A 2011 lawsuit unsealed last week reveals the inner workings of the nation’s largest health insurer, UnitedHealth Group. In the lawsuit, lawyers for the plaintiff allege that UnitedHealth evaluated certain employees on how well they raised risk adjustment scores.
The lawyers contend the practice was part of a scheme to increase payments from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services by submitting false statements about the level of illness among Medicare Advantage patients. Continue reading
We posted a long item about Tom Price’s biography, and an overview of some of the issues that may come up during his confirmation as HHS secretary.
Joyce Frieden, news editor of MedPage Today, did a series of interviews with top academic health policy experts about what Price brings to the table, and we asked her to sum up the high points for you here, including some aspects that directly affect physicians and payment reform. Continue reading
The Food and Drug Administration has banned a communications practice that troubled journalists and sparked protests from AHCJ and others.
The agency has forbidden its media staff from using “close-hold embargoes,” in which reporters receive early access to information provided they promise not to seek comments from others until the embargo lifts, according to a letter sent Thursday to Karl Stark, president of the Association of Health Care Journalists. Continue reading
Donald J. Trump
The Association of Health Care Journalists and 60 other journalism organizations have requested a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence to discuss access to government.
The coalition sent a letter today to Trump and Pence, asking for a meeting or conference call.
“Journalists need to stick together in fighting for government transparency, and this letter – signed by so many journalism groups – is a heartening example of that unity,” said Felice J. Freyer, chair of AHCJ’s Right to Know Committee.
Read the specific concerns in the letter.
Expect tough questioning from Senate Democrats when Congressman Tom Price appears before two of their committees in his bid to become the next secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
His confirmation journey continues Jan. 18 with a hearing before the Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions) Committee. Then it’s on to the Senate Finance Committee (no date set as of this writing, but it’s expected to come after Donald Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration). Continue reading