Trending News Today: Ruling on Insurer Merger Not Expected This Year

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

The judge assigned to both the Anthem-Cigna and Aetna-Humana cases may have to drop 1 case since it would be difficult to decide both cases by next year. The judge did not state which case would be reassigned. Athem’s lawyer stated that if the case is not decided by the end of the year, it will likely doom the merger since Cigna would not extend the deal, The New York Times reported.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers may be gaining large profits because of the Orphan Drug Act and its 7-year market exclusivity. These drugs tend to be expensive and the median launch price has doubled every 5 years, according to the Washington Post. Although these patients can receive rebates and other assistance, these drugs may be driving up insurance costs.

Patient surveys can be beneficial for hospitals so they can see the areas they need to improve on. However, amid the opioid epidemic, questions about patients’ pain management may not be beneficial for hospitals to include in their surveys. These questions may lead to physicians feeling obligated to increase the number of opioids they prescribe, according to The New York Times.