Summit Re works with MedeAnalytics

Our ongoing commitment to support customers through our comprehensive case management service means that Summit Re continually evaluates third-party organizations to find the best possible partners. When we share information about a new company, it’s because we believe that our clients will benefit from its services. That’s exactly why we’re telling you about MedeAnalytics, Inc. MedeAnalytics stats The evolving healthcare landscape has forced employers to demand more complex information and insight from health plans at an increasingly rapid pace. Because traditional methods of mining data usually require a specific knowledge set for a few select individuals, cost and flexibility are often sacrificed. Alternately, MedeAnalytics provides an enterprise-level analytics solution that uncovers critical business insights and enables employers, health plans, provider organizations and third party administrators the ability to provide broad access throughout the organization—in an easy-to-use interface. MedeAnalytics offers modular solutions that touch nearly every aspect of the business.

Employer Reporting provides self-service analytics about financial, cost and utilization, and clinical experience.

Medical and Medicaid Management offers insights into provider performance, practice patterns, and high cost services in order to uncover savings opportunities by identifying areas for improvement.

 Population Health enables shared risk arrangements between health plans and providers to allow key decision-makers to evaluate scorecards and identify gaps in care workflow.

Network Management can help address such issues as value and usage, centers of excellence opportunities, and provider practice patterns. It can be used to assist with network design, as well as to identify cost and margin outliers.

Provider Engagement offers a critical view into the claims life cycle, provider networks, and value-based contracts, allowing health plans to collaborate with providers to both identify the root causes of underperformance and to pinpoint the drivers of high-performing partners.

HEDIS Quality Management provides scalable, NCQA-certified quality reporting with speed, frequency, and high-powered analytics.

Performance Management combines robust analytics with action planning, resource assignment, progress tracking, and performance monitoring—all in one closed-loop performance improvement system—to ensure the organization is on the same page at the same time, working toward the right goals, and achieving the best possible results.

MedeAnalytics helps clients achieve better outcomes—both clinical and financial—through expert data analysis.  Its products help providers and health plans detect their greatest areas of risk, identify opportunities to improve their financial health, use data to strengthen their operations and improve the quality of care.

We believe that MedeAnalytics can offer clients the potential for real savings.

If you have any questions about the material found in this article, please do not hesitate to reach out to Andy Hutchins, Account Executive, at Andrew.hutchins@medeanalytics.com or (651) 261-8296.

For more information on MedeAnalytics, please visit www.medeanalytics.com.

Is Your Liability Coverage Adequate?

This article is part of a series of case studies—real stories of how managed care companies increased profits by using Summit Re’s resources to increase sales, decrease expenses, and manage claims. “I confess through my own fault, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and what I have failed to do.” Although these words are part of the Confiteor, a Catholic prayer in which persons saying the prayer confess their sins, it could be the start of a discussion of errors and omissions (E&O) and directors and officers (D&O) coverages.

Errors and Omissions

E&O insurance policies cover things a company does, things a company does not do, or things that simply do not turn out as a customer or other third party expected.

E&O for a managed care plan covers you for the vicarious liability assumed for the business processes that are part of a health care delivery system, such as credentialing, UR, and claims. An IPA can be sued for malpractice, since patients, through the IPA’s advertising, may assume that their physicians are under the IPA’s control and the IPA is liable for their actions. Another emerging area is security and privacy liability, including health care history and personal information.

Directors and Officers

D&O coverage is designed to protect the officers and directors of a company for liability associated with business decisions and certain employment practices. Liability can arise from decisions regarding merger and acquisition disputes, failure to perform fiduciary duties (such as signing contracts that harm the value of the company’s stock), actions that violate anti-trust regulations, and business interference, to give a few examples. Liability can also arise from employment practices, such as discrimination, harassment, or wrongful termination.

D&O insurance policies provide protection for a company’s directors and officers whose personal financial assets can be put at risk in the event of a lawsuit regarding their decisions. It’s difficult enough to lose company financial resources because of inadequate or inappropriate insurance coverage; imagine how it would be if your own personal assets were at risk as well.

Coverage characteristics

There are no standard E&O and D&O policies. Each insurer drafts its own policy forms and some fail to provide coverage in key areas for health plan exposures. A recent study showed that over 50% of directors and officers requested changes in their insurance coverage when they learned what was NOT covered under their current program.

