HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care industry intelligence, reports the partnership between Humana and the Business Health Care Group of Southeastern Wisconsin is touting impressive new numbers pointing to its first-year success in controlling costs and gaining members. According to the latest Wisconsin Health Plan Analysis, numbers released by the insurer show solid growth in Humana's book of business, especially as it goes up against UnitedHealthcare and the Wisconsin Blues in a battle for market share.
As of January 1, 2007, enrollment in the Humana Preferred plan, the product developed in conjunction with the business group, stood at around 83,000, up from around 44,000 this time a year ago. In addition, a study released Jan. 8 showed that 15 large employers in the business group enjoyed a 15 percent drop in medical costs per health plan member for the first half of 2006.
"Some of the savings these members of the business group are enjoying are due to Humana's narrower, high-performance network and the favorable contracts the insurer negotiated when setting up the network," states Ric Gross, HealthLeaders-InterStudy market analyst.
This business coalition formed in 2003 with a goal of battling escalating healthcare costs through consumer-driven efforts, care-management programs and transparency. Humana formed a select, narrow network of providers, including only those that met certain efficiency standards and cost-savings goals. Humana's transparency tools, such as cost estimates for episodes-of-care, including hospital and physician costs, helps set the plan apart. In total, the tools reflect cost information on 30 inpatient procedures and 26 outpatient/diagnostic procedures.
With these solid growth figures and cost savings, industry experts believe this partnership is moving the market in a positive direction, taking a significant step toward the goal of moving healthcare costs to a more desirable level.
Other news in the Wisconsin market: -- Newly re-elected governor Jim Doyle is pushing an ambitious program to provide near-universal healthcare, funded by a cigarette tax increase and a controversial assessment on hospitals. -- State officials are hoping for eventual statewide expansion of its managed care program for the Supplement Security Income (SSI) population, the sickest group of Medicaid enrollees and the primary cost driver for states, with 37 counties set to come online by Jan. 1, 2008. About Health Plan Analysis
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