BCBS Texas in contract spat with HCA; New York insurers to offer low-premium 'essential plan'

> Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas may drop medical facilities run by Hospital Corporation of America from its provider network, which could potentially affect several hundred thousand Texans, according to the Houston Chronicle. Article (subscription required)

> In an attempt to help New Yorkers avoid penalties for not having coverage, several insurers that operate in the state's health insurance marketplace will offer an "essential plan" that allow enrollees to pay a premium anywhere between $0 and $20 per person per month based on household size and income, Time Warner Cable News reports. Article

> A group of senior House Republicans say they've made progress in coming up with a plan that could replace the Affordable Care Act, according to The Hill. Article

Heathcare News

> The Department of Veterans Affairs has resolved most of the 56,000 cases of patients who waited too long for care by shutting down operations for a day to focus on those cases. Article

Health IT News

> Surgeon Sahfi Ahmed, who made a name for himself by using Google Glass, performed cancer surgery Thursday using virtual reality that was streamed online. Article

And finally… For the over-achiever in all of us. Article