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September 25, 2002 - 7,276 subscribers
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Doctors Using Computer Assistance to Monitor Claim Payments from Health Insurers
Excerpt: "Physicians are arming themselves with technology to level the playing field with insurance companies, which use sophisticated computer programs to review bills submitted by doctors.... But doctors are fighting back with computer programs of their own that check for signs that an insurance company unjustly cut or ignored a bill." (The [Nashville] Tennessean)

IRS Decreases Mileage Allowance for Transportation to Obtain Medical Care
The IRS has announced that the standard mileage rate for use of an automobile to obtain medical care (as described in Code Section 213) will decrease from $0.13 to $0.12 per mile for 2003. Health FSAs that reimburse participants for transportation expenses incurred in obtaining medical care will be subject to the new rate." (EBIA Weekly)

Back-Pay Period Ordered By Arbitrator Is Not "Hours of Service" for Purposes of FMLA Eligibility
Plumley v. Southern Container, Inc. (1st Cir. 2002). Excerpt: "Note that the result in this case (i.e., that back pay doesn't count towards hours of service) is different than the result that would be required in the retirement plan context, where hours for which back pay is awarded are counted as hours of service unless the employee has already been credited with the hours." (EBIA Weekly)

HMOs Might Keep Low Grades Secret
Excerpt: "A widely publicized annual 'report card' on America's health maintenance organizations may be misleading because poor-scoring HMOs are more likely than top performers to withhold their grades, a study suggests. The researchers looked at an annual survey prepared by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, an HMO accrediting group." (AP via Yahoo! News)

Analysis: California Bans Unauthorized HMO Medication Denials
Excerpt: "California Governor Gray Davis on Sunday signed legislation to prevent health plans that offer prescription drug coverage from denying access to necessary medications.... The bill ensures that health plans that provide prescription drug coverage do not deny access to medications for life-threatening conditions, such as cancer, AIDS and heart disease. It also requires ... regulations outlining standards for considering a health plan's request to limit or exclude a drug." (Reuters via Medscape; free registration required)

USA Today Opinion Pieces Debate Employers' Role in Healthcare Cost Increases
Excerpt: "Many U.S. employers plan to place most of the 'substantial increases' in their health insurance costs next year 'directly on the backs of workers,' but the 'cost-shifting strategies do little' to address the problem of increased health care costs, according to a USA Today editorial." (KaiserNetwork.org)

Analysis: CMS Publishes Revised Q&A About HIPAA's "Small Health Plan" Definition
Excerpt: "Small health plans have an additional year to comply with HIPAA's administrative simplification provisions, including privacy, electronic transactions, and security requirements. Regulations under HIPAA define a small health plan as a health plan with less than $5 million in annual receipts." (EBIA Weekly)

In Oregon, a Bold Healthcare Proposal for Universal Coverage
Excerpt: "[S]tates are taking the lead in considering universal healthcare-- providing government medical care to everyone. Thirteen states are on this path, with Oregon in the forefront. In November, voters here will consider a revolutionary ballot measure that would use tax dollars to provide full healthcare for every state resident." (The Christian Science Monitor)

Medicare Patients Find That Lower Payments Reduce Number of Available Physicians
Medicare patients increasingly are reporting that fewer physicians are willing to take new Medicare patients since January 2002, when Medicare reduced physician payments by 5.4%, according to the results of a survey recently conducted by the Medicare Rights Center (MRC). Reporting such difficulty in greater numbers are Medicare patients in eight states: Arizona, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. (Spencernet)




Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad

Defined Benefit Consultant
for Mellon HR Solutions
in IL, NC, NJ

Senior DC Consultant - Fun and Challenging!
for Louis Kravitz & Associates, Inc.
in CA

Retirement Plan Administrator
for The Rehmann Group
in MI

Retirement Plan Division Manager
for Expanding Watchung NJ employee benefit consulting firm
in NJ

