April 19, 2024

Optum Appears To Be Laying Off Employees Over Cyberattack

Given the fallout from the Change Healthcare cyberattack, Optum appears to be laying off hundreds if not thousands of employees.  United HealthGroup has not commented on the matter at this point. I have heard that some of the laid off employees are even within the Change Healthcare unit, which could be impacting the return to normal business operations for some plans and providers. If this is true, that is outrageous.

#changehealthcare #optum #cyberattacks


Continued Fallout Over Change Healthcare Cyberattack

Good Kaiser Health News article on the continued fallout over the Change Healthcare cyberattack.  United tries to put the best face on the issue, saying that in many cases it is seeing normal operations.  But this article shows that many healthcare entities continue to see huge impacts on cash flow and their ability to bill.  I have personally been in contact with those impacted, who say that certain parts of their organizations continue to be dead in the water.  If costs are big for United, costs for the system as a whole are well worse.

#changehealthcare #cyberattacks #providers #healthplans


HHS OIG To Investigate Vertical Integration’s Impact On Drug Costs

Spurred on by pressure from Congress, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG) will investigate the impact of health plans and pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) being combined in a vertical integration. 

The HHS OIG wants to know what the impact is on drug pricing and whether these entities use their relationships to shield revenue from the minimum medical loss ratio (MLR) and thus artificially boost profits. There has been at least some evidence that has come to light that says there are some unseemly transactions between health plans and PBMs, which ultimately means the money hits the bottom line of the common parent entity. While I defend both health plans and PBMs, I think this investigation is worthwhile.

#healthplans #pbms #drugpricing #fwa #medicare #medicareadvantage #partd


Good KFF Analysis On Provider Consolidation

I highly recommend reading the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) analysis on provider consolidation.  It echoes a number of the concerns I raise.  In general, the analysis finds that consolidation leads to higher prices, higher healthcare spending, lower wages for some, and at best a mixed impact on quality.  It also notes that the number of physicians employed by hospitals or system has increased dramatically.  The percentage the analysis cites is from 2022 and other more recent statistics say the number is even higher.

Press release: https://www.kff.org/health-costs/press-release/ten-things-to-know-about-consolidation-in-health-care-provider-markets/

#kff #manda #mergers #acquisitions #providers #hospitals #costs #healthcare


— Marc S. Ryan

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