UPMC threatens to lock Highmark MA members out of hospitals; President Obama rates ACA 8 out of 10;

News From Around the Web

> Aetna and Value Care Alliance (VCA) announced a new accountable care agreement this week. Aetna members who receive care from VCA--Connecticut's largest collaboration of independent healthcare providers--will experience more coordinated care, particularly for those with chronic or complex conditions. Announcement

> The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the citys largest hospital and physician network, is threatening to lock Highmark's Medicare Advantage members out of its hospitals starting Jan. 1 unless the insurer agrees to increase cancer payments to the hospital system and drop the lawsuit relating to said payments, reported the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Article

> In an interview this week with ABC News, President Barack Obama was asked to rate the success of the Affordable Care Act on a scale from 1 to 10. Obama gave the ACA an 8, saying there's always room for improvement. Article

Practice Management News

> With primary care physicians under ever-increasing pressure to engage patients in proactively managing their own health, medical assistants trained as health coaches may offer a cost-effective approach that pleases patients and fellow clinicians alike, according to a study published in the Annals of Family Medicine. Article

> A physician practice's revenue cycle is rarely seamless, largely due to the challenges of managing different and ever-changing rules and idiosyncrasies of various payers. Article

And finally … Breaking News: Cat people are awesome. Article