Anthem's announced $54.2 billion takeover of Cigna Corp. last week is the latest and largest sign of health insurers' lust for scale. But at the heart of the merger momentum is their desire to expand their government business, particularly in the lucrative Medicare Advantage market.
Publicly traded hospital companies this week will face a high bar to beat last year's results when they report second-quarter earnings. It was in the second quarter of 2014 when chains began to see gains from the ACA's insurance expansion, an uplift that continued the rest of the year.
One large health system in North Carolina is ready to launch a Medicare Advantage plan, and two others are mulling the pros and cons of entering the insurance business.
The decision last week to hire Marilyn Tavenner as CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans signals that the powerful lobbying group has accepted the Affordable Care Act as the new business environment and that it wants a CMS insider to help during the next phase of market development.
Twenty physician specialties received a pay hike in 2014, while only three specialties saw their average pay decline from 2013 to 2014, according to Modern Healthcare's 22nd annual Physician Compensation Survey. The largest pay increase last year was in urology.
Many view price and quality transparency as fundamental to moving the U.S. to a true consumer-driven healthcare market. New Hampshire started down that road a decade ago, and the state, recently recognized as the nation's transparency leader, offers lessons to other states that aren't as far along.
Lois Dehls Cornell, chief administrative officer and general counsel at Tufts Health Plan, has begun her term as president of the American Health Lawyers Association.
California should consider merging its two insurance regulatory agencies in the wake of the Affordable Care Act, according to a study that renews a contentious debate. But the lack of political will and the inability to let go of authority might make it a difficult sell.
Federal antitrust reviewers will likely look market to market in deciding whether to approve the proposed Aetna-Humana merger and other looming health insurance industry tie-up deals, experts say.
Legal experts agree that massive insurer consolidations will likely draw intense antitrust scrutiny, but whether those reviews will destroy the deals is an open question.
Berkshire Hathaway's malpractice insurance unit is acquiring Plico, an Oklahoma-based healthcare liability insurer.
The CMS has revealed reimbursement amounts to compensate health plans as part of the ACA's reinsurance program and some plans may be sorely disappointed.