January Healthcare News Update

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January healthcare news update:

Under Review: How DOJ, FTC Decide Whether To OK Health Insurance Mergers READ
In July, Anthem agreed to acquire Cigna for $48.4 billion, which would make the combined company the nation’s largest insurer by enrollment with about 53 million customers. That same month, Aetna reached an agreement to acquire Humana for $37 billion, setting the company up to become the second-largest insurer… But before they can take their spots as the No. 1 and No. 2 biggest insurers, they need the OK from antitrust regulators. That could take a year or longer

Push On To Make Transparent Medical Records The National Standard Of Care READ
Perched on an exam table at the doctor’s office watching the clinician type details about their medical problems into their file, what patient hasn’t wondered exactly what the doctor is writing? As many as 50 million patients may have a chance to find out in the next few years, following the announcement this week of $10 million in new grants to expand the OpenNotes project, which works with medical providers to expand patient access to clinician notes.

How an $84,000 drug got its price: ‘Let’s hold our position … whatever the headlines’ READ
Gilead gained federal approval for its drug Sovaldi in late 2013 and ultimately settled on the price of $84,000 for a 12-week course of treatment. To the company, that price seemed to deliver the right balance: value to shareholders while also not so high that insurers would “hinder patient access to uncomfortable levels,” according to internal documents. But they also got more than they bargained for: an outpouring of outrage from the public, a backlash from government and private payers, and political scrutiny.

Inside the impossibly byzantine world of prescription drug prices READ
Forgive the confusion. Even for people whose job requires them to know this stuff, drug pricing is hopelessly complex. That helps explain why, for all the debate over drug costs these days, there’s surprisingly little detail about what anybody actually is paying for prescription medicines.

Information provided by David Stott, MedBridge Senior Contracts Consultant.