Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS -

A judge dis­missed Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s law­suit seek­ing $140 mil­lion in un­paid risk corridor claims from 2014, cit­ing the pro­gram hasn’t ended and the fed­eral govern­ment might still pay up. In­sur­ers have filed around two dozen cases seek­ing a to­tal of more than $8 bil­lion in un­paid risk corridor funds for 2014 and 2015. In Fe­bru­ary, a judge or­dered the fed­eral govern­ment to pay $214 mil­lion to Moda Health. Land of Lin­coln Health’s case was dis­missed last year. An ap­pel­late court will likely have to make the fi­nal de­ci­sion whether the claims have merit.

HHS will pro­vide states $485 mil­lion to fund pre­ven­tion and treat­ment pro­grams aimed at con­fronting the opi­oid epi­demic. HHS Sec­re­tary Tom Price made the an­nounce­ment at a drug pre­ven­tion sum­mit in Atlanta last week. He called the epi­demic a “cri­sis.” The fund­ing was con­tained in bi­par­ti­san leg­is­la­tion passed by Congress last year and signed by for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama. Price said an­other half-bil­lion dol­lars in state grants will fol­low next year. He said states “know best what their com­mu­ni­ties need” and “have al­ready been at the fore­front of sup­port­ing pre­ven­tion, treat­ment and re­cov­ery.”

Or­ga­niz­ers of the Health Dat­a­palooza late last week an­nounced that HHS Sec­re­tary Tom Price will be the key­note speaker at the an­nual con­fer­ence of health data en­thu­si­asts. Other HHS-re­lated speak­ers in­clude for­mer HHS Sec­re­tary Mike Leav­itt and for­mer CMS Ad­min­is­tra­tor Dr. Mark McClel­lan. At the con­fer­ence this week, at­ten­dees will hear about the de­moc­ra­ti­za­tion of healthcare through so­cial me­dia, cost trans­parency, and mhealth ap­pli­ca­tions, among other strate­gies to drive pa­tient en­gage­ment, make healthcare more trans­par­ent and, above all, har­ness the power of data to cre­ate bet­ter and less ex­pen­sive healthcare. These strate­gies are es­pe­cially im­por­tant as high-de­ductible health plans be­come more com­mon and pa­tients are asked to shoul­der more of the bur­den of healthcare costs.

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