Caroline's Feed
May 4, 2015

U.S. Medicare test program saved hundreds of million of dollars: study

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. government test program with doctors and hospitals slowed healthcare spending in Medicare coverage for the elderly and disabled by hundreds of millions of dollars in 2012 and 2013 but savings were less in the second year, a study released Monday said.

The Journal of the American Medical Association study looked at beneficiaries in 32 Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), in which hospitals and doctors follow 33 quality and care standards for Medicare fee-for-service patients. In return they can receive a portion of any healthcare savings back from the government.

Apr 29, 2015

Humana says hospital admissions up as sector shares fall

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – U.S. health insurer Humana Inc (HUM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Wednesday there was an unexpected pick-up in the rate of hospital admissions late in March and in April, sparking a sell-off in its own and other insurers’ shares.

The comments came during a conference call to discuss the company’s first-quarter profit, which missed Wall Street expectations.

Apr 28, 2015

Aetna submits 2016 Obamacare rates with eye on Supreme Court

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Aetna Inc, the third-largest
U.S. health insurer, is submitting 2016 individual insurance
rates to state regulators but said it might need to reexamine
them after the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the legality of most
Obamacare exchange subsidies.

The nation’s top court is expected to announce a decision in
June on whether federal subsidies can stand in three dozen
states where the U.S. government runs an enrollment website.
Opponents of the law say the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare,
allows for subsidies only in states that run their own
exchanges.

Apr 27, 2015

Mylan says Teva offer too low; criticizes stock, growth prospects

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – Mylan NV (MYL.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) rejected Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd’s (TEVA.TA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) $40 billion takeover offer on Monday, saying in a scathing letter that it grossly undervalued the company and that Mylan has no interest in payment in what it termed “high-risk” Teva stock.

Teva, the world’s biggest maker of generic drugs, quickly responded to Mylan’s refusal with word that it was “fully committed” and would move forward with the $82 per share cash and stock offer.

Apr 24, 2015

Drug overlaps, shortages may complicate Teva bid for Mylan

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Teva Pharmaceutical Industries’ bid for Mylan NV would create a company controlling nearly 25 percent of the U.S. generics market, including drugs in short supply, according to industry experts and a Reuters review of regulatory filings.

Both issues will factor into any antitrust review, they said.

Teva, the world’s largest generic drugmaker, made its $40 billion offer public on Tuesday and quickly signaled it was ready to sell some overlapping assets to win antitrust approval for a deal.

Apr 21, 2015

Generic drugmaker Teva makes $40 billion offer for rival Mylan

TEL AVIV/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. on Tuesday made an unsolicited $40 billion offer for smaller rival Mylan NV, a bold bid for growth as its lucrative Copaxone drug faces generic competition.

The offer followed weeks of speculation that Israel-based Teva, the world’s largest generic drugmaker, would soon target Mylan. Shares of Mylan traded below the offer price of $82 in cash and stock, evidence of investor skepticism that Teva can win over the company, which has set up a defense that includes a poison pill.

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.