Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Iowa Health Insurer Wellmark to Seek Smaller Rate Hikes
Tuesday, June 18, 2013; Source: Associated Press
Months after customers blasted the company for years of skyrocketing rates, Iowa's dominant health insurer said Tuesday it will limit premium increases in 2014 to less than six percent for individual and small business policyholders.
Group Health Plan Costs Seen Rising 5.4% This Year
Wednesday, June 19, 2013; Source: Crain’s News Service
Group healthcare plan costs are expected to increase an average of 5.4 percent in 2013 and 4.5 percent in 2014.
CalPERS Health Plan Rate Hike is Lowest in Years
Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 4:40 pm ET; Source: Bizjournals.com
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System is poised to raise overall health premiums an average of 3 percent in 2014 — the lowest average increase since 1998 and well below the 9.6 percent average rate hike in 2013.
Maine Releases Details of Proposed Health Plan
Wednesday, June 19, 2013; Source: The Tampa Tribune
The state has released some information about a proposed health insurance plan being put together by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and MaineHealth after a hospital group sued to make it public.
Sutter Health Network Rolls Out HMO Plan
Wednesday, June 19, 2013; Source: The Sacramento Bee
The Sacramento-based Sutter Health network of doctors and hospitals has named its new HMO health plan Sutter Health Plus.
Accountable Care Organizations, Medical Homes
Obamacare-Like Groups Tied to Lower Costs: Study
Tuesday, June 18, 2013; Source: Reuters
Large independent doctor practices that focus on primary care tend to spend less money and are more likely to meet guidelines for Americans on Medicare than smaller groups, according to a new study.
Scottsdale Health Partners and Cigna Start Accountable Care Program to Improve Health and Lower Costs
Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 1:00 pm ET; Source: MarketWatch
Cigna and Scottsdale Health Partners, a physician-led clinically integrated network, have launched a collaborative accountable care initiative to improve patient access to health care, enhance care coordination, and achieve the "triple aim" of improved health, affordability and patient experience.
Health-Insurance Exchanges Are Falling Behind Schedule
Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 12:02 am ET; Source: The Wall Street Journal
Government officials have missed several deadlines in setting up new health-insurance exchanges for small businesses and consumers—a key part of the federal health overhaul—and there is a risk they won't be ready to open on time in October, Congress's watchdog arm said.
Health Law Allies to Focus on Uninsured in 18 States
Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 2:09 pm ET; Source: Bloomberg
Supporters of the Affordable Care Act said they’ll debut a campaign this week in 18 U.S. states to promote a law still poorly understood by those designed to benefit most.
Pharmacy Benefit Management
Study: Wiser Medication Use Could Cut Health Costs
Wednesday, June 19, 2013; Source: Associated Press
If doctors and patients used prescription drugs more wisely, they could save the U.S. health care system at least $213 billion a year, by reducing medication overuse, underuse and other flaws in care that cause complications and longer, more-expensive treatments, researchers conclude.
Call for Overhaul of Drug Industry Business Model
Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 7:03 pm ET; Source: Reuters
Pharmaceutical companies need to boost the benefits of drug research by working with regulators and healthcare providers to overhaul the way medicines are approved and paid for, a thinktank backed by investors says.
The NIH Aims To Develop Drugs That Big Pharma Discarded
Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 12:16 pm ET; Source: Forbes
This morning, the National Institutes of Health awarded $12.7 million to nine academic groups to test potential medicines for diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and schizophrenia that drug companies had abandoned because they were viewed as too risky or not lucrative enough.
A Start Up’s Plan to Make US Health Care Cheaper: Tell People What It Costs
Tuesday, June 18, 2013; Source: Quartz
The problem is that US health care costs too much.
Hospital Investors Sold on U.S. Health Reform Despite Bumps
Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 6:59 am ET; Source: Reuters
Shares of U.S. hospital operators have been on a tear this year, on average posting triple the gains of the broader stock market, as investors tallied up the benefits of President Barack Obama's healthcare reform.