Health and Welfare Associate
for Towers Perrin
in IL, MI, NC, OH

Plan Consultant/Daily Valuation Specialist
for The Weiss Group, Inc.
in IL


Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)

Speaking at Orlando Dinner Meeting: Charles Lockwood of TRI Pension Services
in FL
October 1, 2002
Central Florida Employee Benefits Council

B1: Fundamentals of Employee Benefits Programs
in GA
March 5, 2003
WorldatWork

B1: Fundamentals of Employee Benefits Programs
in MN
March 31, 2003
WorldatWork

B1: Fundamentals of Employee Benefits Programs
in CA
April 14, 2003
WorldatWork

B1: Fundamentals of Employee Benefits Programs
in NY
April 23, 2003
WorldatWork

B1: Fundamentals of Employee Benefits Programs
in MA
June 2, 2003
WorldatWork

B1: Fundamentals of Employee Benefits Programs
in TX
June 16, 2003
WorldatWork

B1: Fundamentals of Employee Benefits Programs
in GA
July 9, 2003
WorldatWork

B1: Fundamentals of Employee Benefits Programs
in IL
August 6, 2003
WorldatWork

B1: Fundamentals of Employee Benefits Programs
in NY
November 3, 2003
WorldatWork

B1: Fundamentals of Employee Benefits Programs
in CA
November 3, 2003
WorldatWork

B1: Fundamentals of Employee Benefits Programs
in DC
November 18, 2003
WorldatWork

B2: Retirement Plans - Design and Management
in IL
June 23, 2003
WorldatWork

B2: Retirement Plans - Design and Management
in AZ
June 25, 2003
WorldatWork

B2: Retirement Plans - Design and Management
in GA
August 4, 2003
WorldatWork

B2: Retirement Plans - Design and Management
in NY
August 25, 2003
WorldatWork

B2: Retirement Plans - Design and Management
in CA
October 27, 2003
WorldatWork

B2: Retirement Plans - Design and Management
in DC
November 18, 2003
WorldatWork

B3: Health Care and Insurance Plans - Design Management
in DC
April 7, 2003
WorldatWork

B3: Health Care and Insurance Plans - Design Management
in CA
May 15, 2003
WorldatWork

B3: Health Care and Insurance Plans - Design Management
in NY
June 16, 2003
WorldatWork

B3: Health Care and Insurance Plans - Design Management
in IL
July 7, 2003
WorldatWork

B3: Health Care and Insurance Plans - Design Management
in CO
August 11, 2003
WorldatWork

B3: Health Care and Insurance Plans - Design Management
in MA
October 1, 2003
WorldatWork

B3: Health Care and Insurance Plans - Design Management
in GA
November 18, 2003
WorldatWork

B3A: Health Care and Insurance Plans - Financial Management
in DC
May 21, 2003
WorldatWork

B3A: Health Care and Insurance Plans - Financial Management
in TX
June 16, 2003
WorldatWork

B4: Strategic Benefits Planning
in NY
August 25, 2003
WorldatWork

B5: Managing Flexible and Work/Life Benefits
in CA
August 20, 2003
WorldatWork

B5: Managing Flexible and Work/Life Benefits
in MA
November 3, 2003
WorldatWork

B9: International Benefits
in DC
April 7, 2003
WorldatWork

B9: International Benefits
in CA
October 1, 2003
WorldatWork


Newly Posted Press Releases (Post Yours!)

Pan-American Life Debuts Fiduciary Liability Management Program
(Pan-American Life)

American Pension Services, Inc. Unveils APS PATHways 401(k) Program(sm)
(American Pension Services, Inc.)

SpencerNet Features Exclusive New Index Of Benefits Survey Information
(SpencerNet)

AHI's Benefits Alert Releases New Free Report: "Update: Legal Liability In Leave"
(Alexander Hamilton Institute - AHI's BenefitsAlert.com)

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