- President Barack Obama last week nominated Andrew Slavitt to a permanent post as CMS administrator. Since taking the post on an interim basis earlier this year, Slavitt has overseen day-to-day decisions regarding implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program, payment and delivery reform and healthcare fraud. Slavitt previously worked as an executive vice president of Optum, a unit of UnitedHealth Group. He helped fix the HealthCare.gov website in the months after it launched. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said Slavitt would have to “answer a number of tough questions regarding his former employer and their relationship with the agency” at confirmation hearings.
- Cerner Corp. announced last week that it won a U.S. Army contract for pathology department lab software. Cerner and three others are vying for a much larger contract for an electronic health-record system across the Military Health System. Cerner's catch is a $16.3 million, five-year contract for its anatomical laboratory software system. But the Defense Health Agency, a separate contracting authority, is still deciding which of three vendors will win the Defense Healthcare Management Systems Modernization program (DHMSM). That 10-year contract calls for the purchase, installation and support of an off-the-shelf EHR that will replace a hodgepodge system now used by the U.S. military at 56 hospitals and more than 300 clinics worldwide.
- Aetna has lined up a $16.2 billion loan for its proposed cash and stock deal to scoop up Humana. But the volatility in the insurance companies' shares suggests that investors wonder whether the deal will survive. Their concerns center on Humana's earnings potential after the government managed-care organization cut its forecast for full-year 2015, as well as the potential for a lengthy antitrust review that could kill the deal, analysts said.
Obama nominates Andrew Slavitt to a permanent post as CMS administrator, and other briefs
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