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.
July 14, 2016 |
Drug overdose deaths in Pennsylvania jumped more than 23 percent last year, the Drug Enforcement Administration reported Tuesday, by far the biggest increase in at least a decade and a sign that the addiction epidemic remains out of control. An analysis of drug-related fatalities by the DEA's Philadelphia Field Division found a 5 percent rise in deaths involving heroin, along with an astonishing increase - up 93 percent in one year - in the presence of the synthetic opioid fentanyl in the bodies of people who died of overdoses.
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 4, 2016 |
Spotting a Hollywood megastar on set anywhere in Southeastern Pennsylvania this year will take more than a telephoto lens or a lucky break. Because for the first time in a good decade, no major feature films are slotted to be shot in or around the nation's fifth-largest city this year. The grim milestone has film boosters on edge in a region once adept at luring big-money producers to its cobblestone alleys and tree-lined suburbs. Pennsylvania's film tax credit is no longer working the same big-screen magic here.
June 20, 2016 |
Inquirer Player of the Year Nolan Jones Holy Ghost Prep, infielder The 6-foot-4, 220-pounder starred as a smooth-fielding shortstop, incredibly dangerous lefthanded hitter, and hard-throwing righthanded closer. Jones was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the second round of Major League Baseball's amateur draft. He was the No. 55 overall pick. Many publications had predicted that the talented senior would be snatched in the first round. "Cleveland is a great organization, so I'm happy," Jones said.
June 20, 2016
Pete Mackanin is manager of the Phillies During my six decades in baseball, as a player, coach, and manager, I have worn more caps than a New Era model. Two dozen in all, including my present one, as manager of the Phillies. But the most important cap I have worn is that of father. This nomad's life hasn't always been easy for me, or my son, Shane, or my wife, Nancy. During our 40 years of marriage, we have moved at least 57 times. Shane, now 38, attended 12 different schools before the ninth grade.
June 6, 2016 |
When the feds closed Brotherly Love Ambulance Inc. in October 2011 amid allegations of Medicare fraud, the owner's son quickly opened his own ambulance company and picked up where his mother had left off. For a while, anyway. Bassem Kuran, who also was a driver for Brotherly Love, is to be arraigned this month for making false statements in a healthcare matter, related to his operation of VIP Ambulance Inc. For years, teams of federal officials have been trying to stamp out this "whack-a-mole" pattern of one fraudulent ambulance operator shutting down only to have another - sometimes headed by a friend or family member - replace it. But since 2014, authorities have hit on an effective strategy.
June 6, 2016 |
The state baseball playoffs begin Monday, with 15 area teams seeking to claim gold on June 17 at Penn State's Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. But before the players on the diamond take center stage, let's talk some football. Specifically, the top uncommitted recruits in the Class of 2017 from Southeastern Pennsylvania - and their college possibilities. Here's our top-10 list, which is based on current abilities and potential to exceed at the next level. 1. D'Andre Swift, St. Joseph's Prep, RB. A dynamic and versatile playmaker, the 5-foot-10, 210-pounder is seriously considering scholarship offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, and Penn State.
May 18, 2016 |
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput has called all Catholic priests from Southeastern Pennsylvania to meetings Tuesday to discuss proposed state legislation, as lawmakers in Harrisburg this week consider a bill that for the first time would allow some victims of child sex abuse to sue their attackers and the institutions that employed them. The priests have been asked to attend one of two meetings, at 2 and 7 p.m., at St. Helena Church in Blue Bell, Montgomery County, according to a person with knowledge of the event.
April 29, 2016 |
Charlie Gerow realized early Tuesday that he was about to be trumped. An uncommitted candidate for delegate to the Republican National Convention, Gerow stopped at a polling station in the Fourth Congressional District outside Harrisburg to shake hands and ask for support. "I see people are coming into the polls with the Trump slate on a card in their pockets," Gerow said. "I've never seen anything like it in a delegate race. " A well-known GOP political consultant who advised Carly Fiorina's presidential campaign earlier this year, Gerow has been elected a delegate several times.