cadeucesInsurers: Trump hasn’t committed to payments that would keep them in ACA exchanges

By Ana Radelat

Washington: Despite reports to the contrary, President Donald Trump has not committed to making payments that insurers like Anthem say are needed for them to consider staying in Access Health CT and other state health insurance exchanges.

Kristine Grow, spokeswoman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, said the Trump administration has said it would make Cost-Sharing Reduction, or CSR payments for the month of May, but “is not committed to long-term payments.”

“So essentially we remain in the same place we’ve been for the last couple of months,” Grow said.

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

stvincentsBRIDGEPORT: In meetings in late February [see report] hospital executives told employees that it was considering a potential sale or merger in the future.

No formal documents had been presented to the Connecticut Department of Public Health for any action.

In an article in March 5th edition of the CT Post, Dianne Auger, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at the hospital, said in a statement. “Given the rapidly evolving health care landscape, at some point in the future, we believe it may be best for St. Vincent’s to explore strategic alignments with a local or regional health system so that we can continue to best serve our community." She added, “it should be noted that we are not currently in negotiations to do so,” Auger continued. “We want to assure the members of our community that our 3,700 associates and medical staff are privileged to continue the legacy of the Daughters of Charity who arrived in Bridgeport to found St. Vincent’s Hospital, and we plan on doing so far into the future.”

the american health care act gopBy, Arielle Levin Becker,

Members of Congress will begin moving forward today with efforts to pass the American Health Care Act, a proposal to replace many of the major provisions of the Affordable Care Act, the health law commonly known as Obamacare.

House Republicans say their plan will provide relief to those burdened by higher taxes, increased premiums and limited insurance options as a result of Obamacare.

cadeucesBy Mitchell Young

WASHINGTON: Aetna [NYSE: AET] and Cigna [NYSE:CI] have watched their huge mergers collapse this month under the weight of lawsuits brought by the Obama administration.

The Justice Department  won a first round legal ruling against the Anthem [NYSE: ANTM] Cigna deal and Cigna said enough is enough. Anthem said no way, and now the would be couple are talking trash and in court. 

Cigna CEO David Cordani was among the health insurance executives that met with the President. Cigna and Anthem are suing the hell out of each other, over their busted deal, both sides are claiming the other guy wanted to scuttle the merger. Some recent reports say that with a new administration, Cigna, Anthem's merger could be resurrected.

Health insurance CEOs met with President Trump on February 28 and are hoping for a friendlier environment for consolidations.The mergers between Aetna and Atlanta  based, Humana [NYSE: HUM] and Cigna with Anthem were first expected to go forward, a political backlash ensued and the Justice Department sued to prevent the mergers.

The US District Court in Washington DC, sided with the Justice Department in a ruling in January against the Aetna / Humana merger. The court action was enough fighting for Aetna, who called off the deal, in spite of having to pony up a billion dollars to Humana as a breakup fee. 

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini was once seen as among America's most liberal big company CEOs, as he criscrossed the country arguing for higher wages - $16 in big corporations. Alas, the healthcare titan has learned that "no good deed goes unpunished."  Bertolini has been excoriated on social media and in the courts over statments he made about the ACA Healthcare Exchanges. Aetna was accused of threatening to ditch participation in the ACA Exchanges if the Feds didn’t approve Aetna’s merger with Humana. Bertonlini insisted his comments were taken out of context, and said Aetna was losing too much money on the Exchanges and needed the merger for scale. in order to stick with the Health Care Exchanges. He also has said the ACA Exchanges were in a “death spiral,” that could win him big points with the President. 

Aetna CEO, Mark Bertolini , will he take his football to Boston?

In Connecticut only two insurers still sell health insurance on Connecticut’s Exchange, ConnectiCare and Anthem. ConnectiCare announced they were pulling out of the Exchange in September and then backtracked after a meeting with state officials. Connecticut industry sources have told us, that the State is potentially showing forbearance on ConnectiCare’s finances to keep them in the Exchange.

Connecticut regulators did shut down Healthy CT a Healthcare Insurer provided with $70 million as part of the Obama Adminstrations attempt to create more competition among insurers., HealthyCT like ConnectiCare was popular on the Exchange, but they were overtaken by underwriting loses.

Neither Senator Chris Murphy nor Senator Richard Blumenthal both Democrats supported Aetna or Cigna's merger plans. Murphy said he didn’t “oppose” the merger, but was focused only on Connecticut jobs.  Blumenthal demanded the Justice Department stop the mergers.

Aetna has been reportedly looking at office space to move their headquarters to Boston, in what very well could be payback for the a lack of support from Connecticut’s Democratic delegation with the Obama Admiistration

The Hartford Courant report on the meeting with the President

SVMC BridgportBRIDGEPORT: A report late Thursday, February 23 in the Connecticut Post revealed that management at Bridgeport’s St. Vincent's Hospital has told employees that a merger or sale of the hospital was possible. 

No official actions have been filed with the state, but employees were given a heads up last week at employee, management “town hall” meetings.

According to the Post, Dianne Auger, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at the hospital and president and CEO of the St. Vincent’s Medical Center Foundation, told employees, “we are exploring a variety of strategic options for St. Vincent’s.”

The St. Vincent's Medical Center is a 473-bed acute care Catholic hospital in Bridgeport, and with 3,700 hundred employees, it is the city’s largest employer.

New Haven’s former Catholic Hospital, Saint Raphael’s was purchased by the Yale New Haven Health System in 2012. The Yale system owns the 425 bed  2,300 employee Bridgeport Hospital.

hosptialtvBy: Keith M. Pahneuf,

Connecticut’s hospital industry launched a new television ad Thursday to protest Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s proposal to end nonprofit hospitals’ exemption from local property taxation.

The Connecticut Hospital Association announced the commercial will air starting today on network and cable television stations, and also can be seen at

The commercial opens by listing a variety of occupations and one common thread  among the people in all of them: they all pay a price when taxes rise on Connecticut hospitals.

By, Mitchell Young

NEW HAVEN: When a company reports organic revenue growth of 18.6% year over year, hats typically get tipped to the company, all over Wall Street. 
New Haven’s Alexion Pharmaceuticals [ NASDAQ: ALXN] did just that and more, its fourth quarter income was up substantially, from $67 million to $93 million. That’s real money, in anyone’s book, but there remain Alexion doubters still.

Alexion logo colorOnly a couple of months back the company parted ways with its CEO David Hallal and CFO Vikhas Sinha and installed an interim CEO, David Brennan a board member and former CEO of Astra Zeneca.

Screen shot 2017 02 09 at 4.14.54 PMInbox Health a Connecticut start up says they can help  health care providers, from very small practices to large health care systems better control their patient billing, insurance management  and the patient office experience. Inbox provide a HIPPA compliant software system and online portal that can be utilized even at very low costs. The company provide a three users model for as little as $79 per month and even has a pay as you go model for smaller practices.

Currently located in Bridgeport, the company is getting ready to move to New Haven in early Spring.  Inbox has raised $2.5 million of capital including a recent seed round of $1.5 million. The new investment was led by Connecticut Innovations [CII] which had invested in a still earlier seed stage and a diverse group of seed investors.