Here's What You May or May Not Have Missed This Week:
• Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that they will raise the reimbursement level for health insurers under the reinsurance program, which covers costs for higher-cost, sicker patients. The reimbursement increase was made under an Affordable Care Act provision intended to protect health insurers from excessive medial costs, and to encourage them to participate in new high-risk markets. Source
• CVS has signed an agreement to buy Target's pharmacy business for $1.9 billion and operate the 1,660 pharmacies that are housed in Target's stores. They will re-brand the pharmacies as CVS/pharmacy and also take over Target's 80 in-store health clinics. The deal allows CVS to expand its customer base and improve Target's struggling pharmacy business. Source
• The FDA has set a final deadline for the food industry to eliminate industrial trans fats from the food supply by 2018. The decision will remove the artery-clogging artificial fat from the American diet altogether, and prevent an estimated 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths from heart disease every year. The agency has ruled that partially hydrogenated oils, the source of trans fats, were no longer deemed safe for consumption. Their elimination will save approximately $140 billion over 20 years in health care and other other costs. Source
On The Front Lines:
At the close of this week's mobile device tug-of-war, the numbers are out and the result is net neutral for Apple and Android! Although neither operating system proved victorious, Apple is planning a second-generation Apple Watch that is said to have a new front-facing FaceTime video camera, expanded Wi-Fi capabilities, and additional models based on new materials. We'll have to wait until 2016 to find out just how awesome the second-generation wearable device will be.
Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care alongside the front lines of the iOS-Android wars among pMD's physician charge capture users. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news.