Axion RMS, Author at Axion RMS

Direct Primary Care – A New Alternative to Primary Care Physicians By: Devon Bellamy, Axion RMS With the cost of healthcare rising about 8.5% each year, employers must embrace creative solutions – or face extinction. By introducing risk management solutions, it helps employers not only protect their bottom line, but also anticipate the consequences of cost shifting to employees. Direct Primary Care (DPC) is a new, innovative solution that helps empower employees at an affordable price for employers.   DPC doctors charge a monthly “subscription fee” and typically don’t accept insurance. These are highly trained primary care physicians and health coaches who often see patients without copays, coinsurance or even prescription drug costs (varies by policy contract). By not being constrained to health insurance carrier’s whims, DPC doctors are able to deliver more customized care while cutting out many of the tedious, insurance “middle-man” costs. If a treatment falls outside of the DPC doctor’s scope of services, doctors are able to write a referral to a specialist and oversee care.   Employers have seen the greatest returns on investment by pairing DPC networks with reference based pricing/high deductible health plans to cover the most remedial doctor visits to the most […]

Pharmacy Carve Out Programs By: Abigail Cutler, Axion RMS Pharmaceutical related costs make up a third of all health care costs. Naturally, many employers are now looking for creative solutions to help curb these costs and gain transparency to identify savings. Axion has developed partnerships with companies that can provide a solution for this: Pharmacy Carve Out Programs. A pharmacy carve out program is a risk management strategy where a health care sponsor selects a Pharmacy Benefit Manager to administer and manage its prescription benefit. By using PBMs as a separate claims administrator from the employer’s health insurer, it removes the health plan as an intermediary for pharmacy benefits. Also, stand-alone PBMs can provide a more customized plan design strategy than the embedded pharmacy plans offered by their health insurer. Furthermore, the standard language in the PBM contract allows for increased transparency by allowing access to pharmacy data, and potential for pharmacy claim audits. Employers can select from several different PBM vendors to find the best choice based on their pharmacy claims history. Studies show that a pharmacy care out plan can reduce pharmacy trend by as much as 50%. By actively managing pharmaceutical costs and gaining access to critical […]

Surgery Costs Continue Driving Employer Healthcare Spend By: Chad Burdo, Axion RMS Surgery costs represent the single largest component of United States health care spending at approximately $700 billion, or 31% of the total annual health care spend.  Much of this cost is passed on to self-funded employers who continue to see their health care spend, especially spend related to surgery, skyrocket.   Beginning in 2018, Axion is able to introduce a solution that has been proven to reduce surgery costs 30-50% on average, while guaranteeing employees are able to be admitted to a Center of Excellence (top 25 percentile provider) in the United States.   This solution is an innovative approach that yields positive results for employers, employees and providers. By implementing this strategy, employers are able reduce overall healthcare and surgery spend, employees receive quality outcomes from Centers of Excellence with more affordable, pre-negotiated surgery packages, and providers have surgery procedures paid in full before the surgery and receive higher patient volume.   By partnering with Axion Risk Management Strategies, we will be able to assess how this solution will fit into your comprehensive benefits program. We help make implementation seamless and transparent for minimal disruption and maximum […]

IRS Reduces HSA Limit for Family Coverage for 2018

On March 5, 2018, the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2018-18 to announce changes to certain tax limits for 2018, including a reduced HSA contribution limit for individuals with family coverage under an HDHP. Employers with HDHPs should inform employees about the reduced HSA contribution limit for family HDHP coverage. Employees may need to change their HSA elections going forward to comply with the new limit. HSA Update 3.18

Employee Communication: An often overlooked aspect for improving your multi-year benefits strategy. By: Brandon Collins, Axion RMS Has your strategy for communicating benefits to your employees evolved in the past several years? If the answer is no, you are missing an important aspect of your overall benefits strategy.   Axion is impacting mid-market employers by implementing a market-driven approach to communications. What is this approach?   In the past, benefits communications were insignificant. The goal of communication was to update benefit guides or highlight sheets, keep forms available for employees, and provide an annual newsletter to summarize updates and improvements to benefits.   Today, you should focus on motivating employees to best utilize their benefits. Moving to this innovative approach allows for specific objectives, measurable success, and a direct communication to targeted audiences.   How challenging is it to change your communication strategy? Axion provides employers with a proven step-by-step approach to ensure a successful program. A high-level view of the road map includes researching the audience, setting measurable goals, creating a communications calendar, implementation, and measuring results.   By partnering with Axion, your communications strategy will improve: The perception on the value of your benefits package Employee participation, utilization, […]

