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Industry News

Oct 28, 2015

News outlets report on health issues in California, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Connecticut, New York, Florida, Oregon, Texas, Minnesota, and Illinois.

The San Jose Mercury News: Anthem Blue Cross Refunding $8.3 Million To 50,000 Californians
Anthem Blue Cross of California will refund $8.3 million to 50,000 Californians because of mid-year changes it made to individual customers' annual policies in 2011, according to a class-action lawsuit settlement announced...

Oct 28, 2015

The insurer attributes this increase in revenue and profits to the company's enrollment in government plans, especially Medicaid.

The Wall Street Journal: Anthem Posts Better-Than-Expected Profit, Revenue
Health insurer Anthem Inc. on Wednesday reported a better-than-expected increase in revenue and earnings in its third quarter, driven in part by strong performance in its government-business segments. On the heels of its latest results, Anthem updated its forecast for...

Oct 28, 2015

The Leapfrog Group has released the second round of its bi-annual hospital safety scores, which show “sluggish” improvement in patient safety among the nation's hospitals.

Despite some improvement, Leapfrog says hospitals are performing worse in critical areas like the rate of foreign objects left in a patient after surgery and other critical measures that cause hospital acquired conditions. But 133 hospitals, about 5% of all graded facilities, have earned an A, the highest grade, in...

Oct 28, 2015

Anthem reported a 4% increase in third-quarter profit and beat Wall Street forecasts as the number of people the health insurer covers edged slightly higher.

It also boosted its annual profit forecast for the third time this year, saying it now expects adjusted net income of $10.10 to $10.20 per share. That's up from its July forecast, when it projected adjusted earnings of more than $10 per share, but still below the solid $10.20 per share that Wall Street is looking for, according...

Oct 28, 2015

Open enrollment for the health law’s 2016 marketplace plans begins Sunday, and federal officials caution consumers to check out premium prices because in many places they may be higher. But officials are planning to offer new features to make the process faster and smoother for consumers.

They can already do some window-shopping for plans on the federal marketplace, healthcare.gov.  A new feature that may help some customers is an online, out-of-pocket expense calculator on the...

Oct 27, 2015

Hospitalist staffing firm and post-acute-care provider IPC Healthcare announced a spike in net income for the quarter ended Sept. 30, as the company prepares to become part of TeamHealth this year.

North Hollywood, Calif.-based IPC said its net income spiked 8% over the same period last year. Patient encounters, however, rose 14% over the same time period in 2014. The company reported that the end of Medicaid parity payments at the end of 2014 and the exit of some contracted...

Oct 27, 2015

Negotiations over Medicaid expansion in states heavily populated by Native Americans has prompted the CMS to propose fully funding medical services that are often not available at tribal healthcare facilities.

The agency is looking to provide a 100% federal match rate for primary and specialty healthcare services that are purchased from private healthcare providers because they are not available at Indian Health Service or tribal healthcare facilities.

This can include hospital...

Oct 27, 2015
Another gravestone has been added to the Affordable Care Act's co-op cemetery. Arches Health Plan in Utah will shut down by the end of 2015, the state said late Tuesday.

Arches is the 10th not-for-profit co-op insurance plan to shut down this year, and like others that have gone dark in the recent spate of closures, Arches blamed low payments from the ACA's risk-corridors program. The health plan updated its website Tuesday to notify members they will have to select a new carrier on the...

Oct 27, 2015

Universal Health Services, the King of Prussia, Pa.-based chain with both acute-care and behavioral health hospitals, benefited from increased patient volume in the third quarter, which boosted profits.

The company reported an 81.5% increase in net income Tuesday afternoon, providing the first bright spot in an otherwise lackluster third-quarter earnings season for hospital operators. Both HCA and Community Health Systems missed their marks.

After adjusting for outpatient...

Oct 27, 2015

The differing plans Republican presidential candidates have recently outlined for revamping Medicaid and Medicare are likely to be discussed during Wednesday night's debate at the University of Colorado.

CNBC, which is hosting the debate that begins at 8 p.m. Eastern, has said the forum will focus on economic issues like retirement spending and taxes. But jabs traded among top candidates this week on Medicare policy may force that issue onto the stage as well.

Retired...

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