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Healthcare and Insurance News Headline Updated on 29 May 2020 – Six Blues, Higi, Kaiser Permanente, Google, Cigna, CVS Health, and more

The headline on 29 May 2020

Six Blues plans have filed suit against CVS Health, alleging that the company’s pharmacies artificially inflated prices for generic drugs. CVS denies any wrongdoing. A group of Blue Cross insurers have filed suit against CVS over pharmacy discount programs.

What factors do doctors need to think about before reopening their practices? The AMA recently released a checklist of considerations for docs — including contacting their malpractice insurance carrier.

A new study is throwing cold water on the idea that workplace wellness programs show significant clinical benefits. Whether these programs pay off in a clinical sense has been a source of contention.

The headline on 28 May 2020

Industry stakeholders are urging lawmakers to provide immediate relief targeted to primary care practices, warning that practices could close in a matter of weeks as a result of the strain from the COVID-19 pandemic.

As medical practices across the country look to reopen, the AMA issued a checklist—from legal issues to privacy protocols—that physicians need to consider as they begin to see patients

Massive hospital systems Ascension Health and Providence St. Joseph Health posted major losses in the first quarter due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hospital systems are having trouble buying protective equipment like face masks. So a group of them banded together to buy a mask maker.

Major non-profit hospital systems Ascension Health and Providence St. Joseph Health joined the parade of health systems that posted losses in the first quarter.

A poll found a majority of seniors on Medicare Advantage are comfortable with using telehealth — and the ones that do use it love it.

Interest in a public option is gaining steam among some policymakers, but a new study says offering such a plan on the ACA’s exchanges may not significantly decrease the number of uninsured people.

Uninsured new mothers face a slew of health challenges. Researchers say coverage losses due to the coronavirus pandemic may exacerbate that trend.

The headline on 27 May 2020

Find out why AI chatbot company Babylon is investing in Higi and wants to help the startup expand its self-service health stations to more grocery stores and retail pharmacies.

One doc bought N-95 masks out of the back of a Maserati. Another is trying to emulate the wait at restaurants by texting patients when they’re ready to be seen.

Major insulin makers and insurers joined a CMS payment model intended to lower copays for insulin to a maximum $35 copay. More than 1,750 Medicare Advantage and Part D plans have applied to participate in the Trump administration’s new program to cap insulin costs.

Horizon BCBSNJ is expanding a pilot that deploys community health workers to assist in managing to the social determinants to 11 counties.

The headline on 26 May 2020

Health systems around the country have felt the financial hit in terms of lost revenues coupled with crippling supply chain expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Trump Administration announced Friday several changes that will allow Medicare Advantage plans to expand telehealth benefits.

A Beverly Hills-based plastic surgeon bought certified N-95 masks out of the back of someone’s Maserati.

Accountable care organizations are calling for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to provide clarity on the fate of the Next Generation ACO Model and key details on Direct Contracting.

Kaiser Permanente released a playbook of sorts last week to help guide employers and businesses through health considerations when bringing back workers.

Google launched a new feature that aims to help healthcare professionals and essential workers. Find out how the tech giant’s latest initiative points to the role it wants to play in COVID-19 response and, more broadly, in healthcare. Check out how Google’s Chief Health Officer Karen DeSalvo says the tech giant is trying to “improve care delivery by giving superpowers to clinicians.

Cigna has significantly expanded its network for virtual behavioral health due to COVID-19.

CVS Health will expand its reach for coronavirus testing to 14 additional states.

The headline on 21 May 2020

UnitedHealth Group quickly stood up a program to offer emergency childcare to its employees impacted by the pandemic.

The headline on 21 May 2020

The pandemic is also pushing large numbers of consumers to change their healthcare habits, a new survey from the Alliance of Community Health Plans shows.

Apple and Google joined forces to launch an API to digitally track people exposed to COVID-19. Apple and Google rolled out digital contact tracing technology for public health agencies to track COVID-19.

A new study from the Commonwealth Fund found ambulatory care volumes rebounded slightly in May compared to April. But is it enough to help providers recover?

Many payers have made significant changes to telehealth reimbursement thanks to COVID-19. In a few short weeks, the barriers to telehealth reimbursement were removed and usage soared during the onset of the pandemic. But will those changes stick?

Major healthcare systems Mayo Clinic, CommonSpirit Health and Mass General Brigham shared how the pandemic led to losses in the first quarter

Ambulatory care practices have seen rebound inpatient visits, but volume is still well below pre-pandemic levels, a new study finds.

Overall physician compensation was on the rise before the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is how much salaries increased and the trends that could impact compensation going forward.

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