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Magazine
Facing premium ratio rule, insurers invest in technology
By Beth Kutscher | August 30, 2014 | Print Magazine Print Magazine Subscription Details
Health insurers, now required to spend the majority of their premium revenue on patient care, are looking for higher profit returns in businesses other than health insurance. As a result, many are investing in technology ventures.
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Magazine
Obamacare's political turning point
By Harris Meyer, Managing editor | August 30, 2014 | Print Magazine Print Magazine Subscription Details
We've come to a fascinating point in the Obamacare political battle where Republican candidates aren't sure they still want to attack Democrats over the law, and Democrats still aren't sure they want to claim credit for it.
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Magazine
States disagree over whether CMS policy requires autism care
By Virgil Dickson | August 30, 2014 | Print Magazine Print Magazine Subscription Details
States, insurers and patient advocates are debating the meaning and scope of a new CMS bulletin on coverage for comprehensive autism treatment under Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.
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Information
Feds investigate Idaho Medicaid contractor for privacy violations
By Idaho Statesman (Boise) | August 29, 2014
A federal agency is investigating whether Optum Idaho, a unit of United Behavioral Health, has violated patient-privacy laws. Optum took over insurance management for Idaho Medicaid's mental-health and substance-abuse patients last fall. Local healthcare providers who treat those patients say Optum...
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Information
Pennsylvania becomes 27th state to expand Medicaid
By Associated Press | August 28, 2014
A half-million more low-income Pennsylvanians are in line to get federally funded health insurance after HHS approved the state's plan to accept Medicaid expansion money under the landmark 2010 federal healthcare law, officials said Thursday.
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News
IBM to sell Watson's brainpower to speed clinical and academic research
By Darius Tahir | August 28, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
IBM on Thursday rolled out yet another healthcare use of its Watson computing technology, namely to help academic and clinical researchers sort through mountains of research data.
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News
Wash. exchange plans double; average rates rise 1.9%
By Rachel Landen | August 28, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
Consumers in Washington state will have more choices in health plans next year and at rates lower than initially proposed, according to information made public by the state's Office of the Insurance Commissioner.
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Vital Signs
Expanding economy got little help from healthcare in last quarter
By Melanie Evans | August 28, 2014
The national economy grew more robustly than was believed a month ago, but the expansion owed little to health spending—at least according to the latest estimates of the evolving picture of U.S. economic growth and demand for healthcare as millions gained insurance.
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News
Reform Update: Facing ACA mandates, insurers diversify into technology
By Beth Kutscher | August 28, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
Health insurance companies, now required to spend the lion's share of premium revenue on patient care, are looking for higher investment returns elsewhere. As a result, they're increasingly putting money into technology ventures where they expect to realize higher returns.
FULL STORY »
 

News
Short-term Medicare and Medicaid spending to dip, CBO projects
By Paul Demko | August 28, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
Spending on Medicare and Medicaid is expected to be roughly $100 billion less than previously anticipated over the next decade in large part because of reductions in the cost of labor and medical services, according to the latest analysis from the Congressional Budget Office.
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