Premiums are a function of the case size, liability and retention and can range from $10,000 to $100,000. Coverage, not price, is key because potential liabilities are so large.

Free coverage analysis

A free analysis of your current coverage is available to see if it’s possible to access better coverage at better rates. To give health plans access to better E&O and D&O policies, Summit Re has an arrangement with a national firm that specializes in property and casualty insurance products specifically designed for the health care industry.

We’ve offered this analysis of E&O and D&O coverage to several clients and they have appreciated the additional options presented as a result. We can do the same for you. To get started, please send us a copy of your current E&O and D&O policies. Typical insurer markets that provide these types of coverage include Lexington, Darwin Professional, Lloyd's of London and OneBeacon. Our program manager has access to all of these markets. We are happy to disclose all commissions and service fee arrangements.

Family Planning Rider

This article is part of a series of case studies—real stories of how managed care companies increased profits by using Summit Re’s resources to increase sales, decrease expenses, and manage claims. What do you do when your customers repeatedly request coverage which you are prevented from offering? This client turned to Summit Re for the solution.

The conflict

A large, regional HMO client had received repeated requests from its insured employer groups to provide coverage for family planning services. Because the health plan was owned by a Catholic hospital system, it was not able to accommodate these requests through its traditional HMO products. The health plan contacted Summit Re for assistance in solving this ongoing problem.

The resolution

Summit Re has a relationship with Advisors, LLC, a Michigan-based company that provides specialized group insurance consulting, product management, provider contracting, and network development services. Summit Re knew that Advisors, LLC had an arrangement with Unified Life Insurance Company (licensed in 45 states and the District of Columbia and rated B++ by A.M. Best) to provide independent, supplemental group insurance policies to selected Catholic-sponsored HMOs. Unified Life's Family Planning product and the Unified Life/HMO business arrangement are specifically designed to provide HMOs with an effective means to meet client demands for family planning services and still remain compliant with the ethical directives of the Catholic church and state insurance laws.

Flexible components

The flexible package of covered services operates with HMO, POS, or PPO plan designs. These services may be covered in any combination to meet individual employer group needs:

  • Artificial insemination services
  • Tubal ligations
  • Vasectomies
  • Pregnancy terminations
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Contraceptive devices

Direct administration

The Unified Life Family Planning product is issued directly to each employer group. As a consequence, the I.D. card of the Catholic sponsored HMO is not used at the pharmacy, claims for drugs and services are not the HMO's financial responsibility, provider services are provided through independent Unified Life provider contracts, and the HMO's filed certificate of coverage and rates can specifically exclude family planning services. Under the Unified Life approach, the HMO provides only limited cooperation by assisting the client with Unified Life set-up arrangements, providing monthly eligibility files and collecting premium. Often, the last service can be facilitated by a bank-trust arrangement.

All appropriate policies, benefit schedules, rates and forms are filed for each HMO arrangement with the state authorities by Unified Life. Each covered group is issued a Unified Life policy and all eligible members are given a benefit schedule and plan administrative information. Unified Life contracts independently of the HMO with a prescription benefit manager for contraceptive prescription services and medical providers for all other plan services.

Simple process

The Family Planning product operates very simply with no special actions required of employer groups and minimal member involvement. A brief summary of the product's operation follows:

  • At the point of group installation, the HMO transmits the eligible membership data to Unified Life.
  • Unified Life provides benefit notices to all covered members, which are delivered along with the HMO's standard member material. The benefit notice informs members of the benefit services available, the list of participating providers and Unified Life's toll-free telephone number to be used for all Family Planning benefit inquiries.
  • Covered members are encouraged to use Unified Life's network of participating providers for the delivery of covered services. If members use other providers, Unified Life will pay the provider up to the level of Unified Life's fee schedule. No referral from the primary care physician or plan service authorization is needed by the member.
  • Covered members using contraceptives for birth control purposes are given a special prescription drug ID card which operates like a standard ID card at the pharmacy, but only for contraceptives.
  • Medical service providers directly bill Unified Life and are typically paid within two weeks of receipt.
  • Unified Life delivers a group insurance policy to each employer group.
  • Unified Life receives monthly electronic eligibility updates from the HMO.
  • As a service to the employer group, the HMO collects a combined (HMO and Unified Life) premium from all covered groups and wire transfers the Family Planning product premium to Unified Life monthly. Some clients prefer to use their banks for premium receipt and dispersal functions.

