. The employee+one, employee+children and employee+family rates remain unchanged.  Landmark’s last increase was implemented in April 2017. Landmark is also adding Acupuncture Only and Acupuncture Plus Herbal Rider plans for groups of 2-50 employees. Previously, these were available only to groups with 51+ employees; however, they are now available to groups of any size. Rates and marketing materials are available at Landmark’s website.

ANNUITIES

Fifth Circuit Vacates Fiduciary Rule, NAFA & DOL Agree to Drop Suit. But…
The National Association for Fixed Annuities  Board of Directors announced it is withdrawing its lawsuit challenging the Department of Labor “fiduciary rule.” In a filing with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, NAFA and the  United States Department of Justice agreed to a voluntary dismissal of the appeal. NAFA’s decision comes on the heels of a March 15 ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which vacated the Fiduciary Rule in its entirety. The NAFA lawsuit was one of two lawsuits challenging the authority of the Department of Labor to issue the rule. NAFA brought its challenge to the fiduciary rule nearly two years ago in the D.C. District Court,  while the Chamber of Commerce and several other trade organizations brought a similar  challenge in the Northern District of Texas. The lower courts in both cases ruled in favor of DOL (upholding the rule), but, on appeal, the Chamber prevailed in the Fifth. NAFA believes the Fifth Circuit decision renders its case moot. Carol Buckman, writing for EBN, however, says it’s may be too soon to sound the death knell for the fiduciary rule. “…it was an en banc decision rather than a decision of the full court. The Department of Labor could request a rehearing before the full court or appeal. Every other court that has reviewed the fiduciary rule has concluded, contrary to the Fifth Circuit analysis, that the rule was a valid exercise of regulatory authority. This case could conceivably go up to the Supreme Court. I have even read opinions that if the Department of Labor refuses to defend the rule, courts might allow consumer groups or other parties to step in to represent the public,” writes Buckman.

ASSOCIATIONS

A Recap of LAAHU’s D.C Trip From Leg Chair Elizabeth Underhill (Plus LAAHU is offering $150 for you to attend the May 21-23 Sacramento Conference)
Los Angeles Association of Health Underwriters (LAAHU) went to D.C. February 25-28, 2018, as part of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) annual “Capitol Conference.” LAAHU Leg chair Elizabeth Underhill gave us this update…

This year, LAAHU had 12 appointments with our congressmen and their legislative aides and saw a total of 14 members attend Capitol Conference. During our appointments, we lobbied on federal issues that affect not only agents and consumers nationwide, but also on specific issues that directly impact California agents and consumers. In our meetings, we started off by explaining the role of the agent and why we’re critical to consumers and the industry. We then moved on to our federal priorities. This year’s federal priority list included: removal of agent/broker commission from the medical loss ratio, permanent repeal of the Cadillac/excise tax, repeal of the health insurance tax, greater flexibility for states applying for 1332 waivers, and to make COBRA count as creditable coverage for Medicare Part B (for a list of our specific topics and their bills, please e-mail info@laahu.org). We are pleased to announce that our meetings were positive and successful!

Capitol Conference may be over, but we are quickly coming up on CAHU Capitol Summit and we need you to attend and participate! At Capitol Summit we will meet with and lobby on state-specific issues with our state senators and assemblymen. This will take place in Sacramento from May 21-23. LAAHU will have more than 30 legislative meetings. We’re offering $150 to any LAAHU member who attends Capitol Summit and joins us on our appointments (don’t worry, you will be well prepared beforehand, and no one gets left behind)! So why should we pay you $150 for attending Capitol Summit? Because when a large number of us band together and speak to our legislators and their staff members, we get recognized and respected. For more information on participating in the CAHU Capitol Summit, please visit www.cahu.org. We hope to see you all in Sacramento!

 

PEOPLE

Humana Hires Ferrari to Lead California, Nevada and Hawaii Provider Contracting Efforts
Humana announced it has hired Lisa L. Ferrari as regional vice president, provider experience for the California/Nevada and Pacific Regions. Ferrari will be responsible for Humana’s commercial and Medicare provider networks in California, Nevada and Hawaii. In this role, she will be responsible for building relationships with health care leaders and executives to further improve health outcomes and create better health care experiences.

EVENTS

LIMRA Life Insurance Conference
April 9-11, Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, Chicago, IL
Using predictive modeling, data scientists at LIMRA’s new Center of Excellence for Data Analytics have identified factors that influence individual life insurance buying behavior and have built profiles of types of customers who are likely to buy. This analysis, along with experts of social economics and customer experience, will be featured at the conference, which is jointly hosted by LIMRA, LOMA, the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI). Register here.

LAAHU Annual Conference- Field Day 2018
April 11-12
Los Angeles Convention Center
Janet Trautwein, NAHU CEO, and the wonderful Alan Katz (a long-time Cal Broker contributor) will be among the guest speakers. This event has been
Find out what is going on in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento plus much more!
Registration, exhibit and
sponsorship info now available!

Big “I” Legislative Conference
April 18-20
Grand Hyatt Washington, Washington, D.C.
Attend a one-of-a-kind legislative event for the independent agency system and educate members of Congress on issues important to you and your clients. Registration includes an in-depth issues briefing, legislative breakfast with high-profile Congressional speakers. House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), a general session and networking opportunities. Register here.

LAAHU May Meeting
May 17, 8am, Sportsmen’s Lodge, 12825 Ventura Blvd, Studio City
Topic is  marketplace changes in long term care with presenter Steve Cain, director of LTCI Partners. There will also be an election of directors. Nominations can be made from the floor at the meeting. Click here for names of those already nominated.

IICF Casino Night
May 17, The Rotunda, San Francisco
Join the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation for a fun night of gambling and insurance industry networking while also raising money for community grants. The event takes place at The Rotunda, Union Square, San Francisco. Registration and sponsorship info available here.

IICF Western Regional Forum
June 21, The Millennium Biltmore, Downtown Los Angeles
The one-day regional format provides opportunities for greater participation and networking with colleagues here in the West and beyond. There will be ample time for networking with speakers as well. Topic this year is: Driving Diversity: Cultivating Individual and Industry Confidence. Learn more at womensconference.iicf.org

NAILBA 37
November 1-3, Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center, Orlando, Florida
Detailed information about NAILBA 37 will be available soon. Exhibit hall and sponsorship opportunities available here.  Or contact etoups@nailba.org for more info.