ca

Logo

June 14, 2024

New Study Suggest FTC Scrutiny Of Hospital Mergers Is Meager A new study says the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) scrutiny of mergers is low and mergers lead to increased prices. Part of the issue is low funding for the FTC. (Article may require a subscription.) #ftc #manda #mergers #acquisitions #hospitals https://www.modernhealthcare.com/mergers-acquisitions/antitrust-enforcement-falls-short-hospital-mergers-study More On 2024 MA Star Recalculations Additional articles on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) decision to recalculate Star scores for 2024 and reopen bids for those who received higher scores. Reports suggest 76 contracts with 44 health insurers would gain at least 0.5 Stars. This could mean an additional $1 billion in revenue to plans, which goes out to members in added benefits. Some big plans receive additional dollars. Additional article: https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/payers/report-medicare-advantage-quality-ratings-get-new-calculations #medicareadvantage #stars #cms https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/cms-recalculates-medicare-advantage-star-ratings/718967 Are Lawmakers Serious On Stabilizing Medicare? Members on each side of the aisle on the House Budget Committee said they

Read More »
Logo

June 13, 2024

CMS To Recalculate 2024 Medicare Advantage Star Ratings After losing two lawsuits on their methodology, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced it has recalculated 2024 Star measures for Medicare Advantage (MA) plans.  It will give plans that saw increases a short window to revise 2025 plan bids and benefits that have already been submitted. Additional article here: https://insidehealthpolicy.com/daily-news/scan-cms-recalculate-ma-star-ratings-rebidding-process-come (Some articles may require a subscription.) #medicareadvantage #stars #cms https://www.beckerspayer.com/payer/cms-to-recalculate-medicare-advantage-star-ratings-report.html Major MedPAC Recommendations In Annual Report MedPAC, the congressional policy arm for Medicare, issued its annual report today. It analyzes and makes recommendations for reforming Medicare physician pay, prior authorization in Medicare Advantage (MA), and MA encounter data. I will do an in-depth blog in the near future on the MA recommendations. (Article may require a subscription.) #medpac #medicare #providers #medicareadvantage #healthplans https://insidehealthpolicy.com/daily-news/medpac-june-report-examines-physician-fee-pay-prior-auth-irf Progressive Warns Of Medicare Drug Negotiation Repeal The Center for American Progress (CAP), a progressive policy group

Read More »

Digging Into My Modest Election-Year Proposal For Healthcare Reform: Part 2 — Pivoting To Care Management From Our Obsession With Utilization Management

This blog is one in a three-part series that digs into my modest proposal for healthcare reform published at this site on May 27, 2024. See that blog here to review my proposal thoroughly: https://www.healthcarelabyrinth.com/a-modest-election-year-proposal-for-healthcare-reform/ . Much of my proposal is taken from my book, The Healthcare Labyrinth, available at this site and through leading bookseller websites. It is available in print, ebook, and audiobook forms. — Pivoting to care management from our obsession with utilization management In my “A Modest Election-Year Proposal For Healthcare Reform” blog on May 27, 2024, I stressed that the cornerstones of reform are three key tenets – driving affordable universal access, reforming price, and pivoting to care management (CM) from our obsession with utilization management (UM). This week I cover the need to rethink how we approach management of patients or members. In the May 27, 2024, blog, I argue that America is obsessed

Read More »
Logo

June 12, 2024

National Healthcare Spending Projections The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of the Actuary released its annual re-estimates of spending over a 10-year horizon.  While 2023 healthcare expenditures will be finalized in December, current estimates are that national healthcare spending grew by 7.5% in 2023 to about $4.8 trillion, or 17.6% of gross domestic product (GDP). Part of the costs were record coverage. Medicare spending is projected to have grown 8.4% in 2023, with costs over $1 trillion. Private health insurance spending is expected to have increased 11.1%.  Medicaid spending is expected to have grown by 5.7%.  This is lower due to dropping enrollment. National health expenditures will rise to $7.7 trillion and capture nearly one-fifth of the U.S. economy by 2032. I will have a blog next week digging into all the stats. Additional articles: https://www.modernhealthcare.com/policy/national-health-spending-projected-reach-77t-2032-cms and https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/national-healthcare-spending-growth-cms-report/718718/ and https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cms-releases-2023-2032-national-health-expenditure-projections (Some articles may require a subscription.)  #healthcare

Read More »
Logo

June 11, 2024

More Information On Elevance Health Star Lawsuit Win Yesterday we told you about Elevance Health’s win in court on the 2024 Star calculations.  Other healthcare publications have written stories today.  The pressure is on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to respond.  I have also linked the lawsuit below. Additional articles: https://www.modernhealthcare.com/insurance/elevance-medicare-advantage-star-ratings-lawsuit-cms and https://www.beckerspayer.com/payer/elevance-health-gets-partial-victory-in-star-ratings-lawsuit.html#:~:text=The%20judge%20ruled%20partially%20in,only%20for%20BCBS%20of%20Georgia.  and https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/elevance-wins-medicare-advantage-star-ratings-lawsuit-hhs/718550 Opinion: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/24740919-elevance_becerra_6724_order (Some articles may require a subscription.) #medicareadvantage #stars #cms https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/payers/elevance-health-earns-partial-win-legal-fight-over-ma-star-ratings Hospitals Raise Issues With Medicare Rate Hike And Requirements Hospitals pushed back on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) proposed regulatory changes and rate hikes. Hospitals raised concerns about new quality reporting requirements and changes to medical residency training programs.  It claimed the 2.6% rate hike was inadequate. At the same time, hospitals are opposing site-neutral payments, which would save the system and patients huge sums. #hospitals #medicare https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/providers/hospital-groups-push-back-cms-woefully-inadequate-inpatient-pay-bump-fy2025 Humana Finds VBC Payments Impact Kidney Care Humana has

