07 Feb 2018

HCIactive and WiserTogether partner to deliver advanced health care technology solutions to employers

HCIactive and WiserTogether partner to deliver advanced health care technology solutions to employers

WiserTogether Return to Health extends the HCIactive technology platform further enabling employee engagement and improved outcomes

Glenwood, MD (Feb. 7, 2018) — WiserTogether and HCIactive have entered into a partnership to deliver the WiserTogether Return to Health solution as an integrated part of HCIactive’s Workplace Wellbeing product suite. HCIactive leverages cloud-based technology to deliver health care management tools. Including Return to Health in the HCIactive product suite will enable organizations to offer employees a powerful tool to manage their own health care.

WiserTogether Return to Health is a web and mobile solution, which guides people to the most appropriate, effective and often less intrusive treatment options for that individual. Return to Health enables employees to make thoughtful and informed decisions about their health care by providing easy to understand information and guidance, resulting in lower clinical costs, higher compliance with best practices and faster recovery times.

HCIactive is a health care technology firm that focuses on delivering innovative solutions to employers that improve the lives of their employees. Through their Workplace Wellbeing suite of products, HCIactive offers resources needed to develop a culture of health. Return to Health extends this suite and provides a tool for easy engagement and ongoing treatment planning.

Henry Cha, CEO of HCIactive commented: “WiserTogether’s clinically proven treatment guidance solution provides our clients a critical health care management tool to enhance experiences, better manage per-capita costs, and improve outcomes while enabling each participant to be a true partner in the care process.”

Max Kahn, CEO of WiserTogether shared his perspective: “HCIactive delivers an impressive suite of cloud-based employer solutions. The addition of Return to Health to their offerings extends their already powerful offerings and further engages employees in the management of their health care. We are excited about our new partnership with this technology leader and the value we can deliver to the market.”

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About HCIactive

HCIactive, Inc. provides advanced health planning solutions to employers that help attract and retain the best employees by engaging them in their well-being and workplace. Our integrated technology platform, Healthspace™, runs results-driven population health and incentive management programs designed to mitigate risk, control health care costs, support Affordable Care Act compliance, and improve member outcomes.

About WiserTogether

WiserTogether is a leader in consumer-focused health care information technology solutions that advance clinical outcomes, financial and patient satisfaction results. Our innovative solutions enable consumers to circumvent the immense amount of data on the internet and in the market and effectively guide individuals to the best treatment options for them. To learn more visit www.wisertogether.com.

04 Nov 2016

Top 5 ACA Reporting Challenges to Avoid This Season

Top 5 ACA Reporting Challenges to Avoid This Season

By John H. Capobianco, President and CMO of HCIactive

The July 31st deadline for ACA reporting passed this year with an audible sigh of relief. For most companies, complying with the IRS reporting requirements was more difficult than expected, and they wound up outsourcing the process to payroll, benefits administration, or ACA reporting vendors. As one of those ACA reporting vendors responding to the call of duty, we at HCIactive witnessed and successfully addressed the challenges these companies faced. The good news is that these challenges were categorically similar and easily preventable.

 

Below are the top five ACA reporting challenges that companies experienced last season.

1: CALCULATING FTEs WAS COMPLICATED

Companies have long recognized that what the IRS defines as a full-time equivalent differs from what companies typically consider a full-time employee. Companies understood that they had to offer health insurance to workers who might not have qualified under in-house definitions, but when it came to documenting who those people were, and whether they received coverage, things got complicated. There were more employees who fell outside of standard definitions than expected, and it was not that straightforward to confirm who they were. The government offered more than one way to determine if someone is “full-time”, but neither method reflected how workers and their hours are represented within common payroll and benefits systems. This complexity created a lot of manual analysis and second-guessing.

2: TRACKING WAS TRICKY

In-house systems don’t “speak” ACA—they are not set up to keep track of everything your company needs to know to efficiently comply with the law. The difficulty of knowing who qualifies as full-time is just one of the tracking failures uncovered during the reporting process. Other tracking issues have to do with who was offered coverage, who accepted, and who rejected, who has taken a sabbatical or a leave of absence, or is out on disability. Some salaried employees sometimes produced ACA anomalies, as did seasonal employees or contractors whose hours flex up and down. This latter group may qualify based on a high-work period, but then have their average hours drop and not rise again within the timeframe necessary to maintain eligibility. Depending on how a company is tracking and when it runs the report, it may be out of compliance and not even know it.

3: COMPLETING THE FORMS WAS CHALLENGING

The IRS forms 1094 and 1095-C were not easy to complete. The information entered on those forms needed to be recorded as specific codes. The codes reflected an employee’s status, their eligibility for certain plans, whether the employee enrolled and whether they qualified for an affordability safe harbor, among other details. Companies were challenged by the effort of choosing the right code. Technology might have helped, however their systems weren’t ACA compatible and many still aren’t.

