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Care Delivery


Group market insurance plans had premiums increase by an average of 3 percent this year, the sixth consecutive year of a single-digit hike and well below the 20 percent jump in non-group market premiums, while employers continue to search for ways to cut costs through different sites of care and wellness programs.

Just a month earlier, Anthem had announced it wouldn’t offer ACA exchange coverage in the state, blaming “continued uncertainty” surrounding the law.

Sixty-three cities and counties and more than 70,000 enrollees in Virginia are now at risk of having no insurer participating in their Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange for 2018, a problem which had appeared to be solved in other parts of the country just two weeks prior.

Ground has been broken on a $270 million medical campus in Frisco, Texas, that will be jointly operated by Texas Health Resources and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

In the first three months of this year, 8.8 percent of the U.S. population lacked health insurance, a slight decrease from the final 2016 numbers as the big gains in coverage from the Affordable Care Act appear to have ended.


Recent Headlines

Expand audience for healthcare price data urges policy center

A new analysis by the Gary and Mary West Health Policy Center finds that moving beyond just encouraging patients to shop for healthcare services and also involving ordering physicians, employers and policymakers in healthcare spending decisions could save $100 billion over 10 years.

Healthcare execs name UnitedHealthcare as the insurer they trust the least

Perennial insurance industry bad boy UnitedHealthcare continued to score at the bottom in the annual ReviveHealth National Payor Survey, which measures the opinions and attitudes of hospital and health system leaders who negotiate and/or approve managed care contracts with national health insurance companies.

Physician recruitment competition increases starting salaries and benefits

With future success on the line, healthcare systems and physician practices are racing to hire more new physicians than the competition, and the recruitment wars are pushing up starting salaries and benefits for doctors finds the latest Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Physician Placement Starting Salary Survey.

Hospitals buying up physician practices increases cost of care, new study finds

Stanford researchers examined hospital claims for privately insured patients between 2001 and 2007 and found that what some health economists had warned does indeed seem to be true — hospital ownership of physician groups does seem to lead to more expensive care.

Estimated ACO numbers up to 520

Consulting firm Oliver Wyman’s ongoing tracking of the growth of accountable care organizations (ACOs) finds an additional 150 such payor-provider arrangements since its last report in July of 2013.

Premier asks CMS for ACO program changes

The structure of the current Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) — the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) accountable care organization (ACO) trial — has posed challenges for participating organizations, notes the Premier healthcare alliance of 2,900 U.S. hospitals and nearly 100,000 other providers in a letter to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.

Study finds disjointed care patterns in current Medicare ACO model

Holding organizations accountable for care utilization and outcomes while simultaneously allowing Medicare beneficiaries free access to any provider they want either inside or outside an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) is a problem, say critics of the government’s current ACO program. A new study published by JAMA Internal Medicine finds these critics may be right.

AHA warns that Pioneer ACO program is in danger unless changes are made

Few additional providers will sign up to participate in Medicare’s current Pioneer ACO Model or the Medicare Shared Savings Program unless changes are made to the design of these programs notes the American Hospital Association (AHA) in a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center.

Insurer and healthcare provider form unique care coordination joint venture

Insurer Independence Blue Cross (Independence) and integrated care management company DaVita HealthCare Partners have jointly formed a new company, Tandigm Health, to deliver high-quality care at a lower cost in the Philadelphia area, a region with some of the highest healthcare costs in the nation.

Defying expectations, greater insurance coverage is linked to increased ED use

The hope that universal health insurance coverage will move healthcare delivery out of costly care settings like emergency departments (EDs) and into lower-cost primary care settings may not come true unless other barriers to primary care access also are addressed finds a new study.