Fall 2017 Insight Employer Newsletter


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Do your homework before choosing a health plan

Fall is here, which means it’s the 2018 annual open enrollment period for the majority of employer groups. Health benefit decision makers will once again have to weigh the coverage and benefit needs and wishes with the realities of the organization’s budget.

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Our Nation must get a grip on skyrocketing prescription costs

By Martin Burruano, R.Ph., V.P. of Pharmacy Services, Independent Health

One of the prescriptions for transforming health care in the United States is finding a cure for skyrocketing drug costs. These costs continue to increase at an alarming and unsustainable rate, driven largely by expensive specialty medications, the random repricing of generic drugs and an overall lack of transparency in pricing.

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Your employees can now use Amazon Alexa to get answers about their plan

“Alexa, ask Independent Health what’s my deductible?”
“Alexa, ask Independent Health what’s my cost to see my doctor?”
“Alexa, ask Independent Health where can I go for urgent care?”

Independent Health members can now get answers to those questions*, and several more, using Amazon Alexa, a hands-free voice service, with the launch of a new skill developed by our eBusiness team.

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Making worksite wellness easy and rewarding for small groups and their employees

For nearly 30 years, Independent Health has been providing large group employers throughout Western New York with the tools, resources and expertise they need to motivate their employees to take charge of their health. However, as the concept of worksite wellness has taken hold, many small group employers simply haven’t had the resources to coordinate and conduct their own worksite wellness programs. Understanding these challenges, Independent Health introduced FitWorks® Rewards in January 2016.

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Exciting news for the Soccer for Success program

The Soccer for Success program in the city of Buffalo has scored a major goal as the Independent Health Foundation recently announced it has received a three-year grant totaling $650,000 from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation.

Soccer for Success, the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s free after-school youth development program offered by the Independent Health Foundation in collaboration with Algonquin Sports, will bring programming to nearly 1,750 children in grades K-8 throughout the City of Buffalo during the 2017-18 school year.

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Insight Newsletter Archive: Fall 2017, Summer 2017, Spring 2017

Independent Health rated highly by NCQA

Independent Health’s HMO/POS (Commercial/Private) products received a 4.5 out of 5 rating according to the 2017-2018 Health Insurance Plan Ratings by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Independent Health scored particularly well in measures that focused on customer satisfaction and prevention. To learn more, click here.

2017 Community Report

Independent Health’s latest community report, The Picture of Health, is available to view online. The report highlights Independent Health’s many efforts to help families and individuals of all ages get active and involved in initiatives to improve their health.

Collaborating with Cardiologists

In 2012, Independent Health invited a select group of six forward-thinking cardiology groups to participate in a multi-year effort to decrease variation in cardiology services and move toward consistency in adhering to evidence-based medicine. This collaboration resulted in a reduction of cardiology costs from double-digit increases to a 3.5 percent decrease over a two-year period. A case study has been developed highlighting our partnership with these cardiologists.