Contract Extension Negotiations Collapse Between Texas Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas

Discussions to extend an expiring contract between Texas Health Resources and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas fell apart on Monday afternoon, putting the Arlington-based provider’s dozens of hospitals and emergency centers as well as its hundreds of outpatient clinics at risk of falling out of network come January 1. Full Story

Despite Rising Costs, Americans Report More Satisfaction With Insurance Plans

Over the last few years, the way people interact with their health insurers on a regular basis has changed dramatically. Thanks in large part to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the health coverage landscape is quite different these days, although it’s important to note that policy providers have risen to the potential challenges that came with the new requirements. Full Story

Election Results Hang Over Annual Conference for the Texas Association of Health Plans

Insurance industry consultant John Gorman warned a room full of health plan officials to be wary of accepting the block granting of Medicaid, calling it a way for the federal government to shift the risk of the most at-risk population back onto the states through a hardline appropriation. Full Story

AP: Dallas’ Midlevel ACA Benchmark Plan to Increase from $369 to $395

Dallas County’s midlevel benchmark health plan will rise to $395 in 2017, up from $369 this year and $300 in 2015. As the AP reports, two insurers are left here—there were seven last year. The same plan for Travis County will have spiked 76 percent in two years; nine insurers were there in 2015, but now there are only three. Full Story

The ACA, Or, What Happens When You Outlaw the Laws of Actuarial Science

Aetna made headlines when it announced a dramatic reduction in the federal Affordable Care Act exchange markets it was active in, including Texas. This is the latest rocky news for the Obamacare marketplace, but what is the source of all the financial angst? Authors of the legislation either ignored, or were unaware of, the laws of actuarial science in healthcare funding. Full Story

Becker’s Highlights ACOs From North Texas in Nationwide List

A week back, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released data on the outcomes of the accountable care organizations enrolled in the Shared Savings program. Now, Becker’s Hospital Review and Leavitt Partners have another list highlighting 100 ACOs to know in the next year. Five of them are in North Texas. Value-based care, while still occupying a small segment of payer contracts in healthcare, is growing. About 28.3 million lives are wrapped up in ACOs. And as Becker’s notes, the idea of reimbursement for value instead of volume has the requisite growing pains you’d expect; Health Affairs recently found… Full Story