16 July 2022 |

Outside the Huddle #135

By workweek

The Outside the Huddle section of the Healthcare Huddle newsletter contains quick-hit summaries of need-to-know news in the healthcare industry.

Blake Madden’s H1 Healthcare Business Recap

Blake Madden recapped the top 20 biggest healthcare business stories in 2022 so far. If you have any role in the healthcare business, you must read his article to catch up with the healthcare business world. Check it out here.

UnitedHealth Group Q2 Earnings

UHG made $5.1B in profit and $80B in revenue in Q2. The main drivers were Optum’s value-based care arrangements and UnitedHealthcare’s growing number of consumers. Optum revenue grew around 20% year-over-year, and will likely continue growing at a fast rate, paralleling the adoption of value-based care arrangements. Blake wrote an informative thread on UHG’s earnings here.

New Abortion Dashboard

KFF has followed abortion legislation and gathered nationwide data, merging it all into a user-friendly dashboard. Check it out here.

Patients are Safer Than They Were a Decade Ago

A new JAMA study found a significant decrease in adverse hospital events from 2010 to 2019. For example, preventable adverse events for heart attacks decreased from 218 per 1,000 hospitalizations to 139 per 1,000. The study suggests quality and process improvement interventions have been successful. However, rates of preventable adverse events for hospitalized patients remain quite high. Personally, I won’t be satisfied until preventable adverse events fall below 1 per 1,000 hospitalizations.

U.S. Struggles Against Antimicrobial Resistance

The pandemic impeded efforts to fight antibiotic-resistant microbes, which resulted in around 30,000 deaths. Despite antibiotic stewardship efforts, antimicrobial-resistant bacteria pose a massive threat to public health. Efforts are underway to incentivize novel antibiotics that can fight such resistant bacteria. You can read my breakdown of economic incentives here.

Out of Pocket Spending During Pregnancy

A new KFF study analyzed costs of pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum care for those enrolled in large insurance group plans. Some highlights:

  1. Average out-of-pocket payments = $2,854
  2. Average OOP costs of vaginal delivery = $2,655
  3. Average OOP C-section = $3,214

Molina Acquires Wisconsin Medicaid Firm for $150M

Insurer Molina will acquire My Choice Wisconsin for $150M. Molina has been on an acquisition spree, paralleling the growth trend in Medicaid managed care as Medicaid programs expand across states. I covered Molina’s buy-out of Cigna’s Texas Medicaid contracts back in January. Read my take here.

CMS Cuts Physician Reimbursement

Blake Madden breaks down CMS’s new proposed rule for the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS). If you’re a clinician or provider and want to know why CMS wants to cut your reimbursement, read the article here.