KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Mass. And Calif. Insurers, Health Systems Facing Off

In Massachusetts and California, insurance companies are clashing with health care systems about the cost of care.

The Boston Globe: Tufts, Blue Cross Contract Row Threatens Members
Tufts Medical Center and its doctors group say they will stop doing business with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts on Jan. 17 because the two sides can't agree on a new contract. The move could force tens of thousands of Blue Cross members to change doctors and compel employers across Massachusetts to consider switching to another insurer (Weisman and Kowalczyk, 11/16).

WBUR: Patients Would Lose In Blue Cross-Tufts Medical Center Dispute
Blue Cross Blue Shield members who see doctors at Tufts Medical Center may have to find a new physician starting in January. The state's largest insurer and the hospital have reached an impasse in contract talks. ... Tufts Medical Center says its latest request is for a 3 percent increase each year for the next three to five years. Blue Cross says Tufts doctors are willing to take less, but that Tufts wants much higher rates for hospital services (Bebinger, 11/15).

The Boston Globe: Mass. Health Insurers Post Big Earnings
The state's largest commercial health insurance companies, citing seasonal improvements in their business and a decline in medical claims tied to the sluggish economy, yesterday posted robust financial results for the three months ending Sept. 30 (Weisman, 11/16).

California Watch: Prime Healthcare Accuses Union, Kaiser Of Antitrust Conspiracy
Prime Healthcare Services, a 14-hospital chain based in Southern California, filed a federal lawsuit yesterday claiming an antitrust conspiracy between the Service Employees International Union's health care unit and Kaiser Permanente and the Kaiser health plan. ... The union, in a statement issued yesterday, called the case "frivolous" and an attempt to overshadow concerns about Prime's billing practices (Jewett, 11/15).

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