Categorized | Health

HMSA membership meeting reviews highlights of 2008

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hawaii Medical Service Association’s Annual Membership Meeting last week included a review of last year’s highlights by President and Chief Executive Officer Robert P. Hiam. 

HMSA Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer Steve Van Ribbink shared 2008 operating results, and Carla J. Nip-Sakamoto, M.D., chairwoman of HMSA’s board of directors, discussed last year’s overall accomplishments.

Hiam reflected on several important national events in 2008, including the election of a young African-American, born and raised here in Hawaii, as president of the United States; the economic recession and collapse of the nation’s financial markets; and the stock market’s downward spiral that caused millions of Americans to lose significant value in their retirement accounts.

He talked about the effect the recession and market collapse had on Hawaii in 2008, including a more than 6 percent rise in unemployment; a more than 4 percent rise in inflation; and a nearly 50 percent rise in local bankruptcies.

Hiam also discussed last year’s efforts to bring a new statewide health care service to the residents of Hawaii, a service that improves access to care by connecting physicians and patients from the comfort and convenience of their home. 

HMSA’s Online Care, the first service of its kind anywhere in the United States, was launched Jan. 15, 2009.

“We decided to make HMSA’s Online Care available to all residents in the state, not just HMSA members. In essence, we wanted Online Care to serve the entire community,” Hiam said. It’s the first such service to be offered to a community anywhere in the country or the world. The launch of Online Care was truly a historic event.”

Hiam also discussed HMSA’s three-year initiative that is helping hundreds of local physicians implement electronic medical record systems for their offices. 

The HMSA Initiative for Innovation and Quality (HI-IQ) is also helping Hawaii’s hospitals improve efficiency, quality and patient safety. The $50 million initiative is funded entirely from the HMSA reserve, not member dues.

“Last year, more than 95 cents of each dues dollar went to pay physicians, hospitals and pharmacies for delivering services to HMSA members,” Hiam said. “Few health plans in the country offer the value that HMSA does. Our promise is to continue to offer our members the best possible return on their health plan investment.”

Hiam concluded his remarks by saying, “From generation to generation, HMSA has been the one thing you could count on to protect your family’s good health and deliver real value for your health care dollar.” About 350 HMSA members attended the meeting.

Last year’s highlights and achievements included:

* HMSA delivered unprecedented value to its members by using 95.2 percent of member dues to reimburse hospitals, physicians, pharmacies, and other health care providers.

* HMSA administered health plans for 16,200 employer groups and 705,200 members.

* HMSA processed an average of 66,300 claims every business day of the year, for a total of 16.8 million claims.

* HMSA’s disease management program helped 113,300 members with serious chronic health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease and kidney disease.

* HMSA maintained a provider network of more than 5,300 participating physicians, dentists, hospitals, pharmacies, and other health care providers.

* HMSA Foundation committed $1.6 million in grants to 48 community organizations for 50 projects to help promote the health and well-being of Hawaii’s people.

* HMSA member satisfaction remained very high. In an annual survey, 95 percent of members indicated they would choose their health plan again.

HMSA is a nonprofit, mutual benefit association founded in Hawaii in 1938. It is governed by a community board of directors that includes representatives from health care, business, labor, government, education, clergy, and the community at large. It is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Nationally, HMSA and 38 other Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans provide worldwide coverage to more than 100 million members.

— Find out more:

HMSA: www.hmsa.com

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