Hearsay & News Review
A survey of 531 HR and non-HR execs by Deloitte and the
Economist Intelligence Unit found that only 23% believe HR plays a crucial role
in strategy formation and operational success for corporations. HR is viewed as
primarily administrative and 63% of those surveyed said that they don’t
consult HR in mergers and acquisitions. Considering the cost /liability of
benefits, that figure is surprising, if it is correct.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality says that
Rx costs for those under age 65 rose 140% from 1997 to 2004 and that the number
of prescriptions increased by from 2 to 3 Billion in that same time.
A survey of agents and brokers indicates that accounts of
less than fifty employees have been the hardest hit with renewal increases.
Agents and brokers reported that 54% of renewal increases were between 11% and
15%, with over 80% of accounts receiving increases.
As reported in our special edition earlier this month,
United Healthcare and Adventist Midwest have signed a new contract after more
than a year without a contract for the four hospitals in the
area. Street rumors say that UHC is close to a deal to get back together with
Advocate as well, since the lack of a contract has hurt large multi-site account
sales. We’ll see.
Concentra announced that it has, through its
subsidiary, acquired ppoNEXT for $19 million.
Interesting statistic- in 2004 for vaginal delivery
births, allowed costs were an average of $7,737 and C-sections had an average
allowed cost of $10,958. Employers covered 94% of costs. For the first year of
life with no complications at birth, the medical cost was $2,830. Premature
diagnosis first year medical costs averaged $41,610.
Aon’s Spring trend survey for 2007-with Rx- HMO-10.9%,
POS-10.8%, PPO-11.2%, Indemnity-12.7%, CDH-10.7%, DHMO-4.5%, DPPO-6.1%,
D-Indemnity-7.1%- General Pharmacy-9.5%, specialty Rx-15.1%.
Humana is buying
based dental and vision plan provider CompBenefits Corp., for $360 million for
4.8 million members.
) press recently interpreted remarks by MetLife CFO William Wheeler to mean that
MetLife may be interested in acquiring Unum. Later, both companies refused to
remark on the speculation.
Drug makers AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb and
Schering-Plough’s subsidiary Warrick have been convicted in a
court. The court ruled that they engaged in unfair and deceptive trade
practices by publishing inflated average wholesale price data for certain drugs
between 1991 and 2003.
In the 2007 SHRM benefits survey the total cost of
benefits was averaged at 38% of payroll with 20% of the cost to mandatory
benefits and 18% to voluntary benefits.
Walgreen Co. is acquiring Option Care, Inc., to allow the
company to get into the specialty
Hewitt surveyed 160 large companies for their initial
expected 2008 HMO rate increases which are expected to average 14.1% in 2008,
compared to an 11.7% increase in 2007. Increases are expected to be the highest
(18.4%) and Southeast (18.2%)