Weekend update

Congress remains out of session until September 6.

On Friday, as  Bloomberg reports, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman scheduled the trial in the Justice Department’s lawsuit to block the Anthem/Cigna merger to begin on November 21.  According to the scheduling order,  [the government] will have no more than ten trial days in which to present their case-in-chief, defendants will have no more than six trial days in which to present their case-in-chief, and [the government will have two trial days for rebuttal. The trial will end by December 30, and the judge will issue her decision in January.

Both Judge Berman and U.S. District Judge John Bates, who presides over the Aetna/Humana merger case, have appointed retired D.C. Superior Judge Richard A. Levie to serve as special master to keep those cases on track given the compressed pretrial preparation period.

Modern Healthcare reports on the difficulty that insurers and providers are encountering when trying creating bundled payment methodologies for maternity cases.  What’s odd is that obstetricians traditionally have billed on a bundled basis, and hospitals bill for the mother and baby on a bundled basis.  Nevertheless, problems arise with the outlier cases, which can’t be readily predicted.