AHIP CEO Matt Eyles said the group supports the selection of Dr. Atul Gawande as the CEO for a new health care venture launched by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase. "We are welcoming new voices that challenge us to think differently about health care," Eyles said at AHIP's annual meeting.
Cigna on Thursday outlined its plan to reduce drug overdoses 25% by 2021, initially focusing on the states of Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia, and the metro areas of Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Dr. Doug Nemecek, chief medical officer for behavioral health, said the insurer will use predictive analytics to identify people at highest risk for an opioid overdose and have local clinicians reach out to help them.
Central Pennsylvania-based health plan Capital BlueCross, in partnership with American Well, is adding telemental health to its Virtual Care telehealth platform after seeing more than 2,000 virtual visits this year, up from nearly 1,500 last year. Members may also search for providers, conduct virtual visits, schedule appointments and read reviews via the health plan's expanded Virtual Care mobile health app.
PCMA tweet: Requiring electronic prescribing of controlled substances saves lives and reduces costs.
Surgeon and author Dr. Atul Gawande has been named CEO of the health care venture being launched by Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway. The venture, which has not been named, will be tasked with the mission of lowering health care costs for the companies and their workers, and Gawande will continue writing and remain in his positions at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
House Republicans unveiled a budget proposal Tuesday that would slash Medicare spending by $537 billion and funding for Medicaid and other health care programs by $1.5 trillion. The proposal would also fast-track a reconciliation process that would allow Senate lawmakers to repeal the Affordable Care Act with only 50 votes.
The Labor Department issued a final rule that will make it easier for small businesses and self-employed individuals to join together to purchase cheaper association health plans that skirt some Affordable Care Act requirements. Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta said the new plans "will offer more health care coverage options at a better price," but a recent Avalere Health analysis showed expansion of association health plans would cause 3.2 million people to leave the ACA markets by 2022 and raise premiums for those still in the individual market by 3.5%.
A total of 161 data breaches in the health care sector were added to the HHS Office for Civil Rights' reporting website, affecting more than 2.8 million people so far this year. The most common type of incidents were unauthorized access/disclosure breaches, which compromised the information of nearly 558,000 people, followed by hacking incidents, which affected more than 1.6 million individuals, and thefts or losses, which affected nearly 660,000 people.
Researchers found that 17.8% and 5.8% of children and teens ages 2 to 19 in the US were obese and severely obese, respectively, between 2013 and 2016. The findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association also showed that severe obesity was significantly more common among youths in nonmetropolitan statistical areas, and both obesity and severe obesity were significantly more prevalent among blacks and Hispanics.
Employers are paying more attention to employee retention, and experts say the first step is to ensure a streamlined, engaging onboarding process. Other engagement and retention tools include personalized employee development plans, regular reviews that highlight progress and examine goals, and flexible work options that can boost productivity and employee satisfaction.