UBP blog

07/15/2009

Modernization techniques can save the healthcare industry $33.2 billion per-year, and UBP is ahead of the curve

Filed under: Uncategorized — ubpblogger @ 10:21 am
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Let’s face it, our nation is not getting the most out of the $2.6 trillion we spend on health care. As such, United Health Group’s Center for Reform and Modernization has looked in to ways the industry can achieve substantial cost savings via technology in a recent working paper.

United Health Group estimates that the healthcare industry’s administrative expenditures are about $290 billion per-year. If the industry puts their working paper’s suggestions into practice and leverages technology to its fullest, the Group estimates a total savings of $332 billion in national health expenditure over the next decade. That’s roughly 33.2 billion dollars per-year. Of the proposed savings, United Health Group estimates 30 percent will go to health plans.

United Health Group’s Executive Vice President Simon Stevens stated in a June 30th conference call that the healthcare industry’s manual administration processes cost doctors, hospitals and health plans alike considerable amounts of time and money. In order to illustrate how archaic the healthcare industry’s administrative practices are, he made a direct comparison to both the travel and banking industries. In administrative matters, if the processes used in banking and travel were as out of date as those in healthcare, everyone would do all of their banking face-to-face in brick and mortar establishments. Similarly, no one would be able to book travel or find the most economic travel deals online.

Among United Health Group’s recommended cost saving tactics was the elimination of the paper explanations of benefits issued with each claim. The Group suggested replacing these paper statements with electronic ones similar to the monthly statements you receive from your bank. They also recommended delivering the statements electronically and in a secure fashion instead of mailing them out.

All of this would reduce the cost of explaining benefits 68% per-claim and produce a $14 billion dollar cost savings over the next decade. The group also suggested utilizing technologies currently available to automate the entire claims payment process, which could save roughly $109 billion in a decade.

Universal Benefit Plans is ahead of the modernization curve:

At Universal Benefit Plans, we have already implemented several of United Health Group’s suggested modernization tactics. Our proprietary double-encrypted HRIS system, The HR in a Box™, not only streamlines all benefit administration processes but makes benefit communication much easier with employee self-service. The HR in a Box™ allows companies to maintain all vital plan documentation and information in a secure online database and facilitates the transition of any such documentation whenever necessary from employer to broker via a double-encrypted electronic mail mechanism.

To learn more about how you can leverage our HRIS technology to reap considerable cost savings, give us a call at (617) 859-1777 or visit our website at www.universalbenefitplans.com.

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UBP President and CEO becomes the First-ever Massachusetts Broker included in Altus Dental’s Annual report

Filed under: universal benefit plans — ubpblogger @ 9:29 am
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Edan Barshan, President and CEO of Universal Benefit Plans is featured in Altus Dental’s newly-released 2008 Annual Report. He is the first-ever Massachusetts broker to be featured in the Annual Report of the fastest growing dental plan in the Commonwealth for the past seven years. This is especially significant not only because Altus Dental has experienced membership growth rates of more than 52 percent in the past year and currently has the largest Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) provider network in Massachusetts, but because both Altus Dental and Universal Benefit Plans think alike in several different ways.

We both share a commitment to flexibility and custom benefit plan design. When providing employee benefits solutions to clients, both Universal Benefit Plans and Altus Dental take the approach that all clients’ needs are unique. We fully realize that it is essential to work hard in providing clients with the plan design that meets these needs most effectively.

Universal Benefit Plans takes this approach one step further by customizing and automating the administration of clients’ benefits with our most recent innovation, The HR in a Box™. This time and cost-savings tool streamlines benefit administration saving employers valuable time and money, educates and empowers employees with 24/7 self-service access to comprehensive benefits information and makes full compliance with the upcoming Massachusetts data encryption law affordable for small-to-mid sized firms.

As Altus Dental Inc. continues to grow and approaches its projected 2009 levels of 100,000 members strong, Universal Benefit Plans is proud to partner with them as a broker in their commitment to delivering creative, custom solutions to group dental insurance needs.

