Caroline's Feed
Apr 14, 2015

Corrected – Insight: Aetna, Cigna balk as Angelina effect spurs genetic cancer testing

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Medical researchers call it the “Angelina Effect,” the surge in demand for genetic testing attributable to movie star Angelina Jolie’s public crusade for more aggressive detection of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.

But there’s a catch: Major insurance companies including Aetna, Anthem and Cigna are declining to pay for the latest generation of tests, known as multi-gene panel tests, Reuters has learned. The insurers say that the tests are unproven and may lead patients to seek out medical care they don’t need.

Apr 12, 2015

Insight – Aetna, Cigna balk as Angelina effect spurs genetic cancer testing

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Medical researchers call it the “Angelina Effect,” the surge in demand for genetic testing attributable to movie star Angelina Jolie’s public crusade for more aggressive detection of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.

But there’s a catch: Major insurance companies including Aetna, Anthem and Cigna are declining to pay for the latest generation of tests, known as multi-gene panel tests, Reuters has learned. The insurers say that the tests are unproven and may lead patients to seek out medical care they don’t need.

Apr 12, 2015

Aetna, Cigna balk as Angelina effect spurs genetic cancer testing

NEW YORK, April 12 (Reuters) – Medical researchers call it
the “Angelina Effect,” the surge in demand for genetic testing
attributable to movie star Angelina Jolie’s public crusade for
more aggressive detection of hereditary breast and ovarian
cancer.

But there’s a catch: Major insurance companies including
Aetna, Anthem and Cigna are declining to pay for the latest
generation of tests, known as multi-gene panel tests, Reuters
has learned. The insurers say that the tests are unproven and
may lead patients to seek out medical care they don’t need.

Apr 6, 2015

Government payments for Medicare Advantage plans to rise in 2016

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Payments to health insurers operating Medicare Advantage plans for the elderly and disabled will increase by 1.25 percent in 2016, the U.S. government said on Monday, in response to expected growth in health spending.

The announcement, by a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, comes after the U.S. government proposed a 0.95 percent cut in payments to insurers in February.

Apr 6, 2015

Govt payments for Medicare Advantage plans to rise in 2016

NEW YORK, April 6 (Reuters) – Payments to health insurers
operating Medicare Advantage plans for the elderly and disabled
will increase by 1.25 percent in 2016, the U.S. government said
on Monday, in response to expected growth in health spending.

The announcement, by a division of the U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services, comes after the U.S. government
proposed a 0.95 percent cut in payments to insurers in February.

Mar 30, 2015

UnitedHealth-Catamaran deal sets up healthcare M&A chessboard

NEW YORK (Reuters) – UnitedHealth Group Inc’s (UNH.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) planned takeover of No. 4 U.S. pharmacy benefits provider Catamaran Corp (CCT.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will give the companies added heft in price talks with drug companies, serving as a catalyst for deals allowing other insurers to bulk up.

The $12.8 billion deal comes at a time when Wall Street has been parsing the possibilities that top insurers like Aetna Inc (AET.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) with Cigna Corp (CI.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) could pair up. Smaller companies like Health Net Inc (HNT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) , Molina Healthcare Inc (MOL.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) or WellCare Health Plans Inc (WCG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) are also increasingly seen as takeover targets.

Mar 26, 2015

U.S. House okays bipartisan bill to fix Medicare doctor payments

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a bill to permanently repair the formula for reimbursing Medicare physicians, marking a rare bipartisan achievement and sending the issue next to the Senate.

The measure drafted and driven forward by Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi would fix a long-standing problem with how Medicare pays doctors. It would also make adjustments to the health program for seniors.

Mar 24, 2015

Humana says previously disclosed DOJ query involves other companies

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Humana Inc, one of the largest
U.S. providers of Medicare Advantage healthcare plans for older
people, said on Tuesday that it believes a previously disclosed
government query for information is part of a wider review
involving many healthcare companies.

Humana first said the U.S. Department of Justice had asked
it to volunteer information about risk adjustment matters on
Feb. 18.

Mar 11, 2015

Exclusive: CVS says biotech drug copies may bring price cuts of 40-50 percent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The entry of copycat biotech drugs into the U.S. market could cut prices of expensive medications by 40 percent to 50 percent, depending on the level of competition among drugmakers, a top executive at CVS Health Corp told Reuters.

CVS is one of the largest U.S. pharmacy benefit managers and, along with rival Express Scripts, has put unprecedented pressure on global pharmaceutical makers to lower prices for its clients.

Mar 4, 2015

U.S. hospitals optimistic they’ll dodge bullet with Obamacare ruling

NEW YORK, March 4 (Reuters) – U.S. hospital executives said
on Wednesday they were optimistic they will avoid the toughest
consequences of a Supreme Court decision on whether millions of
Americans can continue to purchase subsidized health benefits
under Obamacare.

The high court heard oral arguments in the case challenging
the federal tax credits that help residents in at least 34
states afford medical benefits under President Barack Obama’s
healthcare law.