In a competitive field, UnitedHealthcare Pacificare (AARP) retains its lead following the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period that closed December 7, 2018 for the 2019 plan year.
CMS released January 2019 enrollments - MA enrollment in...Arizona News
In a press release issued Jan. 18, the Arizona Department of Corrections (DOC) announced that Centurion of Arizona was awarded the contract to deliver healthcare to inmates at 10 state-run prisons. Corizon previously held the contract and received a per diem increase in May of 2018, increasing the contract by $32.6 million following the...Arizona News
On Jan. 17, Pima County and the City of Tucson filed lawsuits in Pima County Superior Court for the drugmakers' role in the opioid crisis. The municipal and county duo are the latest to sue the firms, including the Arizona-based Insys Therapeutics; more than 1,500 local and state governments have filed complaints against drug...Arizona News
Phoenix Police arrested licensed practical nurse Nathan Sutherland, 36, on charges of rape Wednesday morning after his DNA matched the baby recently born to an incapacitated patient while in the care of Hacienda Healthcare. Other fall out from the attack included the resignations of Hacienda's CEO and the patient's physician - a second...National News
The agency's Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) announced updates to the Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) Model along with a brand new Part D Payment Modernization Model.
The VIBD model was launched in 2017, the update announced last Friday is designed to further reduce Medicare costs, enhance the quality of care...Arizona News
On Jan. 18, Republican Gov. Doug Ducey released a frugal state budget that focuses more on saving to maintain a surplus rather than deficit come the next recession - a rainy day fund of sorts. In his proposal Ducey argues for the state to begin picking up some of the slack when it comes to healthcare for children of lower-income working...Arizona News
On Friday, January 18, The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) received 1115 Waiver Amendment approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to begin implementing work requirements next year - the move is predicted to impact about 120,000 able bodied AHCCCS members ages 19 to 49; beginning April 2019...National News
Cigna announced it is undertaking a major business expansion in the Medicare Advantage space at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference. Big name companies in the health insurance market are also looking to expand into other regions to offer more of their Medicare Advantage benefits.
Cigna CEO David Cordani commented on the expansion...Arizona News
Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is joining Republican colleagues in a co-sponsored bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) health insurance tax, an annual fee imposed on providers. Amidst the nationwide, partisan ACA debates, a joint effort to dismantle a piece of the Obama-era legislation is an anomaly of...Arizona News
A federal judge in Philadelphia conceded to requests from a dozen states to temporarily block the Trump administration's motion that would make it more difficult for women to receive coverage for contraceptives by allowing employers to deny based on moral or religious grounds. On Monday U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone put a...National News
The healthcare giant which operates UnitedHealthcare and Optum thinks 2019 will be even better, projecting annual revenues of more than $240 billion.
UnitedHealthGroup's Q4 earning report was released Jan. 15 and showed a 12 percent year-over-year growth in revenue, not a surprise it grew by 2.4 million lives and continues its reign...Arizona News
Last month, U.S. District Judge Roslyn Silver appointed an expert to examine the state's compliance with the changes ordered in the settlement; Department of Corrections (DOC) Director Charles Ryan is appealing the designation of Dr. Marc Stern to the case.
Dr. Stern was appointed by presiding Judge Silver in light of complaints...National News
Sources tell The Wall Street Journal that the administration is quietly designing new guidelines to overhaul Medicaid using the state waiver process.
The plan is to expand the waiver process available to state Medicaid programs to include block grant funding, a long favored approach by Republicans to curb federal spending, which funds...Data Resources
Research from the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that in the past 20 years medical marketing has soared with spending increasing from $17.7 to $29.9 billion. Direct to consumer ads (DTC) for Rx and healthcare services led the surge in growth while Rx marketing to healthcare professionals made up the majority of...Arizona News
Critics say the quick turnaround for applications after the program's recent overhaul to greater risk is cause for concern and are advocating CMS extend its application window and push back the deadline.
The National Association of ACOs (NAACOS) and America's Physician Groups (APG) both complain ACOs are still responding to the...National News
Health insurers are tasked with the job of sending the government detailed cost forecasts for the following year to provide prescription drug benefits to millions of Medicare beneficiaries across the country. A Wall Street Journal investigation uncovered that the same insurers reeled in $9.1 billion thanks to discrepancies between...National News
All residents would receive direct access to NYC Care services and the program is priced on a sliding scale. Offerings are slated to launch this summer in the Bronx and be fully rolled out to all the city's five boroughs by 2021.
Two programs available: NYC Care, for those city residents ineligible for health insurance, and the city's...National News
More Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) participating in the Pathways to Success - the newly branded MSSP program - will have the option to waive the rule requiring three-day inpatient stays before transferring patients to a skilled nursing facility (SNF).
This week's guidance from CMS applies to waivers that take effect July 1,...Arizona News
Northwest Healthcare is building a new hospital on Tucson's southeast side; plans include a 183,000 square foot facility with 70 beds.
Company officials predict the project could have an economic impact of more than $500 million over the next five years.
The hospital's grand opening is slated to be sometime in 2021. The...Arizona News
On Tuesday, Jan. 8, police served Hacienda Healthcare in Phoenix with a search warrant to get DNA from all male employees after a woman who was in a vegetative state for 14 years gave birth on Dec. 29, 2018. The CEO of Hacienda Healthcare stepped down.
CEO Bill Timmons resigned as a police investigation began into the rape and...Arizona News
Legislation requiring Arizona women seeking abortions to be asked to provide a specific reason why she wants the procedure took effect Jan. 1, 2019. Gov. Doug Ducey signed the controversial Senate Bill 1394 in April last year.
While women are not required to provide an answer, pro-choice groups are worried this law will discourage...White Papers, E books, Reports and more
Medicaid, the provider of health insurance coverage for about one in five Americans and the largest payer for long-term care services in the community and nursing homes, continues to be a key part of health policy debates.
Issues to watch in the Medicaid space according to this Kaiser Family Foundation issue brief published this...National News
Director of the agency Mary Mayhew resigned last week after three months on the job; Chris Traylor is now acting director of the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS), he was hired by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) last year as deputy administrator for strategic initiatives.
Inside Health Policy notes...Arizona News
Prior to the new year, the co-editors-in-chief of the American Journal of Managed Care (AJMC) hosted a podcast recapping 2018 and forecasting 2019 healthcare headliners. Mark Fendrick, MD and Michael Chernew, PhD, talked everything from their favorite papers published in the past year to the future of payment models in Medicare and the...Arizona News
In a project to offer physicians automatic diagnoses alerts upon completion of medical imaging, Intel and GE Health are in collaboration in an attempt to save time between imaging, diagnosis and the start of treatment.
Senior VP of Edison Portfolio Strategy Keith Bigelow at GE Healthcare explained that medical imaging is the largest...