The 2008 Altus Dental Annual Report is accessible online at http://www.altusdental.com/report08/2008_Altus_Dental_Annual_Report.pdf.

Go to Page 7 to read what the hardest working and fastest growing dental plan in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts had to say about Edan Barshan, Universal Benefit Plans and our dual-encrypted HR Management tool, The HR in a Box™.

Benefits identity theft skyrockets. Are you safeguarding personal employee data in your HR department?

Filed under: Massachusetts encryption law — ubpblogger @ 9:26 am
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The Problem:

In 2008, a record 79 million identity thefts occurred in the United States. According to a report by the Alexander Hamilton Institute, an estimated 50-70 percent of these thefts happened in the workplace. Employee benefits documents—and employee files in general—contain all of the information necessary for an information thief to steal someone’s identity.

Benefits identity theft can come both from within the company (i.e. a temporary employee working in HR who has access to employee information files a reimbursement account claim as someone else) or from outside of the company (i.e. an employee’s online statement gets hacked and the hacker wipes out all of his or her retirement savings with the click of a mouse).

What the experts suggest:

Benefits identity theft is a problem that employers often overlook until it is too late. Employers should therefore create and put into place a policy for the safe handling of sensitive data, from its collection to its disposal. All paper personnel files should be secured with combination locks. If your company maintains electronic personnel files, work with IT to ensure that all such records are encrypted and password protected.

To protect your employees from reimbursement account theft, you should keep signatures of all employees on file so that you can be prepared to audit a suspicious looking reimbursement check. You should run reports of your company’s newly-terminated employees so that you can audit cancelled reimbursement checks in their names. For greater protection, only send reimbursements through direct deposit to an account that you have verified belongs to the correct employee.

Enhanced, double-encrypted HRIS solution FOR FREE:

The HR in a Box™, Universal Benefit Plans’ A to Z HR and benefits management solution, is a dual-encrypted time- and cost-saving tool for small-to-mid size enterprises. With The HR in a Box™, not only will your company eliminate the time-consuming and costly practice of manual benefit administration, you will also be able to rest assured that all of your employee benefits data is secure. The HR in a Box™ also generates reports of employees terminated as far back as you want them, making the process of auditing cancelled reimbursement checks an easier one.

To learn more about how having The HR in a Box™ can help your company or to schedule a free product demo, visit http://www.universalbenefitplans.com.


Is manual benefit administration taking up HR’s time?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ubpblogger @ 9:20 am
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One of the quickest and most effective ways to reduce the time costs and complexities of administering your employees’ benefits is eliminating manual, paper-based administration entirely. Manual benefit administration is highly labor intensive, stressful and is an inefficient use of HR staff time. It also places HR Departments at risk for costly (and avoidable) errors and compliance-related penalties.

Our cutting-edge, digital HR management solution The HR in a Box™, helps small-to-mid size companies decrease operating costs and makes it easier for HR teams to avoid errors of interpretation through its clear, consistent message communication from a single source. The HR in a Box™ also creates more flexibility for both employers and employees through self-service.

The HR in a Box™ will greatly reduce the amount of time your company’s HR team spends administering and communicating benefits. This will allow your HR staff to focus on more essential roles such as recruiting and retaining top talent, coaching managers on how to manage more effectively, training employees and a wide variety of other tasks that will help your company grow.

In short, an employer will get more value from his or her HR staff when they are not mired in benefit administration. If the employer does not have a formal HR Department, and has instead parsed HR roles out to other employees (i.e. a Controller or Finance Director, even an Office Manager), they can still benefit immensely from The HR in a Box™. With The HR in a Box™, these companies will have streamlined benefit administration plus legal and compliance resources just a click away to inform even their toughest HR decisions.

Wouldn’t it be great to cut time costs by eliminating manual benefit administration via The HR in a Box™?

Visit our website, http://www.universalbenefitplans.com to learn more and schedule a free product demo.

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