Daily Health Care News

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Managed Care

Aetna CEO Says 2015 Obamacare Rates to Rise Less Than 20 Pct
Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 8:29 pm ET; Source: Reuters
Health insurer Aetna Inc is submitting premium rates to regulators for Obamacare insurance plans for 2015 that generally increase less than 20 percent from 2014, its Chief Executive Officer Mark Bertolini said on Wednesday.

Centene Dodges Bullets In Changing Medicaid Landscape
Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 4:57 pm ET: Source: Investor’s Business Daily
As managed-care organization Centene readied its first-quarter report in April, investors were getting very nervous.

Health Insurers Push for Change to ObamaCare
Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 10:54 am ET; Source: The Hill
Health insurance companies are urging lawmakers to widen the availability of cheap, bare-bones coverage under ObamaCare that they say could entice more consumers to enter the marketplaces.

Health Law Helped Minnesota Uninsured Rate Drop 41 Percent
Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 11:09 pm ET; Source: West Central Tribune
The number of uninsured Minnesotans has fallen by nearly 41 percent since September, largely due to the federal Affordable Care Act, University of Minnesota researchers said Wednesday.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network Intend to Double Health Plan Product Offerings for the 2015 Individual Market
Tuesday, June 10, 2014; Source: PR Newswire
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan intends to more than double its product offerings in the 2015 individual market this November.

What’s Health Insurance Really Going to Cost?
Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 1:10 pm ET; Source: Columbia Journalism Review
Let the game begin!

Consumer-Driven Healthcare

What To Do If Your Healthcare Records Are Compromised
Wednesday, June 11, 2014; Source: Yahoo Finance
A small hospital in Pennsylvania notified 1,800 patients last week that their names, medical records numbers, lab tests, and results and visit dates were compromised because of an employee’s mistake.


Some Small-Business Employees to Have Only One Health-Plan Choice
Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 5:18 pm ET; Source: The Wall Street Journal
Small employers in 18 states will offer only one health plan to workers when the Affordable Care Act's small-business exchanges open this fall, federal officials said Tuesday.

Policy and Regulatory

Senate Health Plan for Veterans Costs May Top $35 Billion
Thursday, June 12, 2014, 12:00 am ET; Source: Bloomberg
A measure passed by the Senate with broad bipartisan support to improve access to health care for U.S. military veterans may cost the federal government $35.5 billion over the first three years.

Health Care Remains Drag for Democrats as 53% Oppose Law
Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 8:00 pm ET; Source: Bloomberg
President Barack Obama is urging Democratic candidates to defend the health-care law in this year’s elections and turn it into a winning issue.

Morning Plum: Republicans Still not Winning Argument Over Obamacare
Thursday, June 12, 9:21 am ET; Source: The Washington Post
When faced with the niggling problem that polls show a majority of Americans oppose repealing Obamacare, some of the law’s foes like to claim those polls are problematic because they offer a choice between “fixing” and “repealing” the law.

Medicare and Medicaid

Federal Bungling Of ObamaCare Verification Creating Nationwide Chaos In Medicaid Departments
Thursday, June 12, 2014, 7:48 am ET; Source: Forbes
Increased Medicaid enrollment has long been heralded as a rare “success” of the ObamaCare rollout.

Virginia Governor May Try to Expand Medicaid on His Own
Tuesday, June 10, 2014; Source: The New York Times
Gov. Terry McAuliffe has lost his battle with the legislature over Medicaid expansion, an enormous retreat from the high expectations he set for a liberal agenda.

Medicare Costs Well Under Control So Far in 2014
Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 12:23 pm ET; Source: Mother Jones
Health care costs have increased sharply over the past few quarters, causing a lot of hand-wringing despite the fact that it's probably due to an entirely predictable cause: higher utilization of the health care system thanks to Obamacare.

Mercy Health Blames Lack Of Medicaid Expansion In Plan To Lay Off Hundreds
Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 8:32 pm ET; Source: The Huffington Post
Mercy Health, the sixth-largest Catholic health care system in the U.S., last week announced plans to lay off approximately 200 to 300 employees across its network of hospitals and clinics in Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.

Pharmaceutical and Bio Tech

Valeant Pharma's Arguments About Drug Research Are Misleading And Wrong
Thursday, June 12, 2014, 11:52 am ET; Source: Forbes
How can we trust Valeant’s calculations about whether it would create value by buying Allergan for $53 billion when Valeant’s presentation of basic facts about the drug industry is self-serving and misleading?