|Analysis: Obama Reforms Require Sacrifice
Speaking to healthcare stakeholders at last week's healthcare summit, President Barack Obama told health leaders they must make sacrifices for the country to achieve major healthcare reform. Health insurers are working with other stakeholders this time around and could benefit from millions of newly insured Americans. One stumbling block, according to Brandon Edwards, president/COO of Davies Public Affairs, is creating a standard benefit design.
Two unions withdraw from healthcare coalition
Anyone who thought healthcare reform would be easy should think again. Two labor unions have pulled out of the Healthcare Reform Dialogue, which seeks major healthcare reforms. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the Service Employees International Union have left the coalition less than a week after President Barack Obama hosted a White House conference on healthcare. The coalition, which has been meeting since September, plans to issue recommendations about controlling healthcare costs and achieving universal coverage this month. Word from Washington is that the two unions wanted a more expansive plan that included a single-payer system.
Report: WellPoint PBM on the block
Health insurers with in-house pharmacy benefit management services, such as Aetna and UnitedHealthcare, trumpet the comprehensiveness of their services, but one large insurer is reportedly looking to sell its PBM. WellPoint has allegedly put its PBM up for sale with possible bidders including Medco, CVS Caremark, and Express Scripts. The sale price is expected to total between $1 billion to $5 billion.
Maryland bills target insurers
In an attempt to control healthcare costs, Maryland lawmakers have introduced bills that would require greater accountability and regulation of the insurance industry. The bills include shortening the waiting period that health plans can impose on patients with preexisting medical conditions, cracking down on out-of-state companies that sell stripped-down policies, and forcing insurers to spend a larger percentage of its premium dollars on medical care. Also in Maryland, lawmakers and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield are proposing a $1.6 billion reform plan that would require all residents to have health insurance and all employers to provide coverage. Fourteen percent of Marylanders do not have health insurance.
Are You a Top Leadership Team?
HealthLeaders Media is gearing up for its fifth year of the Top Leadership Teams in Healthcare program. Health insurers with varied specialties have won the Health Plan portion of the contest over the past three years, including Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Erickson Advantage, and CareSource Management Group. If you think your organization has an outstanding teamwork story to share, submit your entry today.
|Managed Care Headlines
|California HMOs required to cover some autism therapies
San Francisco Chronicle - March 11, 2009
UAW ratifies contract with Ford
Business Courier of Cincinnati - March 10, 2009
Health sector has donated millions to lawmakers
Washington Post - March 9, 2009
Commentary: Insurers' commitment to healthcare reform is only skin-deep
Los Angeles Times - March 10, 2009
Boost to health coverage planned in Massachusetts
Boston Globe - March 9, 2009
Oklahoma House passes healthcare bill
AP/USA Today - March 4, 2009
Florida governor touts affordable health insurance plan
Miami Herald - March 6, 2009
Healthcare amendment defeated by North Dakota House
AP/USA Today - March 5, 2009
Iowa health expansion clears committee
AP/Chicago Tribune - March 5, 2009
Healthy San Francisco wins another court round
San Francisco Chronicle - March 10, 2009
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