Midweek Update

Retired OPM official Reg Jones reminds us about the impact on life events on FEHBP coverage on FedWeek.com.

Federal News Radio reports that Congress has sent a Veterans Affairs healthcare overhaul bill to the President’s desk for signature. (Just so you know that FEHBlog know, a bill passed by Congress becomes law if the President doesn’t sign or veto it within 10 days after receipt as long as Congress is in session. That’s in the Constitution.)

Healthcare Finance News tells us about an interesting Milliman study prepared for AHIP. The study allocates an average premium dollar to various purposes.

Prescription drug prices and medical costs, which account for more than 45 percent of the average dollar, continue to rise, AHIP said, forcing premium increases. 

The researchers examined two years of data from commercial plans and from the individual market, from 2014 to 2016.

Cost curve up.

Health Payer Intelligence tells us that “Healthcare payers that wish to be known as innovators need to continually be on the lookout for emerging health plan market opportunities that offer strong profit potential.”  The article describes payer strategies.  In that regard, the FEHBlog noticed in Healthcare Dive that Anthem has purchased a palliative care company Aspire Health that really impressed the FEHBlog when he read an article about the company in December 2016.

Aspire, founded in 2013 by former U.S. Sen. William Frist and CEO Brad Smith, focuses on in-home care support for patients with serious illnesses. The model emphasizes care coordination through the use of a care team, including physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses and social workers.
The Nashville, Tennessee-based Aspire currently holds contracts with more than 20 health plans across 25 states. Terms of the deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter of this year, were not disclosed.

Good move, Anthem.

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