0% Renewal in Year One

In the midst of receiving massive medical plan increases, this educational institution was seeking alternative solutions to reducing costs or cutting departmental funding. Lack of risk management were leading to six figure increases year over year, causing the group to take action to mitigate out of control cost increases.

Captive Employee Benefits Program By: Abigail Cutler, Axion RMS What is your risk tolerance? Many would argue they are either risk-seeking or risk-averse – you’re either all in or you’re not, 0 or 100% tolerant. When it comes to the traditional models of employer healthcare insurance, funding arrangements are the same: you’re either fully insured or self-funded. When you’re self-funded, you take on more of the risk, but by adding a captive program, you give yourself the opportunity to earn a dividend when your claims experience is favorable.   A Captive Employee Benefits Program is an insurance plan that pools companies for the purpose of sharing employee benefits insurance risk. Employers join a captive with other companies who are like-minded with the goal of controlling costs to form a risk pool, and typically hire an actuary to determine the capital and premium needs associated with insuring the risks.   Employers who are diligent about risk management, financial management and member wellness program participation will recognize significant savings over the premiums charged by a typical domiciled insurance company.   Axion’s consultants have a combined experience of over 65 years, including extensive background in working with Medicare Cost Plus plans. If you […]

Lower Your Healthcare Costs with Medicare Cost Plus By: Devon Bellamy, Axion RMS Medicare Cost Plus plans result in annual claims savings of around $150,000 – $200,000 per 100 employees for employers.”   Self-insured medical plan groups are becoming very prevalent – however, they are still experiencing increases in per capita medical costs that greatly exceed Consumer Price Index. A Medicare Cost Plus (MCP) plan may be a solution that fits your company’s needs in order to combat the rising costs of healthcare.   An MCP is a progressive healthcare plan that uses a Medicare pricing model for claims reimbursement. On average, these plans will pay 120% of the cost of Medicare pricing for certain doctor visits and procedures as opposed to the 150 – 250% of traditional PPOs.   Administrative costs under an MCP should be lower due to the lack of network access fees. In addition, employers should see stop loss premium savings because of the lower level of allowed charges which in turn reduces the insurance carrier’s liability.   Employee education is key in implementing an effective MCP. The issue lies in the fact that without pre-negotiated provider reimbursements or discounts, some providers are unwilling to accept […]

Narrow Networks: A Cost Efficient Alternative By: Devon Bellamy, Axion RMS Imagine you are the CFO or CEO of a mid-sized company in Chicago and you had the opportunity to save $6.25 million dollars in the next five years. How would you do it?   With insurance premiums expected to increase an average of 8.5% per year between 2016 and 2018, Axion Risk Management Strategies (RMS) has implemented Narrow Network strategies to “bend trend”.   Narrow and high-performance networks refer to a specialized, smaller group of health care providers who offer comprehensive medical services and reduced pricing. These preferred provider (PPO) networks are usually regionally based, with a limited number of participating hospitals, outpatient facilities and physicians.   They also allow employers to steer employees to high quality providers and negotiate lower costs with insurers, resulting in an average savings of 15-20% over nationwide PPO networks. Furthermore, narrow PPO networks still allow employees the flexibility of visiting a non-participating healthcare provider, provided they have higher deductibles and out of pocket maximums.   Axion RMS can help you implement a narrow network strategy to help you achieve your $6.25 million dream. Contact us today to learn more.

6 HR Trends to Monitor in 2018

HR departments must constantly adapt to new requirements from both internal and external sources. Unexpected factors like new regulations from the White House and additional workplace responsibilities commonly disrupt HR departments. These disruptors can influence HR’s trajectory for the rest of the year. 6 HR Trends to Monitor in 2018