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Slow Job Growth Hurts Insurers This Year
Elyas Bakhtiari, for HealthLeaders Media

When insurers talk about the future of their business these days, the focus is usually on the sweeping changes included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. And while those changes will undoubtedly determine the future of the industry in the longterm, it may be the struggling economy that has the bigger financial impact in the short-term.[Read More]
  July 14, 2010

 
Editor's Picks
Rhode Island Insurance Commissioner Caps Payment Increases to Hospitals
The Rhode Island Insurance Commissioner approved premium rate increases for the state's three insurers, but tied those increases to improvements in hospital cost control. When insurers negotiate contracts next year they will have to meet six conditions established by the commissioner, including a price cap on increases for inpatient and outpatient services. Portions of the contracts will also now have to be released to state officials for publication. [Read More]
Maine Seeks Exemption to Medical-Loss Ratio Rule
Maine's insurance regulator has asked the Obama administration for an exemption from the part of the new healthcare reform law that requires insurers to spend at least 80% of premium dollars on patient care. The state only has two insurers, and one says it can keep operating under the state's current 65% medical-loss ratio requirement, but would have to leave if it increased. [Read More]
NC Blue Cross Aims for 20% Overhead Cut
The head of Blue Cross and Blue Shield in North Carolina wants to cut about $200 million from the company's $1 billion annual budget by 2014, which may mean eliminating open positions, early retirements, streamlining operations, and other steps, he said this week. The company raised premium rates for individual members an average of 12% this year, and hopes the administrative cuts will allow it to keep premiums from rising while improving financial results. [Read More]
House Members Call on CMS to Change Hospital Payment Reductions
In a letter sent Monday to new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Donald Berwick, 242 House members are calling for the agency to review and change its current proposal to decrease Medicare payments to hospitals by 2.9% in fiscal 2011. The reduction initially was sought to offset earlier overpayments that resulted from changes in the use of new codes. [Read More ]

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Managed Care Headlines
Reactions to Berwick's CMS Appointment
Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, July 8, 2010
CT Settles With Health Net Over Security Breach
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, July 6, 2010
Healthcare Reform Gains Some Public Support
Elyas Bakhtiari, for HealthLeaders Media, July 6, 2010
Meaningful Use Final Rule Released by HHS
Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, July 13, 2010

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Audio Feature
Preventing Missed Revenue Opportunities

Robert Sutton, partner at Chadds Ford, PA-based IMA Consulting, discusses tips for preventing missed revenue opportunities due to third-party payer contractual underpayment. [Sponsored by Emdeon] [Listen Now]
From HealthLeaders Magazine
New Systems of Care

Geisinger Health System, tucked away in Danville, PA, was already well-known for its ability to innovate in the quality and cost of healthcare before President Barack Obama thrust the health system into the spotlight as a model for care systems. [Read More]
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