Healthcare Economics & Policy

Anthem, the nation’s second-largest health insurer, is planning to push up the launch date of its new pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) business, the company announced during its end-of-year earnings report.

Sky-high medical bills have forced many individuals to turn to crowdsourcing to pay what they owe, according to the CEO of GoFundMe, who spoke on CBS MoneyWatch.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health, a New Hampshire-based health system that serves 1.9 million people across New England, and GraniteOne Health, a network of New Hampshire hospitals, have signed a letter of intent to merge.

Five major pharmaceutical companies could each lose $500 million or more in revenue per year if a proposal from the Trump administration to reimburse Medicare Part B drugs based on an international pricing index (IPI) is finalized.

Hospitals are now conducting wealth screenings with software that culls public data to see which patients are most likely to donate to the healthcare organization, The New York Times reported. The practice is increasingly common across hospitals, particularly large systems.

Deal volumes broke records in 2018 across the health services sector, and deal activity is likely to remain high in 2019 thanks to a number of positive market factors, according to PwC’s latest health services deals insights.

Media spotlighting of extraordinarily high hospital bills can pay off for patients on the hook for thousands of dollars after a hospital visit. Such is the case for one San Francisco resident who was stuck with a bill for more than $20,000—after her insurance paid its part—following a bicycle accident.

A new not-for-profit startup aimed at producing generic drugs will introduce 20 products in 2019, Reuters reported. The supplier, Civica Rx, initially expected to offer just 14 drugs in 2019, but will now likely exceed that after working with companies to produce additional medicines, company officials told Reuters.

The U.S. adult uninsured rate for healthcare reached 13.7 percent at the end of 2018––a four-year high, according to a recent Gallup poll. The findings underscore the actions of the Trump administration to undermine the Affordable Care Act over the last two years.

 

In an effort to curb “unexpected and outrageous bills,” President Trump invited patients and others to the White House to discuss their experiences with such pricing, Kaiser Health News reported. The discussion is part of Trump’s overall goal to impact drug prices and transparency in healthcare.

Walgreens Boots Alliance has settled two fraud cases with the Department of Justice, shelling out $269.2 million. In both cases, which arose from whistleblowers, Walgreens admitted and accepted responsibility for conduct alleged by the government in its complaint under the False Claims Act.

Rural hospitals in the United States have been closing at a rapid clip over the last several years––nearly 100 since 2010, according to one estimate. Another 600-plus rural hospitals are at risk of closing, with many clustered in the 14 remaining states that have not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, according to the Pew Institute.