June 19, 2020

Around the nation: Highmark Health and HealthNow announce affiliation agreement

Daily Briefing
     Highmark Health and HealthNow under their so-called "affiliation agreement" would combine their operations into one, six-million member health plan, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California, Indiana, and New York.
    • California: Sutter Health last week filed a motion asking San Francisco Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo to delay approval of a $575 million settlement the company had agreed to with California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D), citing "catastrophic" financial losses due to America's new coronavirus epidemic. Six months ago, Sutter agreed to the settlement to resolve accusations that used its market dominance to illegally fix prices. Sutter, which last month reported an operating loss of $404 million through April, has not yet paid any portion of the settlement figure (Gold, Kaiser Health News, 6/17).
    • Indiana: One patient and a security officer died on Tuesday after a shooting at Indiana's Community Hospital. Two security offers at the hospital reportedly responded to a physical dispute between a patient, 22-year-old Jamal Williams, and a nurse. During the response, one security officer fired gunshots when a second officer, Ryan Askew, was involved in a physical altercation with the patient. Police then arrived to the scene and found that both Askew and Williams had sustained lethal gunshot wounds (Paavola, Becker's Hospital Review, 6/16; Chicago Tribune, 6/16).
    • New York: Highmark Health on Tuesday announced that it has reached a so-called "affiliation agreement" with HealthNow New York. Under the agreement, the two Blue Cross Blue Shield companies would combine their operations into one, six-million member health plan and extend Highmark's reach into western and northeastern New York (Japsen, Forbes, 6/16).

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