Agencies Issue FAQs on No Surprises Act Dispute Resolution
In February 2022, the Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Treasury (Departments) issued FAQs to provide more guidance on the Federal Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR) Process under the No Surprises Act (NSA), enacted as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA).
These FAQs address:
- IDR entity qualifications and the application process;
- Fees; and
- The Federal IDR Process.
The NSA prohibits “surprise billing,” or instances in which an individual receives an unexpected bill after obtaining items and services from an out-of-network provider or facility, when the individual did not have the opportunity to select a facility or provider covered by their health insurance network (such as during a medical emergency). The NSA provides for a Federal IDR Process to resolve payment disputes after unsuccessful negotiation, where a certified IDR entity will review the specifics of the case and services received and determine the final payment amount.
The Departments previously issued guidance on the Federal IDR Process in the form of a Process Guide. This guide provides information for certified IDR entities on various aspects of the Federal IDR Process. It includes information on how the parties to a payment dispute may initiate the Federal IDR Process, as well as the requirements of the Federal IDR Process, including the requirements that certified IDR entities must follow in making a payment determination.
Benefits Offerings to Avoid the Great Resignation
Employees are walking away from their employers in record numbers; some are calling it the “Great Resignation.” A Prudential survey conducted toward the end of 2021 found that 46% of workers were actively seeking or considering finding a new job, and labor statistics backed those findings. According to the U.S. Labor Department, approximately 4.5 million workers quit their jobs in November 2021, setting a new record.
This might appear like welcome news for employers looking to hire—greater unemployment means more potential job candidates. However, confoundingly, there were still around 1.5 available jobs for each unemployed person near the end of 2021, according to USA Today. And, for the last six months of the year, job openings posted by employers topped 10 million, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
This information helps illustrate the key problem employers face right now: Workers are willing to quit jobs—and turn down open positions—that don’t satisfy their needs. Expanding employee benefits offerings is one of the best ways employers can show they provide workers with more than just a paycheck. The following are some of the most attractive perks employers are using to strengthen their attraction and retention efforts:
- Affordable health plan options
- Retirement benefits
- Flexible working conditions
- Personalized well-being resources
Understanding the Value of a Learning Culture
As employers evaluate how to combat today’s attraction and retention challenges, learning and development (L&D) efforts are a great way for organizations to find and keep employees. Research found that the majority of employees would stay at an organization longer if they felt the employer was invested in their careers.
An authentic learning culture supports a growth mindset, an independent pursuit of knowledge and open sharing of that knowledge with others. This type of culture supports employees’ desires to continually learn and build their careers. And in addition to being a powerful recruitment and retention tool for organizations, a learning culture has the potential to impact workplaces by closing skill gaps, increasing innovation and boosting productivity.
Creating a Culture of Learning
Developing a learning and positive company culture takes time and dedication. Consider the following ways employers can build or reinforce a workplace culture of learning:
- Personalize learning plans to help guide employees on their learning journeys to make learning efforts relevant, and design these plans to support employees’ long-term career goals.
- Appreciate the value of learning regularly by focusing on how employees apply their newfound knowledge versus simply what was accomplished.
- Conduct assessments and behavioral interviews to gauge if candidates are lifelong learners and likely to contribute to a learning culture.
A culture of learning requires ongoing attention and effort from organizational leaders and managers, but can be an investment in employees—and the organization.
Managing the Excuse-Makers
Some employees always seem to have an excuse for failing to meet expectations. Luckily, there are strategies managers can use to turn repeat excuse-makers into productive team members. Learn about these strategies in the video below.