The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association announced Thursday that all of its 36 member companies will contribute healthcare quality and cost information to BCBS Axis, which the company bills as the "largest database in the healthcare industry."
During Tuesday's Senate committee hearing on the two pending health insurer mergers, the CEOs of Aetna and Anthem, as expected, explained why they thought the deals' benefits outweigh any anticompetitive concerns. But as Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), noted, the two-plus hour hearing only scratched the surface of some of the complex issues associated with the proposed deals, which would pare down the country's largest health insurers from five to three.
Now that Congress is back in session, the effort to alter Affordable Care Act provision that would expand the definition of the small-group insurance market has begun to gain momentum.
Rochester, New York-based Excellus BlueCross BlueShield has become the latest health insurer to fall victim to a cyberattack, the company announced Wednesday.
In addition to the scrutiny it will face from federal and state regulators, another major hurdle involved in the Anthem-Cigna merger is how the deal will interact with Anthem's membership in the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
When Anthem and Cigna announced a $54.2 billion deal Friday, it marked an abrupt turnaround from where negotiations between the two health insurers stood just a month earlier.
While it's "very generous" of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association to offer identity protection services to all of its 160 million members, the move ultimately it doesn't fix the issue of hackers' troubling ability to access health insurers' customer data, a cybersecurity expert said.
Pharmaceutical spending, particularly for specialty drugs, skyrocketed last year. Spending on drugs rose 13 percent in 2014 from the prior year, reaching $373.9 billion, according to a report from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
Insurers might have to provide consumers with more information about their drug coverage if federal regulators include recommendations from doctors and pharmaceutical companies in the next revision of the summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) as well as the uniform glossary, LifeHealthPro reported.
The healthcare industry, which lags behind others when it comes to cybersecurity, now faces what is shaping up to be the largest breach of healthcare data in history. Details are emerging about who may have perpetrated the attack and how they gained access.