August 30, 2016
ISSUE | HEALTH CARE Insurance unaffordable I am worried about proposed health-insurance rate hikes proposed for next year. Aetna has requested an 18 percent increase for its HMO, and Independence Blue Cross's Keystone Health Plan East, also an HMO, has proposed a 13 percent increase. Medical treatments are getting pricier every year, and a recent study by the University of Michigan found that patients are bearing a much larger share of that cost. According to the four-year study, deductibles rose 86 percent and coinsurance costs increased 33 percent.
August 18, 2016 |
Aetna Inc.'s decision to withdraw from Affordable Care Act exchanges in Pennsylvania and 10 other states means that Independence Blue Cross will be the only major firm offering individual plans for 2017 to Southeastern Pennsylvania residents. In its announcement Monday, Aetna, of Hartford, Conn., cited a second-quarter loss of $200 million on the exchange business because a large number of newly insured people needed high-cost care. Aetna serves about 31,000 Pennsylvanians through the marketplace, about 6 percent of the state's individual health insurance market, according to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department.
August 13, 2016 |
Tandigm Health said Thursday that 65 primary care physicians in a group affilated with St. Mary Medical Center, in Langhorne, had joined its network, bringing the Tandigm total to 440. Tandigm, based in West Conshohocken, is a joint venture of affiliates of Independence Blue Cross and DaVita HealthCare Partners. Its goal is to help primary doctors coordinate patient care in a bid to improve quality and reduce costs. email@example.com 215-854-4651 @InqBrubaker
August 4, 2016
Health insurers have requested rate changes for individual plans that will be offered this fall on New Jersey's Affordable Care Act marketplace, according to data posted Monday on HealthCare.gov. The biggest requested increase was from Oxford Health Insurance Inc., a unit of UnitedHealthcare. Its Oxford NJ EPO (exclusive provider organization) asked for an average rate increase of 32.3 percent, which would affect an estimated 3,441 people. The state's largest insurer, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, requested increases for individual plans ranging from slightly less than 1 percent for its basic catastrophic plan to 7.55 percent for an Advantage exclusive provider plan.
July 9, 2016 |
The insurer Health Partners Plans had 32 percent of the Medicaid market in Southeastern Pennsylvania last year, but accounted for 70 percent of regional spending on hepatitis C drugs. That meant the Philadelphia company spent $32 million on expensive new drugs to treat the disease that damages the liver - and had to absorb 60 percent of that outlay as a loss because its contract did not include enough money to cover a surge in hepatitis C treatments. But this year, Pennsylvania regulators launched a risk-sharing plan to help its Medicaid contractors withstand the crippling costs of hepatitis C drugs, which cure the disease but are so expensive that states and Medicaid plans have struggled with how to pay for them.
July 8, 2016 |
Win some, lose some. That's how it goes for Independence Blue Cross subsidiary AmeriHealth Caritas, which manages Medicaid benefits for state governments and has limited opportunities to bid on contracts. But lately the wins have been outweighing the losses for the company, which has its headquarters near Philadelphia International Airport and employs 5,600. That should help AmeriHealth Caritas continue the financial gains it posted last year, when it had net income of $93 million on $6.54 billion of revenue, according to the annual report of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, which owns 38.7 percent of the company.
July 3, 2016
A structured walking program that offered encouragement and support improved participants' mood and energy levels and even led to the shedding of a few pounds, a study by Independence Blue Cross found. The research, which was published June 27 in the American Journal of Health Promotion, involved about 460 randomly chosen employees. Half the participants worked for companies insured by IBC with managers who typically put up posters or offered other passive walking encouragement.
May 10, 2016
To celebrate the first-year success of Indego, Philadelphia's bike-sharing program, its staff recently donned T-shirts sporting the slogan "Inbudget, Incontrol, Independent, Inshape. " Given the soaring popularity of Indego, which saw riders straddle its distinctive teal bicycles more than 420,000 times last year, the day may come when "In Every Zip Code" will be added to that list. But for that to happen, Indego's scope, ambition - and, yes, funding - will have to grow too. It was evident at Indego's first birthday celebration - which took place on the Race Street Pier, complete with a cake-cutting by Mayor Kenney - that there is substantial demand for a bike-sharing system that reaches deeper into city neighborhoods.
April 23, 2016 |
Tandigm Health, a West Conshohocken start-up designed to help primary-care doctors manage costs and improve care in Southeastern Pennsylvania, said Friday that it cut health-care expenditures by $15 million last year. Most of the savings - which totaled $3 million more than hoped for - came in the Medicare Advantage side of the business, which covers about 25,000 patients, Tandigm president and chief executive Anthony Coletta said. "We dropped our Medicare Advantage spend by 3 percent, which is a big thing in the Philadelphia market," said Coletta, who is also an executive at Independence Blue Cross, one of Tandigm's owners.
April 14, 2016
By Daniel J. Hilferty and Bill Roberson National Volunteer Week, which began on Sunday, was established by President Richard Nixon in 1974 to recognize the incredible social and economic impact volunteers make. Coincidentally, that was the same year the first Ronald McDonald House was founded here in Philadelphia. In 2014, roughly 62.8 million Americans spent 7.9 billion hours volunteering, and the Independent Sector estimates the value of those efforts at nearly $184 billion.