UnitedHealth and MD Anderson Launch Bundled Payment Pilot and ACA Enrollment to Reach 10.5M by 2015
This week in healthcare, UnitedHealth announced plans to launch a pilot oncology “bundled payment” program in partnership with MD Anderson Cancer Center, and a new analysis predicts ACA enrollment will reach 10.5M by the end of 2015.
Earlier this month UnitedHealth announced plans to launch a pilot “bundled payment” program in partnership with MD Anderson in Houston. According to an MD Anderson physician, “Bundled pricing is something that patients and care providers want, and this is our first opportunity to better understand how we can manage costs without sacrificing quality care and patient outcomes.”
A new report by Avalere health predicts that total enrollment in Exchange healthcare plans will reach between 9.5 and 11.5 million by the end of 2015. This would mean a 40% enrollment increase at the low end, or a 70% increase at the high end. Avalere attributed their conclusion to three main factors: a push towards reaching currently uninsured demographics like youth and Hispanics, the fact that awareness is still low and ripe for education outreach efforts, and whether attrition rises or lowers in the coming year.
In a recent report examining employer health insurance coverage between 2003 and 2013, the Commonwealth Fund found that “premiums for family coverage increased 73 percent over the past decade—faster than median family income”. The report also found a 93% increase in workers premium contributions over 10 years, but a slow in overall growth of premiums between 2010 and 2013.
In this interactive slideshow, Medscape provides a look back over the health-related news that defined 2014. Entries include everything from the ebola outbreak to the release of Medicare billing data to the legal debate over ACA subsidies, which is still ongoing.
Insurers loosen payment deadlines for ACA plans
As insurance companies work to integrate Exchange insurees into their systems, some insurers are offering flexible deadlines to ACA enrollees. Since premiums for January coverage are generally due December 31, the December 15 end to ACA open enrollment makes it a tight turnaround, so insurers are hoping a little flexibility on the first month’s payment will “make sure consumers have greater peace of mind about their healthcare coverage.”
As the future of possible Congressional SGR reform remains unclear, the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) urges administrators to consider contingency plans: “An initial step in better understanding the potential effect of a Medicare reimbursement decline is to determine the organization’s financial exposure. In other words, of the practice’s total collections, how much reimbursement do you expect from Medicare and what changes would need to be made if 21% of this revenue was cut?“
ASCO Policy Statement Urges Removal of Barriers to Patient Participation in Phase I Clinical Trials
In a recently released statement, ASCO called for “greater access to and education about phase I clinical trials, the first-in-human studies of new agents designed to fight cancer.” In support of this assertion, ASCO provided five specific recommendations for action, which include urging federal and state agencies to reimburse patient costs associated with Phase I Clinical Trials and requesting the development of more and better educational materials about Phase I Clinical Trials.
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