MHA Today | February 15, 2017

February 15, 2017
MHA Today: News for Healthcare Leaders

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In This Issue
Governor Appoints Chief Insurance Regulator
Legislators Consider Sexual Assault Kit Tracking System
CMS Proposes Rule To Stabilize Individual And Small Group Markets
Anthem/Cigna Squabbles Intensify
USDA Accepts Grant Applications For Broadband Services
SSM Health Names New President And CEO

Advocate
state and federal health policy developments


Governor Appoints Chief Insurance Regulator

Staff Contact: Daniel Landon

Gov. Eric Greitens has appointed Chlora Lindley-Myers as the Director of the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration. She previously held an insurance regulator position in Missouri and also served with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and other state insurance departments.

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Legislators Consider Sexual Assault Kit Tracking System

Staff Contact: Daniel Landon

A state legislative committee held a hearing on House Bill 578, which would create a state system for tracking the kits used to collect forensic evidence for the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault crimes. The first-year projected cost of implementing the measure is $2.6 million.

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Regulatory News
the latest actions of agencies monitoring health care


CMS Proposes Rule To Stabilize Individual And Small Group Markets

Staff Contact: Andrew Wheeler

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released a proposed rule that would implement reforms that are critical to stabilizing the individual and small group health insurance markets. The proposed rule makes changes to special enrollment periods, the annual open enrollment period, guaranteed availability, network adequacy rules, essential community providers and actuarial value requirements. CMS’ Acting Administrator Patrick Conway stated, “Americans participating in the individual health insurance markets deserve as many health insurance options as possible. This proposal will take steps to stabilize the marketplace, provide more flexibility to states and insurers, and give patients access to more coverage options. They will help protect Americans enrolled in the individual and small group health insurance markets while future reforms are being debated.” Comments about the proposed rule must be received no later than 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 7.

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Noteworthy


Anthem/Cigna Squabbles Intensify

Staff Contact: Jane Drummond

Cigna is seeking a court order to terminate its merger agreement with Anthem, claiming that there is no longer a feasible path to regulatory approval of the transaction. Cigna claims that Anthem’s willful breach of the terms of the proposal resulted in a recent court decision to deny the merger. Cigna also alleges that its shareholders lost the benefit of $13 billion in premium revenue, for which it is seeking damages from Anthem, along with a $1.85 billion breakup fee. Anthem claims that Cigna has no legal right to terminate the merger agreement and announced plans to seek a restraining order. Anthem has appealed the trial court’s order denying the merger. Tensions between the two companies were evident in the judge’s order denying the proposed merger.

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USDA Accepts Grant Applications For Broadband Services

Staff Contact: Jim Mikes

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is granting 10 rural communities with awards ranging from $100,000 to $3 million to fund broadband services for public and private use. Grant funds may be used in the following ways.

  • deploy service at the Broadband Grant Speed to critical community facilities, rural residents, and rural businesses
  • construct, acquire or expand a community center
  • equip a community center that provides free service access to community residents for at least two years.


USDA's Community Connect grants are available to private and nonprofit organizations, most state and local governments, and federally recognized tribes. The deadline to apply is Monday, March 13.



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CEO Announcements


SSM Health Names New President And CEO

Staff Contact: Carol Boessen

SSM Health in St. Louis has announced that Laura S. Kaiser will serve as the next President and CEO, effective May 1. She will succeed William P. Thompson, who is retiring after 37 years of service with SSM Health. Kaiser has more than 30 years of health care leadership experience and most recently served as Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer of Intermountain Healthcare. A list of CEO changes is available online.

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Consider This ...

Of the 112.5 million blood donations collected globally, approximately half are collected in high-income countries — home to 19 percent of the world’s population.

Source: World Health Organization