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Dec 09, 2015

Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson wants to raise the Medicare eligibility age to 70 as part of a healthcare plan released Wednesday that would reshape the popular program for the nation's elderly in addition to overhauling Medicaid and repealing President Barack Obama's healthcare law.

The retired neurosurgeon is set to outline his healthcare plan for the first time on Wednesday while campaigning in Michigan. An outline provided to The Associated Press by the Carson campaign...

Dec 09, 2015
Dr. Steve Goldberg is no longer the chief medical officer of WellCare Health Plans, the managed-care insurer said this week. His position was terminated, but he will stay on with the company until April 1.

Instead of having a CMO, WellCare is restructuring to have three chief medical directors who focus on quality, utilization management and care models. Those three clinical positions will report to Michael Radu, WellCare's senior VP of clinical operations and business development, a...

Dec 09, 2015

Recent price spikes in generic prescription drugs are the result of market problems, including lack of competition and access, witnesses and lawmakers said Wednesday during a Senate hearing meant to find solutions to preventing sudden price hikes in off-patent medicines.

The Senate Select Committee on Aging is focusing on four companies that recently acquired generic drugs and then immediately raised their prices by as much as 5,000%. The different drugs treat conditions such as...

Dec 09, 2015

Providers are paying more for surgical lights as interest grows in units with video monitor and camera attachments, according to the latest Modern Healthcare/ECRI Institute Technology Price Index.

The average price paid for surgical light systems between August and October was $21,584, up 15% from the same period last year, the most recent Technology Price Index data showed. The TPI provides monthly and annual data on pricing for 30 supply and capital items that hospitals and other...

Dec 09, 2015
Andy Crowder has been appointed CIO and corporate senior VP at San Diego-based Scripps Health.

He starts Jan. 18 and replaces Patric Thomas, who will retire on Feb. 20.

A 30-year veteran of healthcare information technology, Crowder, 49, most recently served as senior VP and CIO at MaineHealth in Portland, Maine, where he led the implementation of an Epic Systems Corp. electronic health record. He has also held CIO roles at Florida Hospital in Orlando and Adventist Health System in...

Dec 09, 2015

A selection of opinions on health care from around the country.

The Huffington Post: The Biggest Blow To Obamacare Yet Could Come From Democrats
Congress is on the brink of taking a big bite out of the Affordable Care Act, after more than five years of mostly futile efforts by Republicans to weaken or repeal the law. Both houses now seem intent on approving a two-year delay in the introduction of the law’s “Cadillac tax” -- a controversial levy on expensive health...

Dec 09, 2015

News outlets report on health care developments in California, Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska and Florida.

The Associated Press: Report: 3 California Health Organizations Had Data Risks
Three Medi-Cal health providers risked having data stolen on thousands of patients because of security problems ranging from outdated anti-virus software to retaining the computer passwords of fired workers, according to a federal study released Tuesday. The...

Dec 09, 2015
The Affordable Care Act's individual mandate to buy health insurance for next year will be more costly than signing up for low-level coverage for 3.5 million Americans, according to an analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation released Wednesday.

That's because many of the 10.5 million uninsured people who are eligible to buy an exchange plan could receive heavily discounted coverage from premium subsidies.

The report comes less than a week before next year's first big enrollment...

Dec 09, 2015

The penalty for failing to have health insurance is going up, perhaps even higher than you expected.

Among uninsured individuals who are not exempt from the Affordable Care Act penalty, the average household fine for not having insurance in 2015 will be $661, rising to $969 per household in 2016, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis. Individuals will pay the penalty when they complete their federal taxes the following spring. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially...

Dec 08, 2015
Congressional leaders said Tuesday that they may work through the weekend to reach a budget deal, even though the deadline for a government shutdown is Friday at midnight. Republicans hope to push through delays to taxes meant to pay for provisions in the Affordable Care Act.

Congress could pass another continuing resolution, which President Barack Obama said he would sign, so long as an agreement was reached.

December 18 is the last day both houses are scheduled to be in session....