Wonkery for Your Week

We wanted to spotlight two of the recent Health Wonk Reviews, a biweekly compendium of the best from the health policy blogosphere. Last week, Charles Gaba at (the best place to track Obamacare enrollment nationally) had a very California-heavy edition, with posts about Covered California’s quality initiatives, our death-with-dignity law, and our post about […] Read More

Centene/Health Net Executives Answer to Regulators, Consumer Advocates and the Public

Consumer advocates are still skeptical about the proposed merger between Centene and Health Net after a six-hour long hearing about the transaction, where insurance company executives provided vague explanations of how consumers would benefit for the merger, but were unwilling to make any specific commitments to protect consumers. On Friday, January 22, California Department of […] Read More

Attorney General Approves Daughters of Charity Hospital Deal, with Key Conditions

Yesterday afternoon, California Attorney General Kamala Harris approved the restructuring and support agreement between six Daughters of Charity Health System hospitals and BlueMountain Capital Management. The Attorney General’s approval includes significant conditions that keep key services open for 10 years, ensuring charity care levels at historical levels, and $180 million in capital improvements. Health Access […] Read More

Blue Shield Tries To Back Out Of $140 Million Commitment to California Communities

When nonprofit insurer Blue Shield California made a $1.2 billion bid to acquire Care1st, a Medi-Cal managed care plan serving 500,000 Southern California patients, it agreed to conditions set forth by DMHC (Department of Managed Health Care), including a commitment to increase its investment in the state’s safety net by an additional $140 million over 10 […] Read More

UCLA Forum tonight: Is Merger Mania Healthy?

“Is Merger Mania Healthy?” The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has inspired many providers to consolidate and major payers have now joined this trend. Anthem has announced that it is merging with Cigna, and Aetna announced it is merging with Humana. If these mega mergers are approved by the government, the health insurance industry will consolidate […] Read More

DMHC Hearing on Blue Shield Acquisition of Care1st Gets at Larger Questions on Nonprofit Obligations

Yesterday’s hearing (covered today in the LA Times) on nonprofit Blue Shield of California and its bid to acquire for-profit Medicaid managed care plan Care1st provided better clarity on the issues at stake in the $1.25 billion transaction, and little reason to doubt whether the assets Blue Shield proposes to use should be subject to charitable trust obligations. The comment period […] Read More