Few if any companies have HR, payroll, benefits administration, or other in-house systems capable of reporting employee-related information in terms that can be easily queried and converted into those codes. More commonly these systems report data in native formats that differ even from each other. It’s no wonder that filling out the forms ended up being much more difficult than companies thought.

4: ENCOUNTERING LOTS OF ERRORS

Finally, you document everything you need, code it accordingly, and transmit the whole package to the IRS, only to see that dreaded message: ERROR. Even companies with the best of intentions and the most ACA-friendly systems still encountered errors in transmitting their forms. The IRS’ electronic submission platform gets a lot of blame for the error frequency, but there is good reason to suspect that most of the errors are the result of dirty data. Employee record systems sometime contain incorrect information. The wrong birth year for an employee, or an incorrectly transposed social security number, or a misspelled name—any anomalies will flag that ERROR message.

5: CONTRACTING THE WRONG VENDOR

As the deadline approached, employers realized they were in over their heads and turned to trusted service providers to help. It was logical to think that benefits administrators, payroll companies, and other third parties would know how to help, and many jumped on the business opportunity. Unfortunately, the lack of experience that employers had with the reporting requirements extended to third parties as well. This was the first time for everyone. The same challenges around tracking, translating data into the right codes for the forms, and data access applied as much, if not more, to third parties as to the employer itself.

LOOKING FORWARD

The challenges companies faced for 2016 share a common theme—they all stemmed from a lack of knowledge and technology needed to define, track, record, and report information about their employees.

Experiences from the past should make companies better equipped to address the challenges ahead. Most companies know by now that the process is not one that is best handled manually or in-house, but rather outsourced to experienced ACA reporting vendors. A trustworthy vendor should provide expertise, along with the integrated technology needed to execute and provide a system of record for tracking, reporting and filing the required information and forms. Additionally, with the last season behind us, the vendor should have a proven track record for achieving a high IRS acceptance rate for its current clients proving that their technology actually works.

To learn more about the tips and technology needed to overcome ACA reporting challenges, download this free webinar or contact us!

HCIactive relieves administrative burden and takes the guesswork out of ACA reporting and compliance with a robust integrated technology solution.

14 Oct 2016

Webinar: The Solution to Simplifying ACA Reporting

Webinar: The Solution to Simplifying ACA Reporting

You Survived Year One…Now what?

If you’re like many employers, complying with IRS reporting requirements was more difficult than you expected.  Now you’ll have to do the process again, but in much less time and under greater IRS scrutiny, increasing your risk for penalties. The good news is that we’re familiar with your challenges, and we have the solution you’ve been seeking.

Learn how HCIactive’s ACA Reporting Dashboard addresses these common employer challenges:

  • Accessing Critical Data – aggregate benefits, payroll, and HRIS data to simplify ACA reporting compliance
  • Tracking FTEs – establish measurement and tracking periods for part-time or seasonal employees to determine FTE status
  • Filing by the Deadline – generate and e-file IRS Forms 1094/1095 Series B and C, and track status
  • Addressing IRS Inquiries – store and retrieve compliance documentation, including offers of coverage, to address possible IRS inquiries

Plus, our software has a 98% IRS acceptance rate.  Don’t just take our word for it – see for yourself in this informative webinar.

 

Register today!

Webinar: How to Simplify ACA Reporting with HCIactive

October 27, 2016 at 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm, EDT

 

 

12 Sep 2016

What Makes a High Performance Wellness Plan?

What Makes a High Performance Wellness Plan?

By John H. Capobianco, President and CMO of HCIactive

Wellness plans have become a necessary component of corporate health benefits. Yet not all wellness plans are equal. The benefits of wellness plans come faster and make a greater impact when the plan is designed to be what we call ‘high performance.’ These plans engage more directly and individually with the employee to signal that the plan is for them and tailored to their needs.

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What qualities transform a wellness plan from ho hum to high performance? Consider these five:

1: EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP SUPPORT

Leaders of companies with High Performance Wellness Plans view these plans as an essential contribution to a productive, effective working environment. These leaders don’t just want to check a box. They actually want a culture of wellness, within which employees take steps to improve their physical, mental, and social health with the full support of their colleagues, bosses, and the company as a whole. To do that, executive leaders communicate through their actions and words. They make budgetary decisions that protect the effectiveness and integrity of their wellness initiatives. Perhaps more important, they take part! They show up at the wellness fairs, get their blood pressure checked and their blood glucose tested; they show up for lunchtime Yoga and the company fun-run. In other words, they literally walk the talk of wellness.

