New This Week
Aetna & Humana Merger
To appease regulators who are concerned over potential antitrust issues as a result of the merger with Humana, Aetna will sell more than $1 billion in assets from their Medicare Advantage portfolio. Although the bid process and sale may take several months, the 8-k forms filed by both insurers in June requested a closing date of December 31, 2016, instead of their original June 30 closing deadline.
Employee Smoking Continues Despite Participation in Wellness Plans
Recent studies report that despite participation in employer funded smoking cessation programs, employees continue to light up. Many employers fund these programs as part of their overall wellness programs since studies have shown a correlation between healthier employers and increased productivity and attendance. Other studies show that quitting “cold turkey” is the best way to guarantee long term success, and many wellness programs are looking into incorporating workplaces that completely prohibit smoking.
Profound Deficiencies at the VA
The Commission on Care reported that the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has “profound deficiencies” in providing the nation’s veterans with health care. The panel of 12 recommends replacing the “Choice Program” with a community-based network for better access and quality control. Despite the fact that the VA performance is better than it was two years ago when a scandal broke out over excessive waiting periods for appointments and poor care, the report still voiced current concerns regarding program staffing and overall funding.
Dems want $$ for Opioid Addiction
Federally authorized physicians who treat drug addicts can now prescribe buprenorphine to 275 patients, up from the 100 patients they had been limited to treat. However, congress will meet to determine whether or not to approve legislation that would increase opioid addiction funding. The Obama Administration is seeking more than $1 billion for drug treatment and it is unclear if the president will veto any legislation that does not include more funding.
Medicare Learning Series – Medicare Reward and Incentive Program
July 14, 2016 1:00 – 2:30 pm ET
This webinar will provide information to help you define the Medicare health and drug plan Reward and Incentive (RI) Program requirements. It will clarify how the requirements differ from plan enrollment marketing activities. Webinar audio will be provided through your PC speakers. Join the webinar at https://goto.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1108600