Athena Health released its 2010 health insurer ratings today. Athena identified the following trends
- Payer performance improved across the board in 2009. Top performers included payers from across a variety of groups, signaling healthy competition.
- High performing Regional and Major national payers are neck and neck – are standard transactions equalizing the playing field?
- National Commercial payers (Aetna, Cigna, Humana, and United Healthcare) set the pace
- Medicare continues its role as the steward of electronic transaction compliance.
Also continuing this week’s focus on the “doc fix” bill pending in Congress, Modern Healthcare reports that “House leaders are eyeing a legislative package that would increase physician Medicare payments over the next 19-months—until the end of 2011— [rather than 3 1/2 years as initially proposed] but trim back some benefits for safety net health programs.” The Wall Street Journal concurs with Modern Healthcare and adds that “Democratic leaders also trimmed the extension of unemployment benefits and Cobra health-insurance subsidies by one month, so that those programs would now be extended through the end of November 2010, according to a House Democratic aide.” The objective, of course, is to reduce the cost of the package.