Insurance News: Sen. Feinstein Supports State Review Of Rate Increases
Sen. Dianne Feinstein announced she is supporting a ballot measure to give California regulators the power to approve health insurance rates. In other news, Blue Shield in California says it will cover an autism behavioral therapy and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Colorado and Connecticut announce plans to pay doctors for coordinating care.
Los Angeles Times: Sen. Feinstein Backs Health Insurance Rate Controls
A high-stakes ballot measure to give state regulators the power to approve health insurance rates in California has landed a heavyweight supporter: U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein. One of California's most respected politicians, Feinstein has come forward as the chief spokeswoman and No. 1 booster of a proposed initiative to regulate hikes in health premiums (Lifsher, 2/1).
The Sacramento Bee: Blue Shield Settles Autism Therapy Dispute
Blue Shield will cover behavioral therapy for autism in accordance with the state's mental health parity law in a settlement with the California Department of Insurance. The settlement, announced Tuesday, resolves a Department of Insurance enforcement action filed in July and confirms terms that Blue Shield agreed to at that time (Smith, 2/2).
Los Angeles Times: Blue Shield Agrees To Cover Autism Therapy
A major health insurance company has settled an enforcement action with state regulators over providing special therapy for autism patients. California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones on Tuesday said that Blue Shield of California Life & Health Insurance Co. agreed to immediately cover the cost of applied behavior analysis therapy, which Jones described as a well-recognized and effective treatment (Lifsher, 2/1).
Kansas City Star: Insurance Companies Cover Missouri Autism Treatments
Missouri's insurance department says nearly 4,000 residents received autism treatments that were covered by their health insurance plans last year. The department said Wednesday that insurance companies covered about $4.3 million in autism-related treatments in 2011. A state law that took effect in January 2011 requires health insurance companies to cover certain autism treatments, such as behavioral analyses (2/2).
Denver Post: Colorado Health Care Provider Anthem Pays Front-Line Doctors Bonuses To Cut Costs
The largest private insurer in Colorado will pay bonuses to front-line doctors for their face time and care coordination with patients, then reward them further when they meet health targets and savings goals. The move by Anthem, with 950,000 Colorado members and 2,500 primary-care doctors on contract, follows striking success in a pilot program where such bonuses sharply cut hospital days and emergency room use (Booth, 2/2).
The CT Mirror: Joining Trend, Anthem To Pay Docs For Coordinating Care, Work Outside Office Visits
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the state's largest health insurer, announced plans to encourage primary care doctors to coordinate patient care and compensate them for activities that improve health but don't require office visits. The announcement is the latest endorsement of efforts to change the way primary care providers are paid. Earlier this week, Aetna announced that it has launched a program in Connecticut and New Jersey that will provide monthly care coordination payments for physicians who serve as "patient centered medical homes" and more actively coordinate and manage their patients' care (Levin Becker, 2/1).