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WellCare craves M&A opportunities and has money to spend

By Bob Herman  |  February 10, 2016

WellCare executives are getting “formal M&A training” this month and will eventually scour the marketplace for promising Medicaid and Medicare Advantage plans. The insurer has been storing surplus cash and now has $1.25 billion of “dry powder” to spend on transactions.

Northwell Health-backed insurer sees huge enrollment spike

By Jonathan LaMantia, Crain's New York Business  |  February 10, 2016

The health plan, a subsidiary of Northwell Health, signed up 91,193 members. Last year, it had 26,567 members. Much of that bump was likely the result of the demise of startup insurer Health Republic, which left 200,000 members without coverage when regulators shut it down.

Bevin chooses Kentucky's new Medicaid commissioner

By Michael Sandler  |  February 10, 2016

Stephen Miller, a former vice president of finance for the Kentucky Hospital Association, will oversee the program, which serves 1.3 million low-income people in the Bluegrass State. Gov. Matt Bevin says he wants to revamp the program.

Obama seeks $1 billion to combat opioid abuse

By Shannon Muchmore  |  February 08, 2016

The fiscal 2017 budget includes a request for $1.1 billion to increase access to medication-assisted treatment options. The bulk of the money would fund state programs in an effort to make treatment more available and easier to afford.

CMS may overhaul enrollment process, could include questions about sexual orientation

By Virgil Dickson  |  February 08, 2016

As the CMS seeks to simplify the application process for exchange plans and Medicaid, payers want to make it harder for individuals to sign up after open enrollment ends. Meanwhile, advocates and providers want to reduce barriers and have the CMS learn more about who is signing up, including their...

Rural or urban? Court ruling would let some hospitals save money by being both

By Lisa Schencker  |  February 05, 2016

Some believe a federal appeals court decision over hospital classifications could lead to millions of dollars in savings for hospitals across the country. The court Thursday invalidated a Medicare regulation that says certain hospitals can't be classified as both rural and urban.

Congress says MACPAC advice is vague and useless

By Virgil Dickson  |  February 05, 2016

Congress wonders whether the composition of the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission renders it a biased and therefore unreliable source of recommendations.

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