The Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) recently released its free 26-page 2014 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report, and 92-page Appendix, which provide a definitive examination of detailed U.S. health care cost and utilization component line items and demographics.

The Healthcare Trends Institute has released results of their Healthcare Benefits Technology Trends Survey, designed to examine how benefits decision makers are gauging current and future technology investments, via a 11-question poll of human resources (HR) executives, benefit specialists, and other benefit decision makers.

Here's the five key trends they shared from their report:

The November issue of features the article Top 10 Transformation Lessons from the Field By Amy Mullins, MD, CPE, FAAFP, who is the Medical Director for Quality Improvement at the American Academy of Family Physicians, based in Leawood, KS.

Rather than condense her article all the way down to a healthsprocket list, we have provided excerpts that provide a little more explanation for each item.

Much is being made of the rapid demise of ACA CO-OP plans. Several more closures at the end of this year were recently announced. Of the 23 original plans, 9 will not be around in 2016 and a number more are endangered.

Two lists regarding CO-OPs have recently been posted on healthsprocket:
Top Five Health CO-OPs by 2015 Estimated Enrollment
Nine Health CO-OPs Are Ceasing Business in 2015

What's been trending on healthsprocket these days? Here's the top ten most viewed lists (in order) during the past 18 months - as you can see, these lists cover a spectrum of topics:

Lyndsey Gilpin: 10 Technologies Changing The Future Of Healthcare
InternetMedicine.com: Top 25 Healthcare Thought Leaders You Should Follow on Twitter

Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health published findings of the 20th annual Towers Watson/NBGH Best Practices in Health Care Employer Survey, which addresses large employers (1,000+ employees.) The results sound on a theme heard from other studies on health plan and health care cost increases released earlier this year - cost increases continue at a single mid-digit pace - far from the double digit increases experienced during the previous decade. But, healthcare cost increases still outpace general inflation.

As of October 1st, ICD10 (International Classification of Diseases version 10)is the official coding system for diagnostic and procedure codes in the U.S. It might have been more fitting to have the conversion from ICD9 to ICD10 occur on October 10th (10/10), or even better on October 10th, 2010.

The Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) 2015 Employer Health Benefits Survey has been released, which offers one of the richest repositories of publicly available employee benefits data, with access to historical survey reports going back to 1998 that provide context for trends.

Using a new methodology, NCQA has announced their Health Insurance Plan Ratings 2015–2016. NCQA studied 1,358 health plans and rated 1,016: 491 private (commercial), 376 Medicare and 149 Medicaid. The ratings align with the CMS Star Ratings of Medicare Advantage plans, and incorporate health outcomes and consumer satisfaction data.

The AMA recently released a special analyses of commercial health insurance markets that found the "combined impact of proposed mergers among four of the nation's largest health insurance companies would exceed federal antitrust guidelines designed to preserve competition in as many as 97 metropolitan areas within 17 states," and that "all told, the two mergers would diminish competition in up to 154 metropolitan areas within 23 states."