Read More »
Logo

June 10, 2024

Elevance Wins Star Lawsuit A second lawsuit has been decided in favor of a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan and against the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the calculation of Star scores. In this case, Elevance Health won its suit and a judge declared that Georgia contract scores must be revised. It will be increasingly difficult for CMS to ignore these rulings. I will write on this on LinkedIn tomorrow. (Article may require a subscription.) #medicareadvantage #cms #stars #elevancehealth https://www.modernhealthcare.com/insurance/elevance-medicare-advantage-star-ratings-lawsuit-cms White House Announces Cybersecurity Support For Hospitals The White House announced that Microsoft and Google will provide free or discounted support to help hospitals strengthen their cybersecurity. (Article may require a subscription.) #hospitals #cybersecurity https://www.modernhealthcare.com/politics-policy/google-microsoft-cybersecurity-rural-hospitals-safety-net Supreme Court To Hear Hospital Funding Case The Supreme Court said it will review a lower court decision that limits Medicare payments for hospitals under the federal disproportionate share hospital program. It is a rather

Read More »

Digging Into My Modest Election-Year Proposal For Healthcare Reform: Part 1 — The Importance Of Price Reform

This blog is one in a three-part series that digs into my modest proposal for healthcare reform published at this site on May 27, 2024. See that blog here to review my proposal thoroughly: https://www.healthcarelabyrinth.com/a-modest-election-year-proposal-for-healthcare-reform/ . Much of my proposal is taken from my book, The Healthcare Labyrinth, available at this site and through leading bookseller websites. It is available in print, ebook, and audiobook forms. — The importance of price reform In my “A Modest Election-Year Proposal For Healthcare Reform” blog on May 27, 2024, I stressed that the cornerstones of reform are three key tenets – driving affordable universal access, reforming price, and pivoting to care management from our obsession with utilization management. I am going to start with price reform in this blog and in later blogs cover the other two tenets. In the May 27, 2024 blog, I argue that we need to fundamentally tackle price

Read More »
Logo

June 7, 2024

Oscar Continues Good Performance, Lays Out Strategy Oscar Health reports its first quarterly net profit and hit 1.5 million enrollees in the Exchanges. It plans on investing in individual coverage health reimbursement arrangements (ICHRA) in tandem with its Exchanges offerings as well as re-entering Medicare Advantage. Additional article: https://www.beckerspayer.com/payer/oscar-health-plans-to-double-its-membership-5-things-to-know.html #oscar #exchanges #aca #obamacare #ichra #medicareadvantage https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/payers/oscar-health-growth-ambitions-doubling-its-footprint-planned-ichra-products-launch-and-more The Troubles Of Retail Meets Healthcare Good article on the general struggles with low-reimbursed primary care and additional challenges retailers have had. #retailmeetshealthcare #primarycare #healthcare https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/retail/industry-voices-walmarts-exit-health-centers-reflects-broader-challenges-primary-care Kroger Health Offering GLP-1s Kroger Health joins a growing number of providers driving expensive GLP-1 weight-loss drugs.  This is bound to continue to drive the shortages those with disease states face. (Article may require a subscription.) #kroger #weightlossdrugs #drugpricing https://www.modernhealthcare.com/patient-care/kroger-health-little-clinics-glp-1s-wegovy-zepbound Walgreens Will Not IPO Boots Struggling Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. is killing an initial public offering for its UK Boots drug chain. It may still be looking for

Read More »
Logo

June 6, 2024

Medicaid Redeterminations Challenge Plan Finances More coverage of the challenges facing Medicaid managed care with dropping enrollments and rising risk.  I pointed out this possibility in a recent blog here: https://www.healthcarelabyrinth.com/health-plan-economics-part-3-how-falling-medicaid-enrollment-is-impacting-health-plans-and-providers-alike/ (Article may require a subscription.) #medicaid #redeterminations #healthplans managedcare https://www.modernhealthcare.com/insurance/how-medicaid-redeterminations-process-affecting-insurers CVS, Humana Will Lead Cuts To Medicare Advantage A very good article reporting on the current issues facing Medicare Advantage (MA) plans in 2025.  Many plans, especially Humana and CVS Aetna, are expected to pare added benefits back dramatically and could even contract geographies. Hundreds of thousands are expected to have to change plans.  How this all plays out is anyone’s guess, but United could pick up many lives. One interesting note is that margins are eroding but appear to be better with Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans (D-SNPs). In 2021, D-SNPs had margins of 6.4% vs. 2.2% for MA overall. See these blogs I did on the MA

Read More »

CMS’ TukeyGate: Lawsuit Decision Threatens To Unravel Much of Medicare Advantage Star Scoring in 2024 and 2025 and Next Year’s Bids And Benefits

A bombshell legal decision this week from a federal district judge threatens to unravel much of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Star process. CMS may have to revisit 2024 Star ratings across the Medicare Advantage (MA) industry, pay out several hundred million more in bonuses, and revisit the bids and benefit designs already in flight for next calendar year. The entire issue is a bit arcane, so let’s break it down here and then get to the implications. The lawsuit and decision Scan Group, a prominent and highly successful non-profit MA plan based in California and serving a number of western states, has successfully won a challenge in a federal district court on its Star ratings for 2024. The case centers on the introduction of the Tukey outlier formula that CMS implemented beginning with the 2024 ratings. The court decision said CMS violated the Administrative Procedures Act

Read More »

Available Now

$30.00