Healthcare Economics & Policy

Merger talks between Care New England, one of the largest healthcare systems in Rhode Island, Brown University and Lifespan, operator of Rhode Island Hospital, are over.

After introducing its new HealthHub concept store in Texas, CVS Health is spreading the store model to Boston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia, the company announced.

The Affordable Care Act is back in court this week after a Texas judge ruled the law unconstitutional in late 2018, prompting the American Heart Association and other major societies to issue a joint statement supporting the ACA and its protections for patients with pre-existing conditions.

More hospitals and healthcare providers are seeking medical specialists compared to primary care physicians––and many of these roles comes with the highest starting salaries in the industry.

The economic cost of the of lost earnings due to cancer deaths in the U.S. was more than $94 billion in 2015, according to a new study published in JAMA Oncology.

While general support for a universal healthcare system remains at about 50% among the public, the impact to the healthcare industry is being weighed––and providers could see huge payment cuts under certain policies. 

Patients are worried about the rising cost of prescription drugs, and the high rate of cost growth has led lawmakers and the Trump administration to review steps to reduce runaway price growth. However, there are some ways for doctors to help patients avoid sticker shock on their prescriptions––and not many are using these tools, according to a report from NPR.

Five states have voiced they want to testify at an upcoming July hearing in the ongoing court review of the $69 billion CVS Health acquisition of Aetna.

Emergency services are well known for charging high prices, often leaving patients on the hook for sky-high medical bills when those services are billed out of network. In particular, patients with private insurance face far higher charges for air ambulance compared to Medicare rates, according to a recent study published in Health Affairs.

Despite a major push from the Trump administration over the last few years to lower prescription drug costs, more than 3,400 drugs have seen price hikes during the first half of the year, according to a recent report.

Generic prescription drugs may not be the cost-saving alternative once thought under the current design of the Medicare Part D program, which gives away such heavy discounts for out-of-pocket costs for brand-name drugs that seniors are actually shelling out way more for generics, according to a study published in Health Affairs.

Bundled payments are helping lower overall healthcare costs, with joint replacement bundles saving about $1,000 per patient annually, according to a second annual report on the model from the Lewin Group.