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Industry Updates

This broad category includes articles concerning health insurance costs, carrier and health plan news, changing benefits technology, and surveys by the Kaiser Family Foundation and others on employee benefits.

‘Pharmageddon’ Hits U.S. With Walkouts At Multiple Pharmacies, Including CVS And Walgreens

Pharmacists protesting deteriorating working conditions inside the nation’s largest retail chains have launched their third and largest walkout of the season with a three-day movement they have dubbed "Pharmageddon."

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Federal Coverage Of COVID Drugs Is Ending

COVID-19 treatments, including Pfizer's Paxlovid, will begin transitioning to the commercial market this week, with costs of the drugs set to increase.

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Doctors Wrestle With A.I. in Patient Care, Citing Lax Oversight

The F.D.A. has approved many new programs that use artificial intelligence, but doctors are skeptical that the tools really improve care or are backed by solid research.

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Health Spending Expected To Outpace Growth In The Overall Economy

A recent report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) shows that per capita health spending slowed in 2021. The growth rate was 2.6% down from 9.9% in 2020, after a ramp-up that year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As utilization returns to pre-pandemic levels and price inflation in the health sector abates somewhat, per ...

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Smaller Employers Weigh a Big-Company Fix for Scarce Primary Care: Their Own Clinics

With his company’s health costs soaring and his workers struggling with high blood pressure and other medical conditions, Winston Griffin, CEO of Laurel Grocery Co., knew his company had to do something. So the London, Kentucky, wholesaler opened a health clinic. “Our margins are tiny, so every expense is important,” Griffin said. The clinic, he ...

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Warning Signs For The U.S. Health System Are Piling Up

Staffing shortages, more dangerous workplaces, aging physicians and the increasing politicization of medicine: The warning signs for America’s burned-out health care workforce are all there. Why it matters: A strained health care system may be heading in a dangerous direction in the pandemic’s aftermath, according to new data points and a blunt warning from the head of the ...

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Insurers Spar With Biden Administration Over Coverage for Mental-Health Care

Many consumers with insurance are forced to pay hundreds and even thousands of dollars a year on mental-health care despite a 15-year-old law that is supposed to make such treatment as affordable and accessible as any other type of medical care. Now the Biden administration wants to impose new requirements on insurers that it says ...

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Kaiser Permanente’s New Era Of Patient Convenience

Narayanan Gopala, chief digital officer of Kaiser Permanente, based in Oakland, Calif., said the health system is enhancing its digital offerings for patients in a bid to make healthcare easier. Kaiser Permanente recently improved its digital check-in process, allowing patients to fill out pre-appointment forms and make copayments through their Kaiser app before arriving at the medical ...

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How Weight-Loss Drugs Are Rewriting the Playbook for Treating Obesity

Liz McCabe wasn’t a typical candidate for Wegovy, one of the popular new weight-loss drugs. She is healthy and active. Her body-mass index this past spring barely put her in the category of obesity, a qualification for the medication. It was her history of “yo-yo” dieting that made the difference. The 45-year-old vice president at ...

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Health Insurance Premiums Now Cost $24,000 A Year, Survey Says

The average employer-sponsored health insurance premium for U.S. families rose 7% to almost $24,000 this year, according to an annual KFF survey of more than 2,000 U.S. companies, compared with a 1% increase last year. Premiums for individual employer coverage rose at the same rate.

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