Weekend update

Happy Fathers’ Day.  Congress is in session on Capitol Hill again this coming week.  Business Insurance reports that the House leadership will unveil their proposal to replace the ACA later this week. 

Last week, a Senate appropriations subcommittee on June 15 and the full committee the following day approved the FY 2016 financial services and general government appropriations bill which funds OPM and the FEHBP. The bill now heads to the Senate floor.  Here’s a link to the Week in Congress’s report on other Capitol Hill activities from last week.

The Street offers a pessimistic report on the prospects for the Anthem-Cigna merger, which is now under regulatory review.

As confidence wanes that Anthem’s (ANTM) $54.2 billion acquisition of Cigna  (CI) will survive regulatory scrutiny, analysts are already considering what the target will do if the deal falls apart.
Ana Gupte of Leerink Partners LLC believes that Cigna could look to acquire a smaller managed-health care company, such as Long Beach, Calif.-based Molina Healthcare (MOH) or Tampa, Fla.-based Wellcare Health Plans (WCG) if the deal doesn’t push through.
Thanks to the $1.85 billion break-up fee Anthem would pay to Cigna, the Bloomfield, Conn.-based company would have extra cash on hand to make an acquisition.

The FEHBlog looks for the tea leaves, but he certainly can’t read them.

Fierce Healthcare offers a report which confirms the FEHBlog’s thinking on hospital readmissions, which is of course gratifying:

Many 30-day readmissions may not be linked to poor care, but instead to mental health issues, homelessness or substance abuse, according to a new study published in JAMA Surgery.
The research team analyzed data for 2,100 patient discharges at one Level 1 trauma center and safety-net hospital and found 173 of those patients were readmitted.
In close to one-third of the cases, patients fell into two groups, according to the study: injectable drug users who had new infections (about 17 percent of the readmissions) or people who did not have access to social support services, which led to issues with discharge and follow-ups (about 15 percent of the readmissions).

Health plan case managers are sure to be on the lookout for such high risk candidates for readmission.

Becker’s Hospital review tells us about the latest IBM-Ponemon report on data breaches, which not suprisingly is uglier than last year’s report.  Verizon’s data breach report is another useful resources.


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