Healthcare IT Interoperability, EHR interoperability, Hospital Interoperability

Healthcare Payers

DOJ Sues UnitedHealth over Alleged $1B Medicare Fraud

May 23, 2017 - The Department of Justice is suing UnitedHealth  for alleged Medicare Advantage fraud in a civil case.  The complaint, filed in the Western District court, is “for monies unlawfully obtained or retained from the insurers Medicare Advantage (MA) plans.” “This case involves conduct by United – the nation’s largest owner of MA Organizations – to improperly...


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Employers Seek Clarity, Stability in Health Insurance Market

by Jesse Migneault

The nation’s largest employers are taking a second look at what type of health insurance they buy, and why.  The American Health Policy Institute (AHPI) surveyed over 400 large companies and found issues of transparency, tax credits...

Anthem Terminates Cigna Merger, but Refuses to Pay Out $1.8B

by Jesse Migneault

After a court ruling in Delaware, Anthem has notified Cigna that their proposed $54 billion merger is off, but that doesn’t mean the two insurance companies are amicably parting ways. Anthem has stated that it will not pay Cigna a $1.85...

Aetna Posts Q1 Loss After ACA Withdrawal, Merger Collapse

by Jesse Migneault

After a tumultuous 2016, Aetna announced a first-quarter 2017 net loss of $381 million, a significant  reversal from a $737 million profit a year ago. Aetna blamed the loss on costs associated with its attempted merger with Humana,...

Affordable Care Act Cuts Uninsured Rate by 6.4% Since 2013

by Jesse Migneault

From 2013 to the end of 2016, the percentage of individuals without health insurance dropped across the nation, according to a recent Gallup-Healthways study. The national percentage of those without health insurance went from 17.3 percent in...

Payer Groups Urge Congress to Keep ACA Cost Sharing Reductions

by Jesse Migneault

In a recent letter to the President and leading members of Congress, insurance payer groups and the nation’s largest provider organizations detailed their case to retain the cost sharing reductions (CSR) provision in the ACA.  Payers...

Payers, Providers Collaborate to Combat Opioid Abuse, Addiction

by Jesse Migneault

Insufficient control of opioid prescriptions is one of the key reasons why opioid abuse and addiction have risen dramatically over the past few years.    To mitigate the epidemic, payers have developed programs to directly establish...

Top 5 Largest Health Insurance Payers in the United States

by Jesse Migneault

The Affordable Care Act has been a divisive policy for the public and politicians, but since 2010 it has been a financial boon for the top five giants of the health insurance payer industry.  The expanding customer base created by the ACA,...

Independence Blue Cross, UPenn Partner to Enhance Care Delivery

by Thomas Beaton

A five-year partnership between Independence Blue Cross and the University of Pennsylvania Health Systems (UPHS) should help strengthen multiple aspects of care delivery for beneficiaries in the state. Both organizations are under contract to...

Minn. Healthcare Payers Reported $687M in Financial Losses

by Thomas Beaton

Local healthcare payers in Minnesota reported financial losses of $687 million due to the rising gaps in premiums and healthcare spending. The Minnesota Council of Health Plans gathered statewide data from insurance companies and HMOs, and found...

Aetna Will Exit Iowa ACA Health Insurance Exchange in 2018

by Thomas Beaton

Aetna has announced that it will stop participating in the Iowa health insurance exchange in 2018, citing financial losses and market instability as primary reasons to exit.   "Earlier today we informed the appropriate federal and state...

ACA Risk Adjustment, Reinsurance Improved Payer Financials

by Thomas Beaton

A new study published in Health Affairs found risk adjustment and reinsurance provisions of the Affordable Care Act improved financial outcomes for certain payers with higher risk enrollees.   Researchers from AHRQ and CMS found that before...

House Committee Passes Bill with Healthcare Merger Implications

by Thomas Beaton

The House Judiciary Committee has voted 16-10 in favor of a bill that would revise and standardize part of the process of reviewing mergers for potential antitrust violations.   The Standard Merger and Acquisition Reviews Through Equal Rules...

Wellmark BCBS Latest to Exit ACA Health Insurance Exchanges

by Thomas Beaton

Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, which operates in Iowa and South Dakota, will not renew or sell individual plans on the Affordable Care Act health insurance exchanges effective Jan 1, 2018. The decision follows three-year losses of approximately...

BCBS of Minn. Cites Risk Pools for $322.4M in 2016 Losses

by Thomas Beaton

Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Minnesota reported a net operating loss of $322.4 million in their 2016 financial audit, citing unbalanced risk pools and rising premium pricing as a current and future detriment to profitability. At the end of...

Anthem Appeals Cigna Merger with Cost, Quality Arguments

by Thomas Beaton

Anthem has opened an appeal in the U.S District Court citing opportunities for increased consumer savings and quality of care weeks after the DOJ blocked its planned merger with Cigna. Anthem argued that the DoJ’s ruling neglected a possible...

House Votes to Boost Health Insurance Options for Businesses

by Thomas Beaton

The House of Representatives has voted 236-175 to move the Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2017 to the Senate in an effort to increase health insurance options for small businesses. The Act is designed to promote the growth of Association...

Payers Face 9.6% Underwriting Loss on Health Insurance Exchange

by Jacqueline Belliveau

Underwriting margins for payers selling individual plans on the health insurance exchange dropped from a 6 percent earned premium loss in 2014 to a 9.6 percent loss in 2015, Milliman recently reported. The financial losses stemmed from the Affordable...

APMs, Health Data Exchange among Top Payer Reform Goals

by Thomas Beaton

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) offered policymakers and stakeholders healthcare reform priorities, including alternative payment models (APMs) and health data exchange, that aim to lower overall healthcare costs and improve patient...

HFPP Provides New Resource for Payers to Combat Opioid Abuse

by Thomas Beaton

A new 64-page report from the Healthcare Fraud Prevention Partnership (HFPP), a public-private partnership which includes CMS, gives payers resources that treat, educate, and develop improvements for combating opioid harm to patients. CMS has...

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