Jamie J. Gooch is an Ohio-based freelance writer. His areas of expertise include several professional industries as well as marketing and e-media.
US healthcare costs accelerate
Since posting its lowest annual growth rate in more than six years, the average cost of healthcare services accelerated in May and June.
Stealing other countries' prescription drug cost-saving ideas
The U.S. can learn from ways other countries slow prescription drug spending growth, according to a new policy analysis from the National Institute for Health Care Reform (NIHCR)
Aetna Innovation Labs research best practices
The Aetna Innovation Labs were created to test specific initiatives, determine success rates and impact, and expand programs that show promise.
Survey: Hospitals skeptical of health reform, ACOs
Survey taker says payers are the only winners in healthcare reform; calls ACO member rules silly.
Twin Cities merger combines payer and provider
HealthPartners and Park Nicollet Health Services, have decided to combine to create an integrated healthcare delivery and financing powerhouse.
Deloitte's 2012 survey shows employers plan to shift healthcare costs to employees
While employer-sponsored health benefits are not likely to disappear, changes that shift financial risk to employees are certain.
Top states for electronic Rx ranked by Surescripts
After five years at No. 1 in Surescriptsâ€™ Safe-Rx Awards, Massachusetts drops to No. 2 in the rankings of highest e-prescribing use in the nation during 2011.
Aurora Health Care and Aetna offer price guarantee via Aurora Accountable Care Network
Aurora Health Care has joined with Aetna to bring employers a new type of commercial health plan, the Aurora Accountable Care Network, which offers businesses a price guarantee
Massachusetts ties healthcare cost increases to the state's Gross State Product (GSP)
Legislators expect the bill to save $200 billion over the next 15 years.
Aetna and Inova partner on new health plan
Innovation Health Plans, which will serve northern Virginia, will be jointly owned by the insurer and the health system.
Cigna scoops up Humana Medicare Advantage plans
Sale of plans in three Texas and Arkansas markets will help Humana satisfy its government-stipulated divestiture so that it can complete its acquisition of Arcadian Health.
Quantifying star quality ratings
If you move from three stars to four, you might be able to earn another $50 per member per month.
Cost transparency becomes critical
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Actâ€™s provisions for states to implement health insurance exchanges, combined with employers shifting more responsibility for healthcare costs to employees, is expected to create a greater demand for healthcare cost transparency.
Predicting health exchange models
As the Supreme Court debates the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, some states are taking a wait-and-see attitude on health insurance exchange implementation, while others are forging ahead. Meanwhile, private exchanges are gaining some traction.
Individual insurance customers will save with health reform
People with private individual health insurance will save between $280 to $589 annually via health exchanges under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But who will pay for those savings?
Georgia passes open insurance law, no one cares
A law that took effect in December would allow insurers to sell policies across state lines has no takers. The law was supposed to allow the free market to lower prices and increase choice.
KanCare moves forward before Fed approves it
Despite the fact that the federal government has not approved requests to waive a number regulations that would thwart it, Kansas is moving ahead with its KanCare Medicaid overhaul
Cigna acquiring Great American Supplemental Benefits
Great American Supplemental Benefits Group, one of the largest manufacturers, distributors, and marketers of supplemental health insurance products in the United States, is being acquired by Cigna Corporation for around $295 million in cash
Access to healthcare worsens
The ability of adults to obtain basic healthcare services in the United States has declined in nearly every state over the last decade, especially among those without insurance, according to a report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).
UnitedHealthcare plan narrows network for savings
UnitedHealthcare is offering SignatureValue Alliance in California, a new health benefits plan that features what it calls "high-performance" care provider networks aimed at delivering effective, evidence-based and cost-efficient care
Health Choice increases preventive participation
Health Choice Arizona has instituted a new scheduling system to help it connect patients with appropriate community health resources on a timely basis. It wanted to find a way to help those members with the lowest incidence of preventive service completion quickly schedule their appointments.
CVS buys Health Net’s Medicare PDP
One of the largest pharmacy benefits managers in the U.S. is about to get bigger. Health Net Inc. says it will sell its Medicare prescription-drug plan (PDP) business to CVS Caremark Corp. (CVS) for about $160 million in cash.
Spending growth slows again
A slowing of the growth in use of healthcare goods and services contributed to a second year of slow health spending growth in 2010, according to federal analysts. A number of factors combined to make 2009 and 2010 the two slowest growth rates in 51-year history of National Health Expenditure Accounts estimates.
NCQA: Nonprofit Health Plans Provide Better Quality
Most top-quality health plans in the U.S. are offered by nonprofit organizations, says Bruce McPherson, president and CEO of Alliance for Advancing Nonprofit Health Care. He bases that claim on 2011 rankings recently released by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)
Combatting Cancer and Malnourishment
Cancer drives healthcare costs - to the tune of $124 billion on cancer drugs in 2010 alone - according to Medco, a pharmacy benefit manager. But nutritional counseling of cancer patients is often ignored, even though by some estimates most cancer patients will develop clinical malnutrition.
Covering Obesity Counseling
Nearly a third of the Medicare population is obese, which leads to more serious health problems that are expensive to treat. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have decided to cover obesity screening and counseling as a preventative measure, but are primary care physicians equipped to provide such services?
BCBSNC Invests in Prime Therapeutics
Prime Therapeutics (Prime) will administer pharmacy benefits for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) commercial customers staring in April next year. The companies say the move will result in lower pharmacy costs for BCBSNC customers and more flexibility regarding services and programs.
The Right Medicines for Different Genes
The Archon Genomics X PRIZE presented by Medco will measure teams on accuracy, cost, speed and completeness of genome sequencing. The goal is to push the industry to develop, more accurate, faster and more cost effective sequencing technologies.
Get Schooled on Lowering Costs
Two University of Michigan (UM) developed healthcare initiatives were recommended to the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services in an Institute of Medicine report about the future of the nation’s healthcare.
Medication Adherence Poses Challenges
Medicare Advantage plans may have a difficult time attaining four- and five-star ratings under the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Five-Star Quality Rating System if they don’t keep up with the system’s changes.
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