Will the Urge to Merge Help Healthcare?

Businessmen connect puzzle lamp. Joint efforts, success, union, idea. Vector illustration Eps 10 file. Success Cooperation

The announcement this week that CVS would be acquiring Aetna is the latest effort to remake U.S. healthcare. Costs are still spiraling upwards at an unsustainable rate and try as we can, inertia makes efficiency and cost reduction battles difficult to win. “Bigger” hasn’t done much to reduce costs. The health insurance market is down to… [Read More]

The New Front Door to Healthcare


America is seeking a new normal in healthcare. At the National Blue Cross Consortium meeting this week, I listened to the consultant Oliver Wyman discuss future healthcare trends. The theory they are espousing is that Americans are changing the way they access healthcare. Telemedicine and retail clinics (Walmart/CVS) are increasingly becoming the new portal to… [Read More]

High Healthcare Inflation Is Back


After five years of historical lows for healthcare inflation, rapid growth has returned. From 2009 – 2013 healthcare spending showed average annual increases of 3.9%, but 2014’s jump of 5% indicates that the slowdown is over. I predicted this trend in a December blog, writing that healthcare spending increases in 2013 was at an historic… [Read More]

Let’s Get Real: We Have to Make This Work


The healthcare game is seriously the hottest political one in town. First it was the Republican obstructionist antics and now Democratic commentators are spewing more spin than a kid’s top. We all need to face reality: It’s not a game. The stakes are too big. Let’s be clear about a couple of important points. When complaints pour… [Read More]

Healthcare Inflation: Easing or…Maybe Not?


We have been hearing, for the past few years, that healthcare trend has been on the decline. In fact, most independent observers and most large self-insured plans have noted that trend has slowed. Even national insurers such as Aetna and United Healthcare are advising of single-digit inflation rates when reporting their earnings. Let’s look at… [Read More]