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Did You Know?

Health Reform at the Click of a Button: Featuring a detailed implementation timeline and a searchable database of all provisions of the landmark Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Commonwealth Fund's Health Reform Resource Center is the easiest place to look for answers about what happens when and what reform means to you.

Your Daily Dose of Health News: The Kaiser Family Foundation offers a free and comprehensive summary of the nation's health-related news delivered daily via e-mail. Kaiser Health News covers state and federal health policy, industry trends, and analysis of key reports and studies. Sign up to receive the daily summary:

Required Reading for Value-Based Benefit Design Enthusiasts: The Center for Health Value Innovation recently released its first book, Leveraging Health, which uses real-world case studies to show how to effectively use 15 different "macro levers" to change health-related behaviors, cut costs, improve productivity, and help employees live healthier lives. The book is available at Amazon. To learn more about the Center for Health Value Innovation and its efforts to help employers adopt value-based benefit designs, visit: Goes Live: In July, the Department of Health and Human Services unveiled a new, easy-to-navigate Web site that serves both as a one-stop-shop for information about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and as a portal connecting consumers to quality rankings of health care providers. The site also features useful transition tips and other information for large and small employers.

Surprise, More Firms Now Offering Coverage: The 12th annual Kaiser Family Foundation/HRET survey of employers found that even in the middle of a deep recession, significantly more firms (69%) are now offering coverage to employees, as compared to a year ago (60%). But what sounds like good news might not be. Study authors speculate that attrition among smaller firms may account for higher offer rates among surviving firms. The study is laced with other bad news for employees: premiums and employee contributions continue to rise as did the percentage of workers enrolled in high-deductible plans.

Small Business Tax Credit, Anyone? Tax credits designed to help offset the cost of health care premiums for small businesses are here. The credits, which start at 35 percent of premiums this year and go up to 50 percent by 2014, affect the roughly 16.6 million workers in U.S. firms that employ fewer than 25 employees. Rules on applying for the credit are available at

Paying for Quality, Not Volume: The two-year-old Center for Payment Reform is poised to release a number of how-to tools and reports aimed at helping employers move beyond the counterproductive model of paying providers based on how much care they provide rather than on the quality of that care. The Payment Reform Toolkit, National Scorecard, and other resources can all be found here.

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