All news headlines

The EEOC suing wellness programs

Encouraging employer programs for health and prevention with one hand, the federal government is trying with the other hand to stake out a limit to what can be required of employees. And it's getting a bit fractious in the wellness space. Read more »

COB TBD: Paying for the right member

Figuring out when members are covered by different types of insurance can be a struggle, or not even possible. It's a source of waste and confusion that some insurers are trying to root out. Read more »

United scoops up another wellness purveyor

UnitedHealth continued its shopping spree on Tuesday with Optum, the group's technology and services subsidiary, agreeing to pay $600 million to acquire Alere Inc.'s condition management and wellness subsidiaries. Read more »

Claims digitization a tough slough

The raison d'etre and central function of health insurers has had a slow time coming into the 21st century. But with both providers and patients demanding a better experience, the impetus for progress could bring a critical mass. Read more »

In Maine, struggling for affordability, access

Many years ago, there was a saying in American politics to describe an important bellwether state: "As Maine goes, so goes the nation." Today the state is still an important indicator, especially in healthcare.  Read more »

For most at-risk, a bet on primary care

Facing the fact that just 5 percent of the patient population was responsible for nearly half of its spending, one health organization has tried some fairly radical changes. Read more »

Insurers under pressure for transgender benefits, await regs

Just as American society's views and acceptance of transgender issues are evolving, insurers are facing choices, challenges and uncertainty in adapting coverage policies for LGBT. Read more »

Hospital-owned physician practices skew to high spending

Hospital systems buying up medical practices cite integration efforts and payment reform as a justification. Now, though, payers might rightly be concerned about where the trend can lead at local levels. Read more »

New insurer tries old distribution option

Amid a mulligan of sorts for a large state insurance exchange, an insurer with a new mission is using the old tactic of tapping brokers in a bid to vie in the big leagues. Read more »

Referral, venture scheme ends in $389M settlement

The federal government is clamping down hard on some profit-focused patient referral and healthcare joint venture practices, although the company in question appears unfazed as it enters new forays, including some with insurers. Read more »

Sustaining the 3Rs' give and take

Will the pay-ins and payouts in the 3Rs be enough to leave insurers, and the programs, whole? Early data is offering a window into the possible dynamics.  Read more »

Payer IT company goes to Wall Street

An established but growing player in the health insurance technology space is looking to get big and serious. Read more »

Cardiac stress imaging fraught with unneeded risks

As cardiovascular disease becomes a greater risk for both older and younger Americans, there may be new grounds for steering members away from traditional diagnostics. Read more »

Variation in essential benefits clouds new plans

"Isn't that covered by ObamaCare?" Public understanding of the Affordable Care Act has not been great, with a fair amount of confusion about key provisions and benefits detected by surveys. Read more »

Some Blues trapped in a business tower

Insurers that trace their ancestry back to the first days of American health insurance are now facing potentially existential challenges. Read more »

Revenue sustainability key to kicking FFS

Trying to wean themselves off fee-for-service reimbursement, some health systems may be taking a non-committal strategy, dipping their toes in the water before deciding if they want to learn to swim. Insurers should be looking for more than that, if they can offer the right expertise. Read more »

Feds look to limit group plans without hospitalization coverage

Insurance consultants were shocked recently to learn that Obama administration rules allow large companies to offer 2015 worker health plans that don't include hospital benefits. Now the administration is concerned too. Read more »

30 years a giant, UHG marches on

Passing a key corporate milestone, UnitedHealth Group is on track to have a banner year, while trying to reshape large swaths of American healthcare. Read more »

Population health investments with real ROI

Where time equals brain in preventing death, disability and millions of dollars in spending, insurers and providers have a huge opportunity to try an approach that can pay for itself. Read more »

Medical home evolves for speciality care

Insurers are trying to use a new model to improve treatment in costly, difficult chronic diseases like Crohn's, and rationalize reimbursement. Read more »

Proving ground for exchanges and consumer experience

As a microcosm of American health insurance markets, with both old and new regulations and business trends, one corner of the country offers a window into the future. Read more »

The company that kept premiums flat since 2007

How did one large employer keep its healthcare costs flat for six years? A wide-ranging wellness program, provider bidding and "enlightened consumerism." Read more »

Regional health system brands its own network

Some health systems are seeing value in becoming part of branded health plan networks for limited provider plans, as other providers try to launch their very own plans. Read more »

Google may be an option for telehealth

Tech giant Google is trying out the telehealth waters with a video-based platform that connects consumers searching online for health data with physicians. Read more »

Renewals, new customers to bring flood of HIX complexity

It's almost game day for the second season of ACA insurance exchanges, and insurers need to get ready to handle all sorts of consumer inquiries and administrative tasks. Read more »


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