Epilogue

Summit Re facilitated a meeting between the health plan and Advisors, LLC. The health plan and Advisors LLC worked out a plan that was specifically tailored for its marketplace. The program was implemented with ease and has been operating successfully.

Extend Your Product Line With Ancillary Benefits

This article is part of a series of case studies—real stories of how managed care companies increased profits by using Summit Re’s resources to increase sales, decrease expenses, and manage claims. Although our primary focus is protecting your company’s balance sheet through excess of loss reinsurance coverage, we also help you accomplish your strategic objectives with a broad array of other products and services.

This case study addresses adding ancillary benefits to your group medical plans, such as group term life, disability, dental and vision coverage. Summit Re provides these ancillary programs through Companion Life Insurance Company, rated A+ (superior) by A.M. Best. Companion Life offers competitive benefit programs which can be customized to fit your market needs.

Why Ancillary Benefits?

Most employers prefer the simplicity of one source for all their employee benefits, if possible. Agents appreciate the reduction in paperwork associated with working with one entity and are pleased when told that their ancillary sales through the health plan qualifies for the same bonuses as any other sale.

Customized Programs

Here are a few examples of ways the program can be customized:

  • Separate or combined billing
  • Propriety benefit and rate options
  • Proprietary brochure with your branding, e.g. logo, colors, typeface.
  • Flexible sales compensation, bonus and incentive trip options
  • Rating ability in your sales office

Companion Life has the experienced personnel to help you successfully market these products, including dedicated sales specialists in these product lines.

One Company’s Story

ABC Health Plan previously worked with a major HMO excess reinsurer with ancillary product capabilities in these product lines. However, the company was sold and service deteriorated. The new owner put less emphasis on ancillary products.

This health plan in the past was very successful at marketing these programs and had even assumed risk through a captive arrangement. Over time, they decided they prefer the non-risk approach where they’re strictly a distributor of the products and have no ongoing administrative role or underwriting risk.

As service issues persisted, they put their ancillary products out to bid. Summit Re assisted the client in development of the RFP, which was then used as a template to evaluate carrier bids. Companion Life’s bid included not only a formal response to the RFP, but also on-site presentations to personally address all product and service options, issues and concerns.

ABC Health Plan moved all of its ancillary product business (life, dental, and disability) to Companion Life Insurance Company. The relationship has “worked well” and ABC Health Plan is “very happy” with Companion Life.

Managing Risk with Summit ReView

Managing risks effectively is critical to the financial health of your company. It starts with accurate risk analysis and ends with cost-effective risk management strategies. This is a complex task, but it is now easier since we have introduced Summit ReView. Summit ReView is a package of consulting services designed to provide detailed analysis of risk exposure as well as recommendations to mitigate those risks. Some of the services included in Summit ReView include:

  • Our proprietary InSight analysis, which helps you determine if you should purchase reinsurance coverage and, if so, the appropriate deductible levels and average daily maximum limitations given your claim history, contracted arrangements with network facilities and referral patterns. (See Insights into large claims.)
  • A detailed evaluation of your medical management department’s structure, policies and procedures, with comparisons to nationally recognized benchmarks and recommendations for improving program efficiencies and effectiveness.
  • Our reinsurance “Report Card,” an objective measure for comparing reinsurance options.
  • A comparison of material contractual provisions contained in the excess loss agreements issued by current leaders in the health plan reinsurance marketplace.
  • A high-level assessment of the financial competitiveness of your pharmacy benefits management program.
  • An assessment of your directors and officers/errors and omissions policy.
  • Referrals to consultants who can serve as interim executives and assist with strategic planning.
  • An analysis of your investment and cash management strategies and recommendations for improvements.

These services may be “unbundled” and pricing depends on the options selected.

With our experienced, talented people who grew up with pricing, underwriting, and administering medical excess products and our “bird’s eye view” of the marketplace, we can offer you additional perspectives that often prove invaluable in helping you develop on-target risk management strategies.

Five essentials for evaluating predictive models

Predictive modeling uses your vast store of information to forecast future needs for medical resources. By becoming a knowledgeable purchaser and user of predictive modeling services, you can enjoy a return on your investment in the areas of care management, underwriting and benefit design.

