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Healthcare and Insurance News Headline Updated on 30 Apr 2020 – Anthem, Humana, Tomorrow Health, and more

The headline on 30 Apr 2020

Congress is debating the next round of funding to combat COVID-19, and it looks like it will be targeted to states instead of hospitals.

Hospital system giant Community Health Systems turned a profit in the first quarter of 2020 even though the system lost money due to COVID-19.

Low patient volume and inconsistent reimbursement are hampering cash flow for practices and physician groups are pressing CMS to support audio-only telehealth services.

Home health providers have had to adjust how they deliver care and adopted innovations to ensure safety. Medicare Advantage providers are adapting to offer home healthcare during the pandemic. Source: Spotlight on Innovation – The Response to COVID-19

Tech giants like Apple, Amazon, and Google are racing to bring COVID-19 solutions to the front lines. Tech giants are rolling out health IT at a blistering pace amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the lingering questions for hospitals amid COVID-19 is how to make sure they have the capacity for potential surges. Tufts Medical Center just found a new answer they say brings greater flexibility.

Cigna released its first-quarter earnings Thursday morning and echoed its peers in seeing the limited impact from the coronavirus pandemic in its Q1 results. Cigna’s doing alright for itself during a doozy of a quarter and Teladoc saw its revenue jump as virtual visits doubled. Source: Cigna Continues to Lead Response to COVID-19 and Delivers Strong First Quarter 2020 Results

The headline on 29 Apr 2020

Anthem released its first-quarter earnings released on Wednesday, and the insurer largely pulled back its 2020 guidance to see how COVID-19 impacts its bottom line.

Humana also released its Q1 earnings report where it posted $473 million in profit, beating Wall Street analysts’ expectations.

Amazon, Apple, and Google are rolling out health information technology at a blistering pace amid the COVID pandemic.

Startup Tomorrow Health focuses on delivering home healthcare equipment to patients’ doors and the company has attracted a list of big-name investors.

The headline on 28 Apr 2020

UnitedHealth Group’s Optum subsidiary is close to pinning down a deal to acquire AbleTo for $470 million. Source: CNBC > UnitedHealth’s Optum is in advanced talks to acquire remote mental health provider AbleTo for about $470 million

A group of physician leaders launched a new advocacy group, called Physicians United, to use virtual platforms to pull together a large number around the issues they most care about.

HHS has filed another appeal in an ongoing fight over a controversial Medicare Advantage overpayment rule, in an ongoing legal fight that could decide how much money MA plans, an increasingly lucrative market for insurers, will have to give back to Medicare for diagnosis errors.

UnitedHealth Group teamed up with expert partners to devise and manufacture alternative ventilators — and it took them less than 30 days. Here’s how they did it.

Centene posted $46 million in profit for the first quarter, missing Wall Street projections by a wide margin as medical costs soared.

#ICYMI: the Supreme Court sided with health plans in the ongoing battle over $12 billion in ACA risk corridor payments.

The headline on 27 Apr 2020

Who was the highest-paid CEO of the top health insurance companies last year? Paige Minemyer has the answer, plus a look at how they stack up against each other. CVS Health chief Larry Merlo was the big earner last year among payer CEOs. We dive into what the compensation packages looked like for seven big-name industry execs in 2019.

Health insurance CEOs' total 2019 compensation. Source: Securities and Exchange Commission

Health insurance CEOs’ total 2019 compensation. Source: Securities and Exchange Commission

A new study from Cigna found that a significant number of patients are deferring care for high-risk needs, such as heart conditions or appendicitis, due to COVID-19.

After doling out about $100 billion through advanced and accelerated payment programs for providers and hospitals, CMS announced over the weekend it was suspending and reevaluating the programs, respectively. CMS said Sunday that it will suspend its advance payments to providers and that it may also nix its accelerated payment program.

IBM has launched a blockchain network called Rapid Supplier Connect, which helps hospitals identify new, non-traditional suppliers who have pivoted to address the shortage of equipment, devices, and supplies.

