Here in no particular order are items of interest that have come up this week.
- Heath care spending growth in 2012 was a low 3.7 percent – the fourth consecutive year it has been under 4 percent. Moreover, health spending grew less than GDP growth, so health care’s percentage of the economy actually decreased.
- Rumors persist that bill review and auto insurance tech company Mitchell International is buying bill review tech company Stratacare. Word from multiple sources is the deal is close to done – that said, this one is especially tough to pin down… That said, there’s a lot of buzz out there. IF this pans out we’ll dive into the implications – but as of now that’s a definite “IF”.
- There’s a new book out on insurance regulation; it isn’t specific to WC however it is a good quick reference on PPACA, Dodd-Frank, and other timely topics. It’s the Insurance Regulation Answer Book 2014.
- On a much narrower but critically important issue, I direct you to the current issue of The Back Letter. A colleague described the key takeaways thusly: “the ongoing Medtronic food fight around BMP (bone morphogenic protein)…The Back Letter has done a nice job identifying that the core issues here go way, way beyond a single product, and focuses appropriately on the pervasive evils (OK, those are my words) that conflicts of interest bring.”
There’s also an excellent piece on doctor shopping for opioids in this issue; Thanks for the tip Doc.
- A terrific paper by Milliman addresses the “adverse selection” and “Obamacare death spiral” nonsense. Briefly, newborns, adult females, and older folks look to be the most profitable members – turning the industry on its head. Back in the good old days – two weeks ago – insurers wanted healthy folks only. Now, thanks to risk adjustment baked in to PPACA, things are a LOT different.
Enjoy the weekend!