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AHIP's Marilyn Tavenner jumps in on drug pricing, Hillary Clinton proposal

Earlier this week, Turing Pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli drew sharp criticism after his privately held company boosted the price of AIDS treatment drug Daraprim from a reported $13.50 a tablet to $750. Read more »

California Department of Insurance rolls out new price transparency website

A new consumer website unveiled by the California Department of Insurance hopes to help Californians better shop for healthcare based on both quality and price. Read more »

Medicare Part D 'donut hole' gap closing amid federal incentives

According to new data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Monday, the U.S. government has paid nearly $2.3 billion through July in incentives to close the coverage gap in 2015. Read more »

Medicare Advantage premiums to drop by 31 cents by 2016

Medicare Advantage premiums will fall by 31 cents in 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said on Monday amid surging enrollment to the privately managed program. Read more »

Highest, and lowest ranked health plans by NCQA

The National Committee for Quality Assurance recently ranked more than 1,500 health plans by satisfaction and service. The ranking includes private as well as government-sponsored Medicare and Medicaid plans. Read more »

Private insurance rate increased 1.8 percent as Census shows more people getting coverage

More Americans are getting health insurance either through private or government plans than they were in 2013, according to U.S. Census figures for 2014 released Wednesday that points to the Affordable Care Act as a major driver for the change. Read more »

Payers benefit from new Walgreens and Alegeus partnership

Consumers will earn Walgreens Balance Rewards points for enrolling in and funding accounts, activating benefit debit cards, making purchases using their cards, or by participating in healthy activities such as walking, biking and weight management. Read more »

Employers focus on wellness to reduce health plan costs

Employers again are sharply focused on employee wellness, and some are raising the bar to qualify for program incentives. Read more »

9.9 million sign up for Obamacare, according to CMS

Enrollment figures released this week by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services show close to 10 million people have signed up for insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, as of June 30. CMS said 9.9 million individuals had paid their premiums and had an active policy by the end of June. Read more »

Evolent, Health Fidelity partnership targets risk-adjustment

As a Standard & Poor's report finds many insurers are missing the mark on their risk-adjustment predictions, a new partnership between population health management consultant Evolent Health and Health Fidelity, which develops technology to steer providers towards value-based care, aims to fill the gap. Read more »

Mixed feelings as lawmakers debate healthcare competition post-Obamacare

Legislators on Thursday were split on the Affordable Care Act's effect on provider and payer competition in the healthcare marketplace in the the first of several hearings to be held by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law. Read more »

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield hacked

Hackers had unfettered access to Excellus BlueCross BlueShield's information systems for more than a year and a half before the health plan even noticed the cyberattack had occurred. Read more »

CMS launches value-based Medicare Advantage program

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has rolled out a new Medicare Advantage Value-Based Insurance Design Model that will be tested in seven states starting in 2017 as a way to trim costs in the treatment of certain chronic conditions. Read more »

California delays moving kids to managed care

California legislators passed a bill postponing a controversial plan that would have shifted tens of thousands of medically fragile children into Medi-Cal managed care plans. Read more »

Molina Healthcare launches $200M takeover

Managed care company Molina Healthcare said it will pay $200 million for the remaining stakes in two subsidiaries of The Providence Service Corp. Read more »

Consultant: ACO models here to stay

Although many organizations participating in the Medicare Shared Savings and the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization programs failed to generate savings in 2014, Navigant Healthcare consultant Paul Keckley thinks the programs are here to stay despite several flaws. Read more »

HHS proposes transgender protections

The long-awaited rules from the Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Health and Human Services further define protections included in the Affordable Care Act, particularly broadening those for transgender Americans. Read more »

5 natural disasters that stung healthcare

Even when a natural disaster doesn't force a hospital to shut its doors, unexpected catastrophes can disrupt operations and finances. Read more »

HHS awards $67M to HealthCare.gov counselors

The Marketplace Navigator grants only apply to groups in the 34 states that run federal exchanges. Read more »

Managed care dealmakers stay active in 2Q

While hospital merger and acquisition deals in the second quarter of 2015 slid when it came to volume, the total dollar amount of the deals jumped on a few major takeovers, according to new research by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Read more »

Medicaid expansion gives Colorado a boost

Colorado's uninsured rate has plummeted from a recent high of 15.8 percent four years ago to 6.7 percent this year, but the success of the Affordable Care Act in Colorado is almost entirely the result of Medicaid expansion, according to a much anticipated survey from the Colorado Health Institute. Read more »

Shared savings ACOs earn $341M in 2014

While many accountable care organizations in Medicare's Shared Savings Program generated enough savings in 2014 to merit financial incentives, more than two-thirds fell below the payment threshold, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said on Tuesday. Read more »

ACO operator says partners saved millions

Nine ACOs that partner with CHS generated $27 million in the Medicare Shared Savings Program. Read more »

Some reap big savings in Pioneer ACO program

Two Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations, Montefiore Health and the Banner Health Network, on Tuesday touted their success in generating savings for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ACO model. Though other organizations in the group found little reason to celebrate. Read more »

Amputees protest Medicare cuts to prosthetics

Amputees against proposed changes to Medicare coverage that would result in less expensive, but inferior, prosthetics being given to patients gathered in Baltimore Wednesday to ask officials to strike down the proposal. Read more »

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