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February 24, 2014
09:47 EDTHUMHumana says evaluating changes detailed in CMS Medicare Advantage notice
Humana stated in a regulatory filing that on Friday, February 21, after the stock market close, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, issued its Advance Notice detailing preliminary 2015 Medicare Advantage benchmark payment rates. CMS has invited public comment on these preliminary rates before releasing final rates on April 7. In the company’s earnings release call for Q4 held on February 5, the company discussed that it anticipated the Advance Notice would result in a decline in Medicare Advantage funding of 6%-7% for 2015, including the impact of the industry fee. "Based upon the 2015 Advance Notice, these same factors as well as the potential impact of CMS’s proposed changes to the calculation of Fee-for-Service, or FFS, costs are now expected to result in a funding decline for 2015 of 3.5%-4.0%," Humana said. The Advance Notice also proposes changes associated with enrollee risk assessments that would potentially result in additional significant funding declines. Humana will be providing comments to CMS in support of this critical program. Humana said, "The company is continuing to evaluate the changes detailed in the Advance Notice and the related impact company-wide and by geography. Further, Humana is closely analyzing all operational avenues to address the 2015 preliminary rates and the related impacts upon the company’s Medicare membership and its earnings for 2015. Humana is committed to providing quality care and service to its members through the Medicare Advantage program. The company will be drawing upon its program expertise to comment on the impact of these preliminary rate changes upon beneficiaries as it provides comments to CMS."
News For HUM From The Last 14 Days
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October 2, 2015
08:31 EDTHUMAllergan and Humana announce research partnership
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September 25, 2015
06:39 EDTHUMAPA: Big insurance firm mergers could harm mental healthcare, Reuters says
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September 23, 2015
08:11 EDTHUMLeerink sees less political risk for Managed Care mergers after hearings
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September 22, 2015
20:02 EDTHUMClinton vows $250 cap on monthly drug costs in blast against biotechs, insurers
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton railed against biotech companies as well as health insurers at a community health care forum in Iowa on Tuesday. Clinton began her speech by praising the Affordable Care Act, but quickly noted that she wants to strengthen it due to what she called the rising cost of prescription drugs. She explained, "Our pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries deserve credit... [But] too often, these drugs cost a fortune. Now, sometimes there is a good reason for that. Scientific breakthroughs are often the result of major investment... so it may makes sense, for a short period of time, to have to charge a lot of money for a drug. But when a drug has no competition, when there aren't any other treatments that can do what it does, pharmaceutical companies can charge astronomical fees far beyond anything that it would take to recoup their investment, and far beyond what they charge consumers anywhere else in the world outside of America." Referencing the recent criticism against Turing Pharmaceuticals, Clinton went on to say that "pharmaceutical companies that acquire an existing affordable drug that people rely on, and then turn around and charge a fortune for it, [are just betting] on the fact that desperate people will find some way to pay for it." Preemptively responding to questions of whether greater regulation will dampen investment, Clinton commented that "some people worry that my proposals will threaten innovation, but I have designed a plan that will do exactly the opposite... Under my plan, drug companies that want to keep getting federal support will have to redirect more of their profits into meaningful investments in research and development." Clinton also criticized incremental drug improvements, saying that "too often, so-called new drugs are really old drugs that have just been tweaked a little bit, but then they're marketed as breakthrough drugs and they're sold for high prices." The Democratic candidate went on to condemn advertising in the drug industry, remarking that "I also want to tackle direct to consumer advertising... Other countries ban these ads because they are so often misleading. But at the very least, we shouldn't be encouraging them with corporate write-offs... Under my plan, we will instead use that taxpayer money to fund innovation... I would also like to make sure any ads the drug industry does run are approved by the FDA." Moving more broadly onto Medicaid and health insurers, Clinton stated, "I believe Medicare should be able to negotiate for lower prices for its members... I will require drug companies to provide higher rebates for prescription drugs to low income Medicare patients, just like they have to do for Medicaid patients... I think the insurance companies need to be put on notice." Providing more concrete details of her plan, Clinton concluded, "I will cap out of pocket drug costs for working families. You won't have to pay more than $250 a month for covered medications... Particularly for people who have a chronic illness. Also under my plan, you will be able to import cheaper drugs from other countries legally. If the medicine you need costs less in Canada, you should be able to buy it from Canada or any other country that meets our safety standards... I will also make sure we have more generics on the market [by boosting funding for] the FDA's office of generic drugs."
14:52 EDTHUMAetna plans to raise Humana wages after merger, Bloomberg says
Aetna (AET) CEO Mark Bertolini plans to raise wages to $16 per hour for about 10,000 low-wage Humana (HUM) employees if the prospective merger of the two companies goes through, reports Bloomberg, citing written testimony at a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing. "Our hope is these initiatives will help reduce employee turnover," explained Bertolini. Reference Link
08:37 EDTHUMAetna, Anthem CEOs set to testify to Senate committee, WSJ reports
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