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From Health Plan Weekly - Health Transformation Alliance (HTA), a nonprofit cooperative, launched group contracts with managed care companies and PBMs to cover 7 million employees, dependents and retirees starting Jan. 1, 2018. HTA is comprised of 46 large self-funded companies that together spend about $27.5 billion annually on health care. It is expected to save at least $600 million in total over the three-year contracts with PBMs CVS Health Corp. and UnitedHealth Group’s OptumRx. Read more

From Health Plan Weekly - Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s plans to jointly launch an independent health care company worried some stakeholders, while delighting others. “We welcome anybody pulling on our end of the rope in this tug of war,” CEO Rob Andrews of the Health Transformation Alliance (HTA), a group of more than 40 major employers, tells AIS Health. The three titans issued a jointed statement Jan. 30, saying they are “partnering on… Read more

From Health Plan Weekly - Creative and strategic ad campaigns and other efforts helped drive enrollment growth in some state-run public health insurance exchanges, despite what marketplace executives called a confusing and shortened enrollment period. In Connecticut, Access Health CT (AHCT) experienced its most successful enrollment result since 2013, with a 2.3% increase over the previous year. Read more

From Radar on Medicare Advantage - The newly released 2019 Advance Notice and draft Call Letter proposes easing several restrictions around Medicare Advantage benefit design, which reflects the administration’s theme of “empowering” MA plans. “The many flexibilities — a new broad definition of supplemental benefits, health condition specific benefits, geography specific benefits — have the potential to significantly change Medicare Advantage, by letting MAOs embrace leading practices from the employer and Medicaid markets,” says Michael Adelberg, a… Read more

From Radar on Specialty Pharmacy - Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA) launched a nurse navigators pilot program to make sure cancer patients receive comprehensive care after their treatment through an oncology medical home. The program will allow nurses to follow cancer patients after they leave the oncologist’s office, serve as a resource to address their needs and conditions, and help them access community services. Read more

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