“The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld a lower court ruling from February that blocked the two insurers from merging on grounds that the combination would harm competition, particularly in the national employer market.” Source: Modern Healthcare.
A study using 2016 data has shown that charity care provided by non-profit hospitals in America equals anywhere from 0.46% to 16.69% of a hospital’s expenses. These figures reflect uncompensated care and losses from care given to Medicaid-covered patients. These figures do not include bad debt, or write-offs from patients who do not pay.
Among the Top 20 hospitals, by revenue, the average amount of charity care provided is 5.21% of expenses. Source: Modern Healthcare.
“The FDA issued its strongest level of drug warnings Thursday concerning opioid pain-reliever use in children.
“Medicines containing codeine and another narcotic, tramadol, will now require a label indicating that they should not be used by children under 12. For children ages 12-18, and for breastfeeding mothers, the FDA said, the use of these medications should be limited.”
Source: Kate Sheridan, STAT
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“Aetna spokesman T.J. Crawford said that the company had informed federal and state regulators that it would not offer plans in Iowa’s exchange because of “financial risk and an uncertain outlook for the marketplace” on Thursday. That followed the announcement Monday that Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield would also pull out of Iowa’s marketplaces next year.
“The combination of the two exits will leave the vast majority of counties in the states with only one insurer, assuming that there are no other changes, according to Cynthia Cox of the Kaiser Family Foundation.
“While we have seen signs that the market is moving toward stabilization, generally speaking, there are parts of the country that are likely fragile and at high risk of losing insurers or having premium increases,” Cox said. “There’s a lot of uncertainty around repeal and replace; it’s not clear what the Trump administration may do around the individual mandate or cost sharing subsidies and without more clarity from the administration and Congress, insurers are likely very hesitant to participate in the individual market.” Source: Reuters, Washington Post, Wall street Journal.