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Deloitte's Life Sciences & Health Care Blog

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Provider-sponsored health plans can be at the forefront of the changing health care market

by Maulesh Shukla, Assistant Manager, Deloitte Consulting LLP

I have always been fascinated by simple solutions to seemingly complex problems. Few problems are more vexing than the US health care system. One of the solutions offered by several experts and policy makers is unifying care delivery and financing. Isn’t that simple? If not the solution, at least the articulation of the solution is simple.

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ACOs should worry about their overall Medicare strategy, not just Pathways to Success shared savings

by Mark Bethke, FSA, MAAA, Managing Director, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Prior to the Pathways to Success final rule, some people worried that proposed changes would begin to steer providers away from the Medicare Shared Savings Program. Instead, we believe the final rule—which the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid announced December 21—actually strengthens the program by accelerating the transition to risk and promoting the shift to Medicare Advantage (MA).

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Seven strategies that could help curb opioid addiction among Medicaid beneficiaries

by Susan Levine, specialist leader, strategy and operations at Deloitte Consulting LLP

Opioid addiction has deep roots in the United States. During the Civil War, the Union Army issued nearly 10 million opium pills and nearly 3 million ounces of opium powder.1 Injured soldiers who were given opium for the pain sometimes returned home as addicts. The current opioid epidemic has similar origins—liberal opioid prescribing for pain has led to an epidemic of addiction.

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The good, the bad, and the ugly of opioids: For large employers, the epidemic can stretch far beyond medical claims

by George Van Antwerp, Managing Director, Deloitte Consulting LLP

First the good news. While we are in the midst of an opioid epidemic, large employers have seen prescription rates fall significantly since peaking in 2009. That year, 17.3 percent of covered employees or dependents had at least one opioid prescription. People who work for large employers are now using fewer prescription opioids.1 This is likely due to an increased focus—among health plans and clinicians—on limiting opioid prescriptions among patients who might be at risk for opioid dependence.

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Blockchain could help improve physician directories, but trust among health plans likely must come first

by Bobby Vaitla, Senior Manager, Deloitte Consulting LLP

The health care industry spends an estimated $2.1 billion a year to maintain physician data.1 Despite this substantial annual investment, physician directories are often inaccurate.

Some health plans are exploring blockchain as a possible technology that could solve this problem. While I agree that blockchain holds tremendous potential to improve the accuracy of directory data,

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