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Anthem-Cigna merger poses promise and perils

Anthem-Cigna merger poses promise and perils

By Bob Herman  |  July 25, 2015

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.

Will hospital firms top last year's strong second-quarter earnings?

Will hospital firms top last year's strong second-quarter earnings?

By Beth Kutscher  |  July 25, 2015

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.

AHIP's move signals ACA acceptance

AHIP's move signals ACA acceptance

By Bob Herman  |  July 18, 2015

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.

Doc pay resumes upward march after prior year's slowdown

Doc pay resumes upward march after prior year's slowdown

By Steven Ross Johnson  |  July 18, 2015

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.

New Hampshire website reduces sticker shock for patients

By Beth Kutscher  |  July 18, 2015

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.

Two may be a crowd in California insurance oversight

Two may be a crowd in California insurance oversight

By Barbara Feder Ostrov  |  July 14, 2015

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.

Aetna-Humana merger will face tough antitrust scrutiny

Aetna-Humana merger will face tough antitrust scrutiny

By Lisa Schencker  |  July 11, 2015

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.

Aetna-Humana merger will face tough antitrust review

Aetna-Humana merger will face tough antitrust review

By Lisa Schencker  |  July 09, 2015

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.

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