Lark Health says it has new evidence behind its virtual diabetes prevention program (DPP) when it comes to reaching vulnerable patients and keeping them healthy at home. Source: Study: Lark’s Diabetes Prevention Program Shows Long-Term Weight Loss Results

The headline on 24 Apr 2020

Healthcare software company Phreesia reported its Q4 and year-end financial reports on Thursday.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association offered a list of policy proposals that they would like to see included in Congress’ next legislative package for COVID-19.

Heather Landi caught up with Aledade’s Farzad Mostashari, where he offered his take on the future of physician practices after the pandemic.

The headline on 23 Apr 2020

While officials are hopeful COVID-19 may be reaching its peak, they aren’t taking chances when it comes to continuing to pump up capacity. Heather Landi spoke to Epic about their role in setting up EHRs for field hospitals and other alternative treatment sites.

Humana and the National Quality Forum argue that population-based models should include social risks. Find out more about why they say COVID-19 underscores that idea. Source: The New England Journal of Medicine > Clinical and Social Risk Adjustment — Reconsidering Distinctions

The Medicare trustees are again warning that the program’s hospital fund is likely to run out by 2026 in their latest report.

HHS gave critical details on how it plans to allocate the remaining $70 billion to providers struggling financially due to COVID-19. The Trump administration unveiled its plans on how to distribute $70 billion in funds to hospitals.

A new survey found that 48% of doctors are now using telehealth to treat patients, up from 18% two years ago. Source: Merritt Hawkins > Survey: Physician Practice Patterns Changing As A Result Of COVID-19

In a recent letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine, an exec at Baystate Health detailed the challenges of obtaining PPEs for hospitals, including concerns they might get seized by the FBI or Department of Homeland Security. A physician executive recalls a tale that you think would be routine — acquiring adequate protective equipment — that became a harrowing adventure in the time of COVID-19. In a recent letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine, an exec at Baystate Health detailed the challenges of obtaining PPEs for hospitals, including concerns they might get seized by the FBI or Department of Homeland Security. Source: The New England Journal of Medicine > In Pursuit of PPEIn Pursuit of PPE

The headline on 22 Apr 2020

Cigna and New York Life have partnered to launch a fund to assist the families of health workers who died fighting COVID-19.

HCA Healthcare posted $581 million in profits in the first quarter on Tuesday, down from more than $1 billion it earned in the same quarter a year earlier.

A federal appeals court upheld a rule allowing CMS to include payments from Medicare and private payers in calculating DSH payment caps.

EHR firm Epic helped to bring online 440 alternative care facilities to help expand hospital capacity throughout the country in the past four weeks. Here is how the company did it

Startup H1, which developed a massive digital professional database that connects healthcare professionals and life science companies, just landed $13 million in a Series A funding round.

The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense unveiled a joint health information exchange designed to make it easier for the agencies to exchange patient data with each other and with community providers. Source: VA | EHR Modernization

The headline on 21 Apr 2020

Diabetics may be at higher risk for in-hospital mortality due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A new survey of insurance brokers finds that they’re approaching alternative coverage options, such as short-term plans, with some skepticism. Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation > Perspectives From Brokers: The Individual Market Stabilizes While Short-Term and Other Alternative Products Pose Risks

Envision Healthcare Corp. is considering a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing and has brought on restructuring advisers. Source: Bloomberg > Envision Healthcare to Consider Bankruptcy Filing

Moody’s Investors Service says health insurers are well-positioned to weather the financial hit due to COVID-19.

CMS plans to give providers MIPS credit if they participate in a clinical trial and report clinical information on COVID-19. CMS has released guidance on how a health system can resume elective procedures vital to their bottom line, with testing and staff capacity major pillars. Source: OPENING UP AMERICA AGAIN: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Recommendations Re-opening Facilities to Provide Non-emergent Non-COVID-19 Healthcare: Phase I

Medical professionals from around the country have answered the call to help out in hospitals in hard-hit areas like New York City. Source: Cayuga Health to Send ‘Healthcare Heroes’ on COVID-19 Medical Mission to NYC in Cornell Buses

NYC Medical Mission

NYC Medical Mission

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