2: TOOLS TO BUILD A CULTURE OF HEALTH

Anyone who has ever tried to quit smoking or lose ten pounds knows how hard it can be. Even the most motivated people could use a little help. High Performance Wellness Plans provide that help at various stages of an employee’s wellness journey.

As a first step, these plans provide in-house screening events where employees can check their weight and blood pressure, as well as get basic blood tests to check levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood glucose. Once participants have that data, they are eligible to meet with a health coach who can provide practical advice and a personalized plan. For those employees who are not yet ready for one-on-one support, or just want a refresher, there are health education seminars or even digital coaching options available to provide generalized advice.

High Performance Wellness Plans also provide a range of tools for ongoing support and day-to-day feedback, including online integration with the most popular fitness apps and wearable devices.

Last, the best wellness plans understand that wellness can be social. People who exercise with a partner are less likely to bail on a workout; people who make a public commitment to losing weight or quitting smoking are more likely to meet their goals. High Performance Wellness Plans incorporate these social nudges to help people stick to their plan.

3: HIGH PARTICIPATION AND ENGAGEMENT

Wellness plans are driven by the engine of human motivation and engagement. When employees see their colleagues participating and reaping positive results, they get motivated to take part too.


“…plans designed with an incentive achieve a 60 percent participation rate, compared to 24 percent average participation for those plans with no incentive.”


How to get that participant base? Research shows that plans that provide incentives for participation reach higher participation rates. For example, an HCIactive study of 116 employers showed that plans designed with an incentive achieve a 60 percent participation rate, compared to a 24 percent average participation for those plans with no incentive.

The most effective incentive plans have a monetary component. Some plans give participants a gift card or make a contribution to a health savings or flexible spending account as a reward for getting certain screenings or reaching a health goal. Still other plans give the incentive first, but with the stipulation that it will be taken away if participants don’t fulfill certain requirements within a given timeframe. The experience of our corporate clients suggest that a $75 monetary incentive is the threshold level beyond which companies see relevant increases in participation.

4: ACTIONABLE DATA

Even healthy people generate a lot of medical data, from lab results and x-rays to pharmacy prescriptions. The problem for patients is that all this information resides in different systems that the patient can’t necessarily access. High Performance Wellness Plans resolve some of that pain. They provide an integrated platform where participants can access data from different sources—your general practitioner, your radiologist, your pharmacy—and even integrate it with data from proprietary sources like fitness apps.

For the employer, High Performance Wellness Plans provide access to anonymized, aggregate data about participation rates, the results from incentive plan effectiveness, and health outcomes. Employers can use this data for long-term plan design and management.

5: SCALABILITY AND FLEXIBILITY

Companies change over time. They engage in mergers or acquisitions; they develop new product lines and expand their talent base. High Performance Wellness Plans should grow with them. They need to be able to handle more scale as a company’s employee base grows or becomes more diverse.

Health provision is also changing. The proliferation of walk-in urgent care facilities, mobile clinics, and pharmacy-based labs are just some examples of the decentralization of health care. Within this changing environment, employers are playing a more active role in providing health resources for their employees. Employers such as Walmart and Lowe’s, for example, are contracting directly with care providers, a trend which is expected to grow in the coming years. In response to this trend, several of our Health System clients are rolling out new direct contracting models for employers in their regions.

Beyond that, companies need to be able to add new functions such as access to electronic records from multiple sources, and integrate with new online tools such as provider electronic medical records (EMR) systems, as doctors come online and are able to share data across digital channels.

SUMMARY

As wellness plans become a near-ubiquitous addition to corporate health benefits, plan design becomes more important. Companies can differentiate their plans and engage their employees by paying attention to small details that make a large difference. Clear executive leadership commitment, tools and resources for increasing employee engagement, helpful data integration, and the ability to grow and change with your population will allow your plan to produce the benefits that High Performance Wellness Plans are capable of. Make sure you push the limits to lead the way in driving change in the industry.

About the Author

John Capobianco is President and Chief Marketing Officer of HCIactive, a provider of advanced health planning services. John has more than thirty years of executive experience growing large companies such as Hewlett-Packard, SAP, and Computer Associates; as well as high-growth companies such as BlueStone Software and MEDecision in the IT infrastructure and healthcare IT industries.

15 Aug 2016

Listen to Capobianco Explain the Real Cost Benefits of Wellness Programs on HealthCare Consumerism Radio

Last month, President and CMO John Capobianco was a guest on HealthCare Consumerism Radio and discussed the real cost benefits of workplace wellness programs, beyond health-related cost savings. John provided insight on what employers need to understand in order to evaluate the effectiveness of their wellness program.

Listen to this 15-minute segment online here.

HealthCare Consumerism Radio helps listeners learn about the latest trends and best practices in health care consumerism and connect them with health care industry thought leaders, brokers, advisors, third party administrators, HR and benefit managers and regional health plan providers.