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Actavis to purchase four currently marketed products from Akorn

Actavis to purchase four currently marketed products from Akorn

Actavis plc, a leading global specialty pharmaceutical company, today announced that it has entered into agreements with Akorn, Inc. and Hi-Tech Pharmacal Co. Inc. to purchase four currently marketed products and one product under development [More]

Medicare pays doctors even after they're sanctioned

A ProPublica report finds that the agency continued paying doctors, pharmacists and other health professionals even after they were charged with bilking the program. Meanwhile, a report recommends that Medicare pay hospitals less for low-risk outpatient surgeries. [More]
First Edition: April 17, 2014

First Edition: April 17, 2014

Today's headlines include reports about emerging political strategies related to the health law and the upcoming congressional elections. [More]

UnitedHealth Group reports strong revenue growth in Q1 2014

UnitedHealth Group today reported first quarter results, highlighted by Optum's strong growth in revenues, operating earnings and revenue backlog and UnitedHealthcare's continued strong, diversified performance despite the negative impacts of newly effective ACA taxes and regulatory provisions and sequestration cuts to Medicare. [More]

Viewpoints: Cooking the Census books; immigrants left off health law; abortion still a 'tripwire'

You can't manage what you don't measure, as the great Peter Drucker used to say, and for the White House that seems to be the goal. Out of the blue, the Census Bureau has changed how it counts health insurance-;at the precise moment when ObamaCare is roiling the insurance markets (4/15). [More]

State highlights: Mass. can't ban painkiller, judge rules; Kan. and health care compact bill

A selection of health policy stories from Massachusetts, Kansas, Florida, Michigan, Connecticut, Maryland, Arizona, Hawaii, Missouri and Georgia. [More]

Study quantifies adherence to recommended surveillance colonoscopy in average-risk patients

According to a new study, endoscopists' recommendations for timing of surveillance colonoscopy in average-risk patients with one to two small polyps are consistent with guideline recommendations in about 90 percent of cases. T [More]

A heavy lift? legal challenge to Medicare's 'two midnight' rule

Modern Healthcare reports that some legal experts say it will be tough to convince judges to overturn the controversial rule on classifying Medicare in-patients. [More]

Enrollment extensions wind down but health law politics getting complicated

People wanting coverage on the federal and some state websites needed to sign up by Tuesday, and federal officials say they won't again extend the deadline. In addition, news outlets examine why it will take time to determine whether the overhaul is a success and how Republicans are treading carefully as they call for overturning a law that has provided benefits to millions of Americans. [More]

Humana's members now get access to Dignity Health facilities in Arizona

Humana Inc., one of the nation's leading health and well-being companies, has reached an agreement that provides its members access to Dignity Health facilities in Arizona. [More]

First Edition: April 16, 2014

Today's headlines include a report detailing how changes in the Census Bureau's annual survey could mask the health law's impact. [More]

Highlights: N.Y.'s $8B Medicaid waiver; Conn. Medicaid application delays settlement; managed care overpayment in Washington state

New York and federal officials report final agreement allowing the state to reinvest $8 billion in Medicaid savings to support hospital overhauls and expand primary medical care over the next five years. The goal of the Medicaid waiver is to reduce avoidable hospital use by 25 percent while helping financially struggling hospitals shift to more primary and outpatient care (4/14). [More]
Viewpoints: Obamacare dilemma -- some people dislike the law but embrace its provisions; are health costs falling?

Viewpoints: Obamacare dilemma -- some people dislike the law but embrace its provisions; are health costs falling?

Polls have consistently shown that even though the public opposes Obamacare, people like some of its most significant provisions. That's particularly true of the requirement that insurers ignore preexisting conditions when signing up customers for coverage. [More]

Wal-Mart exec who led health care expansion steps down

News emerged Monday in an internal staff memo that John Agwunobi would leave his post running the retailer's health and wellness division. [More]

CBO shrinks estimate of health law spending based on lower subsidy costs

Expanding health coverage under the health law will also slow premium growth, helping lower the total cost of the law, the nonpartisan office said. [More]

Researchers examine relationship between vitamin D deficiency and cognitive impairment

Vitamin D deficiency and cognitive impairment are common in older adults, but there isn't a lot of conclusive research into whether there's a relationship between the two. [More]

Fallout continues around Medicare Advantage payment rates

The Obama administration's decision to reverse a proposed Medicare Advantage payment cut has been panned by insurance analysts and governors, among others. [More]

Disparity in Medicare provider payments in Oregon, data show

Information gleaned from the federal government's Medicare data dump shows that Oregon providers and provider groups were paid $508 million in 2012. However, some providers made more than others. Meanwhile the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that arising from the data, Wisconsin Congressional members want physicians rated on quality of care. [More]
Johnson & Johnson's sales increase 3.5% to $18.1 billion in first quarter 2014

Johnson & Johnson's sales increase 3.5% to $18.1 billion in first quarter 2014

Johnson & Johnson today announced sales of $18.1 billion for the first quarter of 2014, an increase of 3.5% as compared to the first quarter of 2013. Operational results increased 5.3% and the negative impact of currency was 1.8%. Domestic sales increased 2.2%. International sales increased 4.5%, reflecting operational growth of 7.9% and a negative currency impact of 3.4%. [More]

First Edition: April 15, 2014

Today's headlines include reports about the Congressional Budget Office's latest estimate of the costs for expanding health insurance. [More]