Sep 28, 2018

Health care industry winners and losers in opioids bill

The Congressional Budget Office score of the House opioids bill is in, and billions of dollars are shuffling around in the health care industry.

Winners: Inpatient behavioral hospitals, which would receive more than $1 billion in increased federal Medicaid payments from 2020–2023 for patients addicted to opioids.

  • This will boost revenues for companies like Universal Health Services and Acadia Healthcare.

Losers: Medicaid insurers.

  • The bill also would cement a federal policy that requires insurers to spend at least 85% of their state Medicaid revenue on medical care, and if they fall below the threshold, they must refund the difference back to states. The CBO said this would result in insurers paying back $2.7 billion over the next decade.
  • Centene, Molina Healthcare, WellCare Health Plans and UnitedHealth Group are among the largest Medicaid companies.

Many states already follow a so-called medical loss ratio, and the Obama administration established federal Medicaid MLR guidelines in a giant regulation in 2016. The Obama-era rule did not require states to collect excess Medicaid profits, but this bill would.

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Pro-Trump warrior takes the helm of U.S. intelligence

Richard Grenell in Berlin. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

By picking Ambassador Richard Grenell to be acting director of national intelligence, President Trump has slotted a pro-Trump warrior into the ultimate apolitical role.

What they're saying: James Clapper, the longest-serving DNI (2010-2017), tells Axios it's "very worrisome installing a partisan with no real intelligence experience in this position."

Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers as Israel confirms first case

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship — as Israel confirmed its first case among evacuees from the ship.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 76,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 52 mins ago - Health

California's "woman quota" law seems to be working

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

When California passed its boardroom law requiring public companies based there to have at least one female director, there were concerns it would spark a gold rush for the same handful of well-known women — but that hasn’t happened.

Why it matters: Of the 138 women who joined all-male California boards last year, 62% are serving on their first company board, per a study by accounting firm KPMG. That means a majority of companies aren't contributing to so-called overboarding in corporate America.