Billionaire-Backed Health Venture ‘Haven’ May Find Itself Facing Legal Challenges Over Name
There are already dozens of companies named "Haven," with a large handful that deliver or facilitate health services. “It seems very risky to me,” said Jonathan Bell, managing director of Want Branding, a firm that advises companies on name selection. In other health industry news: health savings accounts, hospitals' religious policies, cost disclosures, and minimum wage increases.
What's In A Name? For Haven, Maybe Another Legal Fight
By naming their company Haven, leaders of the health venture formed by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. sought to create a brand unlike anything else in American medicine — a business uniquely capable of sheltering customers from insurance hassles and unreasonable costs. There’s just one hitch: Dozens of other companies already use the same name, including a large handful that deliver or facilitate health services, according to a review of registrations on file with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. (Ross and Sheridan, 3/18)
The New York Times:
Health Savings Accounts Can Reduce Tax Bills. But Beware The Paperwork.
At this time of year, many people are looking for ways to reduce their tax bills. One option may be to make a contribution to a health savings account. You can still make contributions for the 2018 tax year to an H.S.A. until the federal tax filing deadline in April, if you qualify. “It’s not too late to save on your 2018 taxes,” said Todd Berkley, vice president of BenefitWallet, a division of Conduent that manages H.S.A.s and other employee benefits. “Most people don’t know that.” (Carrns, 3/15)
Most Catholic Hospitals Don't Disclose Religious Care Restrictions
A large majority of U.S. Catholic hospitals do not disclose on their websites that they have religious policies limiting the types of reproductive and end-of-life services offered at their facilities and by their affiliated physicians, a new study found. Only 28% of 646 Catholic hospitals listed in the Catholic Health Association's directory specified how their religious affiliation might influence patient care, according to a new research letter in the Journal of the American Medical Association. (Meyer, 3/15)
Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Hospital Price Lists Not A ‘Silver Bullet,’ But First Step Toward Empowering Patients
Under new federal regulations, hospitals have to post a list of service prices, called chargemasters, on their websites. However, these lists don’t reflect the final costs most patients pay. (Christ, 3/17)
MetroHealth Raising Minimum Wage To $15 An Hour
MetroHealth has raised its minimum wage to $15 per hour for all employees, effective immediately. The hourly wage increase affects 928 employees, with an average wage increase of 12.1%. Of the affected employees, 203 will have their wages increased to $15 an hour, while the rest will see adjustments above that rate, according to a news release. Employees will see the adjustment in their paycheck next month, which will include the wage increase backdated to Feb. 3. (Coutré, 3/15)
Harvard Pilgrim’s New CEO Seeks To Improve Insurer’s Health
Harvard Pilgrim lost $78.8 million on operations in 2015, $91.3 million in 2016, and $28.3 million in 2017. For last year, the company reported operating income of $70.9 million on revenue of $3.2 billion. That financial turnaround comes as the company appears, at least for the foreseeable future, determined to go it alone. (Dayal McCluskey, 3/17)