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The Rounds: Today’s Top Healthcare News Stories

Your response when someone reminds you that Narrow Networks are coming?

The struggle is real. The Washington Post recently posted that in some of the plans sold on the ACA exchanges, less than 10% of physicians practicing in the area were offered as a choice for patients. Narrow networks are becoming a healthcare buzz word as they put limits on patients in terms of what physicians and hospitals they can go to in exchange for lower premiums. Why are physicians worried? These narrowing networks pose a serious problem for independent physicians who fear being carved out of these networks.

When you hear that the health insurance industry is headed toward a big three

Guess they aren’t talking about the Miami Heat. July brought the country closer to dwindling from the big 5 health insurers to the top 3. Anthem is acquiring Cigna for a casual $54.2 Billion dollars, and with the recent announcement of a Humana/Aetna merger that just leaves UnitedHealthCare as the lucky third wheel. What does this mean for doctors?

Providers Fear Insurance Mergers will intensify rate pressures

Well that makes things awkward. The consolidation of insurance companies means greater bargaining power amongst insurance companies. Which leaves independent providers feeling screwed, leading to consolidation amongst providers. And the world spins madly on.

 When its time to join a band.

Come together, right now, over me (The Beatles). The healthcare landscape is changing. Everyday there is a different update from government mandates, to consolidation, to mergers, and it’s become quite clear that independent physicians need to band together to survive.

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