Healthcare Economics & Policy

Federal prosecutors in California announced charges against nine individuals—including orthopedic surgeons, chiropractors and a C-suite executive—for allegedly running a 15-year scheme that submitted nearly $1 billion in fraudulent health insurance claims to the federal government, California and private insurers.

GE Healthcare’s parent company has had a rough run lately. The corporate giant has lost half its value in 2017—and another 25 percent this year. GE was also delisted from the Dow Jones Industrial Average. But Monday’s news that GE would spin off its healthcare division into a separate company could provide freedom for the standalone.

Robert Wilkie appeared before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs (VA) for his confirmation hearing to be Secretary of the Department of the VA on Wednesday—three months after President Donald Trump fired then-VA Secretary David Shulkin.

Rumors of Amazon’s interest in entering the healthcare space became reality with the announcement earlier this year of a venture with JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway. But it looks like the online retail giant has bigger plans. Amazon announced plans for a merger with PillPack, an online pharmacy.

Just over four months away from the 2018 midterm elections, healthcare promises to be a major topic of discussion as campaigns head toward the finish line. According to a recent poll, 25 percent of registered voters said healthcare was the No. 1 issue for this election cycle.

The Kaiser Family Foundation released an issue brief June 22 that projected total Medicare spending to top $1 trillion by 2026, up from a total of $702 billion last year, according to Congressional Budget Office and CMS data.

Calico, a biotech firm backed by Google, announced a $1 billion extension to its partnership with AbbVie. Now with $2.5 billion in funding, the venture is aimed at finding cures for aging-related diseases, such as neurodegeneration and cancer.

Prices continue to climb on the Affordable Care Act exchanges, with some estimates calling for 30 percent increases to typical silver-level plans in 2019. But despite the additional challenges faced by individuals on the marketplaces, insurers see clear skies ahead.

After a year of soul searching and strategic review, GE announced its move today to spin off GE Healthcare into a standalone company over the next 12 to 18 months. The goal, the company said, is a leaner corporate structure with substantial reductions in debt.

In a 396-14 vote, the House of Representatives passed the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act, or H.R. 6—bipartisan opioid legislation that aims to curb drug abuse.

While debates about immigration—and the controversial approach to separating families at the southwestern border of the U.S.—dominate the news, advocates warn that children may be at risk for losing healthcare coverage through Medicaid, according to a recent report from Kaiser Health News.

Diabetes advocates and legislators on both sides of the aisle are calling for more transparency and government oversight in the insulin market because of skyrocketing costs.