MONTH BY MONTH
CMS leadership switch: CMS chief Marilyn Tavenner resigns and Andy Slavitt becomes acting administrator.
Co-op plan crash: Iowa orders not-for-profit ACA co-op insurer CoOportunity Health to shut down.
Fee-for-service phase-out: HHS pledges that by 2018, half of Medicare spending outside of managed care will be funneled through value-based payment models.
Hoosier expansion: Indiana Republican Gov. Mike Pence announces his state won federal approval for its Medicaid expansion plan.
Millions hacked: Anthem announces that hackers have infiltrated its IT system and accessed the personal information of 80 million members.
Consolidation setback: A federal appellate court backs a lower court order for St. Luke’s Health System in Idaho to unwind its acquisition of a large physician group on antitrust grounds.
Sign-up progress: The ACA’s second enrollment period closes with more than 10 million enrollees.
Insurer victory: CMS boosts average Medicare Advantage baseline payment rates by 1.25% for 2016.
SGR junked: Congress passes bill repealing the Medicare SGR formula and establishing a new physician payment system.
Seeing stars: The CMS’ quality star-rating system for hospitals is unveiled, with 251 facilities getting the top five-star score.
Medicaid plan rules: The CMS proposes sweeping Medicaid managed-care rules, including minimum medical-loss ratios.
Subsidies saved: The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the ACA’s premium subsidies.
More merger mania: Aetna announces it will pay $37.1 billion for Humana.
Medicare initiatives: The CMS proposes paying for end-of-life counseling.
Planned Parenthood sting: Anti-abortion activists release an undercover video showing a senior Planned Parenthood official discussing aborted fetuses being used for research.
Military bonanza: Cerner Corp. and Leidos win $4.3 billion Military Health System health IT contract.
Monster merger: Anthem announces deal to acquire Cigna worth $54.2 billion.
Strategy shift: Community Health Systems says it will shed 38 hospitals and shift focus to large markets and regional networks.
Turing point: Turing Pharmaceuticals acquires generic drug Daraprim and hikes price by more than 5,000%.
Another ACA lawsuit: Federal judge grants House Republicans legal standing to seek funding cutoff on cost-sharing subsidies for exchange plan members.
Stark settlement: Adventist Health System discloses it will pay $118.7 million to settle allegations it offered doctors excessive compensation for referrals.
Fraud settlement: The U.S. Justice Department announces settlement with hundreds of hospitals resulting from a probe into alleged overuse of implantable cardioverter defibrillators.
Smooth launch: Hospitals and other healthcare organizations implement the new ICD-10 coding system with few reported hitches.
Exchange premiums up: HHS reports that 2016 average premiums for benchmark silver plans will increase by 7.5%.
Kentucky switches horses: Republican Matt Bevin elected governor after vowing to roll back the state’s Medicaid expansion and junk its successful insurance exchange.
Mandated bundling: The CMS finalizes a rule requiring hospitals in 67 markets to participate in a test of bundled payments for joint replacements.
Exchange bombshell: UnitedHealth Group announces big losses on its insurance exchange business and threatens to exit the exchanges in 2017.
Pharma merger: Drugmaker Pfizer offers $160 billion to buy Ireland-based Allergan in a deal that will reduce Pfizer’s U.S. taxes.
Not-for-profit merger: Kaiser Permanente announces it will acquire Seattle-based Group Health Cooperative, expanding Kaiser’s geographic reach.
Symbolic repeal: Senate Republicans pass bill repealing most of the Affordable Care Act, which the president is certain to veto.
ACA funding freeze: Congressional leaders unveil bipartisan tax package freezing the ACA’s taxes on Cadillac plans, medical devices and health insurance.