WIN­NERS

Modern Healthcare - - NEWS -

U.S. So­lic­i­tor Gen­eral Don­ald Ver­rilli Jr. for the sec­ond time saved the Af­ford­able Care Act, pre­vail­ing in the Supreme Court in Kingv. Bur­well to pre­serve the law’s pre­mium sub­si­dies.

House Speaker John Boehner and Rep. Nancy Pelosi sur­prised ev­ery­one by push­ing through re­peal of the hated sus­tain­able-growth rate for­mula for Medi­care physi­cian pay­ment, re­plac­ing it with a value-based sys­tem to take ef­fect in 2019.

Aetna CEO Mark Ber­tolini bested Cigna Corp. CEO David Cor­dani in the con­test to buy Hu­mana, in a deal val­ued at $34.1 bil­lion that still faces an­titrust scru­tiny.

An­them CEO Joe Swedish suc­ceeded in his bid to ac­quire Cigna Corp. in a deal val­ued at $54 bil­lion and that kept him in the top job, though that deal also faces an­titrust re­view.

Cerner Corp. CEO Neal Pat­ter­son and Lei­dos CEO Roger Krone led their con­sor­tium to win a $4.3 bil­lion con­tract to serve the Mil­i­tary Health Sys­tem’s 55 hos­pi­tals and 600 clin­ics.

Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell de­liv­ered on the long-stand­ing Repub­li­can prom­ise to pass an ACA re­peal bill by us­ing the rec­on­cil­i­a­tion process, which re­quired only a ma­jor­ity in the Se­nate (though the pres­i­dent was set to veto the bill).

House En­ergy and Commerce Com­mit­tee Chair­man Fred Up­ton won over­whelm­ing bi­par­ti­san House pas­sage of the 21st Cen­tury Cures Act, a bill de­signed to speed de­vel­op­ment of new drugs and med­i­cal de­vices and boost NIH fund­ing.

Govs. Mike Pence of In­di­ana, Bill Walker of Alaska and Steve Bul­lock of Mon­tana all pushed through Med­i­caid ex­pan­sion un­der the ACA.

HHS Sec­re­tary Sylvia Mathews Bur­well and CMS act­ing Ad­min­is­tra­tor Andy Slavitt led a glitch-free ACA sign-up process for 2015 with healthy en­roll­ment growth. The 2016 en­roll­ment process also was go­ing smoothly at year-end.

Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies raised prices and con­tin­ued to rack up solid prof­its even as the clamor grew from providers, in­sur­ers, pol­i­cy­mak­ers and pa­tient ad­vo­cacy groups for mea­sures to curb drug prices.

The Ad­vanced Med­i­cal Tech­nol­ogy As­so­ci­a­tion per­suaded Congress to agree to freeze the ACA’s med­i­cal-de­vice tax for two years.

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