Key Factors for RFP

There's been an explosion of predictive modeling services, each with different methodologies and technology designs. Ineffective predictive modeling— through either poor models or data—wastes your valuable resources and may have a negative impact on your members. However, by understanding how to assess the offerings and apply the technology once you have purchased it, predictive modeling can realize the promise of using information to significantly improve value in health care. The following factors can be used in a Request for Proposal (RFP) to help you select a vendor:

Accuracy

Always ask for the model's R-squared measurement, the commonly accepted measurement of a predictive modeling solution's accuracy. Reliable vendors will know their R-squared measurement.

Vendors should be able to demonstrate both the sensitivity and specificity of their solutions, especially for case management programs. High sensitivity indicates positive predictive value: an ability to identify most of the people who would benefit from a care management intervention. Specificity or negative predictive value is the ability to limit the number of false positives or people who would not benefit from a care management program. Sensitivity and specificity are important so you can assign resources where they're needed most.

Transparency

Transparency means the ability to differentiate among the data points. For care management programs, transparency means clinicians can look underneath the risk scores to the level of individual claims so they can devise appropriate interventions. A risk score is not particularly helpful for care management nurses; they need a way to understand what's driving the risk. To this end, member profiles should include a listing of all episodes of care and the key services involved in their treatment.

To evaluate transparency in your RFP, ask whether the model is a rules-based or neural net solution. In general, you should look for rules-based models, because they match data patterns to clear clinical rules that identify such things as the disease, type of episode, co-morbid conditions, and drug treatments. In a good rules-based model, you can easily identify these risk markers.

In contrast, neural net or so-called black box algorithms are not clinically based and are technically complicated, so you have to possess real data mining expertise to understand how a specific risk score has been compiled. This robs clinicians of many of the advantages that predictive modeling should deliver for care management. Black box algorithms also make it difficult for you to check the validity of the model.

Interoperability

Your RFP should ask whether the vendor supports your relevant database technologies, so they can load the data quickly and reliably into their model's data mart. You should also ask if supporting databases will be exported to your care management, underwriting, and actuarial applications.

Another key question is how the model defines and groups care— by procedure, diagnosis, or episodes of care. Using fully fleshed-out episodes of care results in better predictions since the groups are clinically homogeneous. This approach takes into account all of an individual's underlying clinical factors, not simply a diagnosis or severity indicator.

Supports operational needs

The solution selected must adapt to your operational issues and must generate predictions as often as your business needs dictate. Also, the data used in the solution must be fresh, reliable, and accessible. In particular, it should be refreshed at least monthly to be available for client renewals.

Finally, the solution must be flexible enough to use the data that is available, e.g., medical only, pharmacy only, medical and pharmacy combined. It should also be able to incorporate emerging data sources, such as lab results.

Industry credibility

One of the most obvious markers of industry credibility is market penetration. The RFP should probe whether others use the solution and if they will speak to its value.

Because predictive modeling is changing and improving at a rapid rate, credibility is not just rooted in the solution itself, but in the ongoing support the vendor offers. Upgrades and support require a team that fully understands not just the technology, but also how health care works. The RFP should check whether the support offered includes an integrated team that brings together IT, clinical, actuarial, and underwriting experts.

The information in this article is subject to change without notice. This article contains proprietary information, which is protected by U.S. and international copyright. All rights are reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, without the express written permission of Ingenix, Inc. Copyright 2006 Ingenix, Inc.

Getting your D&O and E&O money’s worth

Maybe you are, but then again, maybe you’re not. Errors and omissions (E&O) policies cover things a company does, a company does not do, or that don’t turn out as a customer expected. Directors and officers (D&O) insurance policies provide protection for a company’s directors and officers whose personal financial assets can be put at risk in the event of a lawsuit. There are no standard D&O/E&O policies. Each insurer drafts its own version, and many fail to provide coverage in key areas. If the unfortunate happens and you become the target of a lawsuit, you don’t want to risk losing precious corporate – or personal – financial resources because of inadequate or inappropriate insurance coverage.

As part of our continuing effort to find ways to service you, Summit Re has entered into an arrangement with a national firm that specializes in property and casualty insurance products that are designed for organizations in the health care industry. This alliance was formed to help health plans gain access to better D&O and E&O policies. As part of this arrangement, we are able to offer you a complimentary analysis of your current coverage. A recent study showed that over 50% of directors and officers requested changes in their insurance coverage when they learned what was NOT covered under their current programs.

To perform the analysis, we will need copies of your current D&O/E&O policies. We will determine if we can improve the coverage – and maybe even the pricing. Please contact your Summit Re representative to begin the process.

