Payer Roundup—Anthem: Cigna made every effort to sabotage merger

Doctor computer medical records
Alaska Gov. Michael Dunleavy has proposed cutting Medicaid by $249 million, raising concerns among providers and patient advocates about the effects on jobs and health. (Getty/BrianAJackson)

Anthem: Cigna made every effort to sabotage merger

Anthem and Cigna's court battle over their failed merger got underway this week, and Anthem says that Cigna did all it could to ensure the deal failed.

Cigna CEO David Cordani wanted to helm the joint company, Anthem said in court, and retaliated because he was unsatisfied with his role. Cigna refused to provide crucial data Anthem needed to fend off an antitrust probe from the Department of Justice, Thomas Zielinski, Anthem's top lawyer, testified Monday.

Joseph Swedish, Anthem's CEO at the time of the merger talks, thought Cordani was a "bully," Zielinski said. Swedish was set to become CEO of the unified insurer were the deal finalized.

Cigna argues that Anthem owes it $15 million because the merger didn't work out, while Anthem wants $20 million from Cigna because it ensured the deal died. (Indianapolis Business Journal)

Alaska: Governor proposes $249M cut in Medicaid

Alaska Gov. Michael Dunleavy has proposed cutting Medicaid by $249 million, raising concerns among providers and patient advocates about the effects on jobs and health. 

The state budget policy director, Mike Barnhill, says that the cuts will come from cutting reimbursement to physicians and other providers. He added that Alaska reimburses providers under Medicaid at a higher rate than any other state in the U.S.

Providers have warned that the cuts could lead to hospital closures and a lack of access to crucial preventive services. (Alaska Public Media)

Republicans, Democrats work together to fix Texas Medicaid system

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle in Texas are introducing bills to overhaul the Texas Medicaid system.

About 12 bills aim to fix widespread problems that were exposed last year by the Dallas Morning News, showing that companies paid by the state to care for citizens were not using all of the funds for treatments and medical equipment. 

Under current Medicaid managed care, Texas and the federal government pay $22 billion a year to companies and nonprofits that act as middlemen for deciding which bills and services to approve. In exchange, these companies are expected to provide cheaper care.

And still to come, Rep. Sarah Davis plans to file the Managed Care Accountability Bill, which will completely overhaul the state’s medical appeal process. (Dallas Morning News)

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