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Nov. 15, 2018: 10 states where Medicare Advantage will be the cheapest in 2019


10 states where Medicare Advantage will be the cheapest in 2019 CNBC
Come to Nevada for the roulette tables. Stay for the affordable retiree health insurance. That's because the Silver State is home to the lowest Medicare Advantage costs for the 2019 plan year, according to an analysis by HealthMarkets Insurance Agency. The firm studied cost data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Incoming Dem chairman: Medicare negotiating drug prices is a priority The Hill
Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), who is slated to be the next chairman of a House committee overseeing drug prices, recently said that his top priorities on the issue are allowing Medicare to negotiate prices and speeding the approval of cheaper generic drugs. Pallone, who is set to become chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee in January, pointed to President Trump's support for those two policies in expressing hope for a bipartisan deal.

Affordable health care means better access to diabetes prevention, management Medical Xpress
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 100 million Americans are either living with diabetes or have higher than average blood sugar levels consistent with prediabetes. Management of these chronic conditions requires consistent monitoring of blood sugar levels, robust medication regimens and frequent health care appointments, all of which take time, resources and money. Because of these barriers, many Americans with diabetes often go undiagnosed or ignore necessary treatment options altogether.

More states, including Pennsylvania, are taking on pharmacy benefits managers, demanding to see the savings in Medicaid
Pharmacy benefit managers are supposed to save money for their clients — health plans that cover people with just about any type of insurance. But more and more states are demanding to see how these multi-billion dollar companies are spending taxpayer dollars in Medicaid — and are reining in the industry's role in taxpayer-funded programs. A new Arkansas law makes pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) answer to the state's insurance commissioner, after independent pharmacists showed how they were being paid less than pharmacies owned by CVS Health, which also runs a major PBM.

Population health program cuts hospital admissions by nearly 50 percent Health IT Analytics
Northwest Physicians Network in Washington State has launched a collaborative population health program that has cut hospital admissions by 43 percent, ambulance transports by 47 percent, and emergency department visits by 36 percent. The program, which integrates clinical teams, community partners, and first responders, has also led to a 44 percent reduction in emergency calls, and a 31 percent reduction in observational hospital stays.

Retired players, NHL reach settlement in concussion lawsuit in Minnesota Insurance Journal
The NHL and attorneys for retired players announced a tentative settlement in the biggest lawsuit brought against the league over concussions and other head injuries. The lawsuit, consolidated in federal court in Minnesota and by far the largest facing the league, involves more than 100 former players who accused the NHL of failing to better prevent head trauma or warn players of risks while promoting violent play that led to their injuries.

This is the shocking cost of Type 1 diabetes Forbes
Type 1 diabetes is all consuming. The stigma of misinformation. The inescapable quest for medical perfection. The 65,000-plus injections per lifetime (a lifetime which tends to be slashed 12 years from average as soon as you're diagnosed). The autoimmune disease takes hold of young bodies and never lets go. Without reason. And with no warning of the ever-expanding costs.

Jeff Sopko