What are you, Summit Re?

“What is Summit Re, a broker?” ask some individuals in the industry who haven’t worked with us before. Technically, we are regulated as a Reinsurance Intermediary Broker, which is very different from the retail broker you may have dealt with before. We place reinsurance for health plans, but only for ERC/Swiss Re. And we do so much more: we’re responsible for underwriting each risk, developing and maintaining underwriting and pricing manuals, drafting contracts, processing claims and premium payments, servicing accounts, and maintaining managed care vendor relationships.

The health plan reinsurance marketplace is divided roughly in half between coverages that are delivered directly, which is the way we do business, and those placed through brokers. Which is better? Competition keeps all of us on our toes, but here are reasons we prefer direct distribution.

Deal directly with the decision-makers

Your Summit account team doesn’t just sell a coverage, it prepares and delivers the contract language, pays claims under that contract, and works with your medical management team to reduce current and future medical expenses.

Short distribution chain, low expenses

ERC/Swiss Re retains the risks it writes, so there are no back-end pool and intermediary expenses. Summit provides home office services and sales at a cost comparable to broker loads alone.

It’s a technical sale—we’re a technical company

Summit Re has 3 FSA-level actuaries and 2 CPAs that get involved in your coverage issues. We can tell you we cover LTAC days as standard inpatient days, not restricted step-down days—and be sure we pay the claims that way. Our sales cycle starts with understanding your risk, not just quoting on your current coverage.

Do you work with a retail broker today? You can still get a Summit Re quote. We compete with traditional brokers every day. The broker field is extremely competitive, but the number of reinsurers they have access to is not very large. And that list doesn’t include the largest— Swiss Re, only available through Summit Re.

Putting Service in Service Standards

We set standards for ourselves so you can reap the benefits of timely and accurate service. Our claims and contracts staff prides themselves not only on meeting the service standards, but also consistently exceeding the standards.That means you can rely on timely and accurate service from Summit Re so you can concentrate on your business without worries about your reinsurance.

service standards

Best of Both Worlds: Self-Funding and Managed Care

To control the rising costs of providing a medical benefit program, some employers look to self funding. HMOs that can offer administrative services only (ASO) or affiliate with third party administrators (TPAs) can bring both a self-funded approach and managed care programs to employers.

Selecting an MGU

HMOs who participate in the employer stop loss market should carefully select a managing general underwriter (MGU) with expertise in both managed care reinsurance and the self-funded market. Your MGU should also have full-service capabilities. Summit Re is a full-service MGU focusing on HMOs who participate in the employer stop loss market. Our managed care experience sets us apart from traditional employer stop loss carriers and managing underwriters.

Pricing and Underwriting

Summit Re’s staff of underwriters and actuaries is dually equipped to understand this combination of funding and managed care savings. We apply our knowledge in the development of competitive stop loss rates and aggregate funding factors for your self-funded clients. As one of the market leaders in HMO excess reinsurance, we have a unique understanding of HMOs and their excess medical risk. We review not only your provider contracts, but also your managed care protocols and your HMO experience.

Sales Support

Summit Re takes an active role in helping you place self-funded business. We are a phone call away to discuss strategy on individual accounts. In unique situations, we can assist you in the on-site presentation of the stop loss proposal to the employer. Once a group is sold, we focus on servicing the account.

Integrated Administration

Our rating and proposal system is fully integrated with our stop loss contract production, premium collection, and claims payment modules. This results in proposal-based policy issued quickly, accurate premium accounting, and timely claim payments. We also have an experienced staff in each functional area to ensure that personalized service isn’t forgotten.

Risk Transfer Flexibility

Summit Re works with two carriers who provide the employer stop loss product: Companion Life Insurance Company and Presidential Life Insurance Company. These two carriers allow Summit Re to write this product in all 50 states.

If you want to retain some of the risk but do not have an insurance company, there are certain approaches we can use that allow you to assume a portion of the risk written by one of our insurance company partners and managed by Summit Re.

If you have an insurance company to write the employer stop loss product, your carrier can keep some or all of the risk. Summit Re can provide some or all of the MGU services, or your insurance company can perform all the functions with Summit Re providing consulting services in specific areas.

Summit Re’s goal is to be creative, responsive and entrepreneurial, to help you meet your strategic goals for employer stop loss, whatever they may be!