Glastonbury, Connecticut – (The Hosting News) – October 6, 2006 – Web host and integrated enabling financial technologies firm, Open Solutions Inc., has partnered with N.J.-based Information Strategies Inc., to co-host an event for bankers on Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) in Washington, D.C.
The private briefing sponsored by Information Strategies at The White House Executive Offices was followed by a luncheon co-sponsored by Open Solutions. Open Solutions offers major trustees, insurance carriers, third party administrators to insurance carriers (TPAs) and other eligible financial institutions a comprehensive, outsourced processing solution for HSAs.
Approximately 65 senior executives from major HSA custodial institutions, community banks and credit unions representing more than 90 percent of all U.S. HSA account holders attended the briefing and luncheon. The group included major HSA custodial institutions, community banks and credit unions. This yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s HSA briefing and luncheon provided Open SolutionsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ HSA clients and prospects the opportunity to learn about future trends affecting the HSA market, investment alternatives for HSAs and how to develop and grow HSA business within their organizations.
Keynote speaker Michael O. Leavitt, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, spoke about the ”four cornerstones of the U.S. healthcare market.” He said Americans needed to develop healthcare information standards, define measures of healthcare quality, enable consumers to compare prices for health services and establish ”pay for performance” incentives for providers. According to Secretary Leavitt, the Federal government is inviting employers to join the dialogue and positively influence the healthcare market. Employers need to follow the same steps as the government and help implement these four cornerstones.
Joining Secretary Leavitt was Brad Campbell, deputy assistant secretary for Employee Benefits, U.S. Department of Labor. Campbell referenced a new round of guidance to be released late this year intended to answer questions that have arisen since HSAs were introduced.
Following The White House Executive Offices briefing, a luncheon was held for attendees to further examine HSA-related issues. Addressing the group were two long-time policy makers — Jon Sheiner, staff counsel for the Committee on Ways and Means and for Legislative Director Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY); and former health care advisor to President Bush and HSA expert Roy Ramthun. Prior to joining the PresidentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s staff, Mr. Ramthun served as senior advisor to the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury for health initiatives. In this role, he led TreasuryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s implementation of HSAs after they were enacted into law in December 2003.
Mr. Sheiner discussed the need for policy-makers to negotiate better pricing structures with the larger pharmaceutical companies to assist HSA/HDHP policy holders.Mr. Ramthun told the group how the industry could broaden the appeal of HSAs through more favourable tax benefits, increase contribution limits to cover more out-of-pocket expenses, provide individuals the same tax benefits as currently experienced by employees from their employers and allow employers to assist chronically ill employees to transition from a traditional plan to an HDHP.
According to Rob Pinataro, Vice President and General Manager of Open Solutions’ Corporate Financial Solutions (CFS), ”Open Solutions was delighted to co-sponsor this event with Information Strategies Inc. This is an exciting time in the Consumer Driven Healthcare industry as healthcare consumers and employers are increasingly looking to Health Savings Accounts as a way to lower the costs of obtaining high quality healthcare. The Secretary laid out a visionary approach for government and business to make healthcare more affordable for all Americans through the four cornerstones and the Health Savings Account. We, at Open Solutions, look forward to working with the healthcare and financial industries to bring this vision to reality.”
The Open Solutions CFS division provides outsourced information processing in the area of asset retention, corporate banking, healthcare banking and insured deposit services for banks, insurance companies and major corporations. Open Solutions has developed a comprehensive and flexible suite of technology and services to enable HSA service delivery for all the participants in the healthcare market from the individual consumer and employer to third party administrators, banks and investment brokers. Our proven solution provides a compliant, secure set of services that enables the full range of HSA activities from enrolment and contribution, to payments, account management and investment.
For more information about Open Solutions, please visit: www.opensolutions.com.