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UnitedHealthcare Integrates Apple Watch Into Wellness Incentives

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UnitedHealthcare is integrating the Apple Watch into beneficiary wellness incentives, where members can earn the device and financial rewards by participating in a walking program aimed at improving overall member health. The payer will...

Centene to Acquire Medicaid, Medicare Advantage Provider Group

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Centene signed an agreement to acquire Florida-based Community Medical Holdings Corp (CMG), a community medical group, to expand Centene’s Medicaid, Medicare Advantage (MA), and marketplace health plan businesses. Centene stated in...

HCSC Invests $1.5B to Develop Insurance Affordability Solutions

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HCSC is investing $1.5 billion to develop health insurance affordability solutions including employee wellness programs, ways to address social determinants of health, and collaborative care. Dubbed Affordability Cures, the initiative...

Apple to Launch Healthcare, Wellness Clinics for Employees

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Apple is launching a new healthcare venture, called AC Wellness, that will deliver healthcare and wellness services to the company’s employees, according to major news outlets. The health and wellness clinics will primarily serve...

UnitedHealth Offers Data Analytics to CMS Bundled Payment Program

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UnitedHealth Group will help support a new Medicare bundled payment program by offering data and analytics services to participating providers. The payer announced in a press release that it will contribute data and analytics, technology,...

Lawmakers Propose HDHP Coverage for Chronic Disease Prevention

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A new bill introduced into the House and Senate would allow high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) to provide chronic disease prevention services before a patient meets his or her deductible, which could help to accelerate a growing HDHP...

House Bill Retains Low-Quality Medicare Advantage Plans until 2027

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Update on 2/12/2018: Presdient Trump signed the spending bill into effect on Feburary 9th, 2018 which funds the government for two years and extends quality deadlines for Medicare Advantage plans.  The latest government spending bill...

Amazon, JP Morgan, Berkshire Hathaway Form Healthcare Company

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Amazon, JP Morgan Chase & Co., and Berkshire Hathaway have announced a long-term partnership to form an independent company that focuses on cost-effective healthcare for employees. The company will aim to remove profit-making...

VA, HHS Announce Healthcare Fraud Prevention Partnership

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The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), HHS, and CMS agreed to participate in a healthcare fraud prevention partnership that leverages data sharing to identify fraud and abuse within healthcare programs they collectively oversee. The...

VA Awards Accenture $62M Benefits IT Infrastructure Contract

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Accenture received a one-year, $62 million contract by the VA’s Veterans Benefit Administration (VBA) division to improve the VBA’s technology infrastructure for delivering member benefits. Accenture Federal Services (AFS)...

Humana Expands Long-Term Social Health Determinant Investments

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Humana, and its philanthropic arm the Humana Foundation, announced changes to their grant making processes that provide long-term investments into community programs that address the social determinants of health (SDOH). The new...

Humana Becomes Latest Payer to End AHIP Membership

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Humana is the latest commercial payer to end its membership in AHIP, the nation’s largest health insurance trade organization. “Humana has not actively participated in AHIP since early 2017,” a Humana spokesperson told...

VA Union: Investigate $90M in Third-Party Contractor Payments

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The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) has sent a letter to VA leadership proposing an investigation into $90 million of improper payments made to the third-party contractors of the Veteran’s Choice program. The...

MS Awarded 10-Year Extension of 1115 State Medicaid Waiver

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Mississippi will be the first state to receive a 10-year extension of a 1115 Medicaid waiver, CMS announced.  The waiver originally implemented in 2003, expands eligibility requirements for individuals who can receive family planning...

Federal Tax Bill, Individual Mandate Repeal Passes House and Senate

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GOP lawmakers in both the House and Senate passed a federal tax bill that includes a repeal of the ACA’s individual mandate to purchase health insurance.  The bill now heads back to the House for a procedural vote and afterwards...

Aetna to Waive Narcan Co-Pays, Combat Opioid Overprescribing

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Aetna will be the first national payer to waive Narcan co-pays for fully-insured members as part of a larger effort to address the nation’s opioid crisis, the payer announced in a press release. Narcan is considered a preferred...

Integrated Care Model Lowers Health System Medical Costs

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Cigna’s integrated care model partnership with Texas-based Catalyst Health helped reduce the health system’s total medical costs to 5.6 percent below industry averages, the organizations announced in a press release. The Cigna...

Optum to Purchase DaVita Medical Group for $4.9B

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Optum, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, has agreed to acquire DaVita Medical Group for $4.9 billion, expanding the health care services company’s footprint in the direct care delivery environment. The acquisition, expected to be...

Senate Passes Tax Bill, Individual Mandate Repeal in 51-49 Vote

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The US Senate voted 51-49 to reform national tax policy and simultaneously repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, major news outlets reported at the end of last week. GOP senators only lost one Republican vote and were...

CVS Caremark Provides Real-Time Benefits Data to Pharmacies

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CVS Caremark, the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) of CVS Health, will provide pharmacies and prescribers with real-time benefits data on patients as a way to reduce payer and patient drug costs, the organization announced in a press...

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