New ACO forms in California, BCBSNC installs transparency tool;

News From Around the Web

> California-based Health Net Inc. and John Muir Health announced their collaborative effort to form an accountable care organization. The three-year agreement took effect Jan. 1. Announcement

> Recognizing that a lack of transparency drives up healthcare costs by more than $100 billion each year, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina has announced plans to provide cost information for more than 1,200 medical procedures through a comparison-shopping tool. Announcement

> Despite obstacles in 2014, Aetna has made leaps and bounds to to grow its business, reported Zacks. The insurer expects  2014 revenues of about $58 billion, compared to $47.2 billion in 2013. Article

Anti-Fraud News

> Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General published its annual notice soliciting recommendations for the safe harbor provisions under the federal anti-kickback statute, along with new OIG Special Fraud Alerts. Article

> Investigations into New York City-based Narco Freedom, following indictments of the father-son ownership duo in October, reveal a disturbing lack of state oversight that allowed fraudulent claims by the drug treatment company to go undetected for years. Perhaps even more disturbing was the dichotomy of abhorrent patient conditions next to the luxurious lifestyle of the nonprofit's owners. Article

And finally … Before you flush, check for ... snakes? Article