HHS, DOJ Turn Up the HEAT* on Health Care Fraud, Recover $2.6 Billion

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Attorney General Jeff Sessions today released a fiscal year (FY) 2017 Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program report showing that for every dollar the federal government spent on healthcare related fraud and abuse investigations in the last three years, the government recovered $4. Additionally, the report […]

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CMS Cites Cost Effectiveness of 2018 Obamacare Open Enrollment

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released its final report on the 2018 open enrollment period for Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) policies, touting the cost effectiveness of the new approach. In 2017, CMS spent $100 million in advertising and promotion for open enrollment, coming out to $11 per enrollee; in […]

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Iowa to Launch Association Health Plans: Will Others Follow?

A bill has landed on Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’s desk that will enable small businesses to band together to form association health plans that are exempt from the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). She is expected to sign it. The bill merges two legislative efforts to sidetrack the ACA and provide less expensive […]

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Driven by Drug Costs, Health Care Spending Ratchets Up

The price of health care in the United States shot up 2.2 percent in February compared to 1.6 percent overall annual growth in 2016 and 2017, according to statistics gathered and released by health care consultancy Altarum. The lowest annual growth rate — 1.1 percent — came in 2015. At the same same, hospital prices […]

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Apple Developing Private Health Care System for Employees and Families

Following an announcement by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase, Apple is beating that alliance to the punch by opening its own health care delivery system this spring called AC Wellness. The initiative’s nascent website likens the new service to a “concierge” system focused on two primary care units to begin with: AC Wellness […]

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Trump Administration Follows Through on Longer-Term Skimpy Health Plans

In direct response to President Trump’s October 2017 Executive Order, the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor, and the Treasury today issued a proposed rule that is intended to increase competition, choice, and access to lower-cost healthcare options for Americans. The rule proposes to expand the availability of short-term, limited-duration health insurance by […]

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GOP to Seek ‘Incremental’ Health Care Reform

While Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R.-Wisc.) told Fox Business that the new Republican goal was to seek “incremental” health care reform rather than repeal-and-replace, House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R.-Texas) said separately that the employer shared responsibility mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would be high on the chopping block. […]

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HHS Chief Says He Will Uphold the ACA

Health and Human Services (HHS) head Alex Azar, when pressed about the legality of Idaho’s plan to market non-Affordable Care Act (ACA) health policies, affirmed his support for the 2010 legislation that in essence federalizes standards for health insurance. “I’m not aware that our opinions or views have been solicited,” Azar said. “There are rules, […]

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Indiana Joins Kentucky in Requiring Work for Medicaid

On Friday, Feb. 2, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) approved the Healthy Indiana Plan requiring some 130,000 state residents on Medicaid who aren’t already in compliance to work, enroll in school, undergo job training or volunteer for at least 20 hours a week over eight months each year. The plan follows closely on […]

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Amazon Leads Charge to Modernize Health Care Delivery Systems

Amazon, a web retailing pioneer, and investment giants Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase on Tuesday announced an initiative to enter the health care delivery field, promising quality care “at a reasonable price.” Health care stocks, and the stock market in general, followed by tanking in value. The leaders of each company — Amazon’s Jeff […]

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