Lines Have Begun Blurring As Mergers Impact Health Industry. So What Does That Mean For Patient Care?
Some experts worry that all the recent acquisitions will negatively affect actual care for patients. Meanwhile, the recent Cigna-Express Scripts deal is expected to draw a lengthy antitrust review.
The Associated Press:
Insurers Get Into Care, But Is It Good For Your Health?
In the not-too-distant future, your health insurance, your prescription drugs and some of your treatment may come from the same company. Insurers are dropping billions of dollars on acquisitions and expansions in order to get more involved in customer health. They say this push can help cut costs and improve care, in part by keeping the sickest patients healthy and out of expensive hospitals.That's a huge potential benefit for employers and other customers stressed by rising costs. But is this good for your health? (Murphy, 3/9)
Cigna To Draw Antitrust Scrutiny Amid Health-Care Deal Wave
Cigna Corp.’s proposed deal for Express Scripts Holding Co. faces a drawn-out merger review as the Trump administration’s antitrust enforcers weigh the competitive effects of a wave of consolidation sweeping the health-care industry. The tie-up of the insurer and pharmacy benefit manager comes on the heels of CVS Health Corp.’s agreement to buy insurer Aetna Inc. In both combinations, the companies say they’ll become more efficient firms and help lower health-care costs. Whether customers are actually poised to benefit is the key question for antitrust enforcers. (McLaughlin, 3/9)
The Star Tribune:
Bloomington Jobs Impact Unclear From Cigna Deal
The planned merger between Cigna and Express Scripts will be closely watched in Bloomington, where Express Scripts employs about 1,000 people. St. Louis-based Express Scripts, which is the nation's largest pharmaceutical benefits manager (PBM), has in the Twin Cities a mix of employees and contractors working in technology, account management, human resources, clinical evaluation and other corporate functions, said Brian Henry, a company spokesman. (Snowbeck, 3/9)
And in other industry news —
The Wall Street Journal:
Insurers Game Medicare System To Boost Federal Bonus Payments
The number in the corner of Upton Martin’s Medicare plan card from Humana Inc. changed twice over the past four years. He didn’t think anything of it, and his coverage didn’t seem different in any way. The changes, though, were evidence of a lucrative maneuver that has allowed Humana and other providers of Medicare Advantage plans to collect additional revenue from the federal government. (Wilde Mathews and Weaver, 3/11)