Report: Provider, payer websites are go-to online resources for patients making care decisions

Healthcare consumers are increasingly turning to the internet to research their care options, and provider and payer websites are among their top choices for information, according to a new survey of 1,000 U.S. adults. Over half of the respondents said they would use a provider or payer website to search for a new doctor.

AMA report: U.S. has “highly concentrated” payer markets that stifle competition  

About 73% of health insurance markets are highly concentrated, and in 46% of markets, one insurer had a share of 50% or more, a new report from the American Medical Association shows. The report comes a few months after President Joe Biden directed federal agencies to ramp up oversight of healthcare consolidation.

CareFirst unveils virtual-first primary care practice

The practice, which initially will only be offered to CareFirst BCBS commercial members, provides an array of services, including preventive care, insurance navigation and behavioral and mental health services. Patients will be referred to in-person care with local providers when needed.

Insurer price transparency rule faces legal challenges: 4 takeaways

Two lawsuits, filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, allege that portions of the price transparency rule governing insurers are unlawful and would drive up healthcare prices, contrary to the rule’s stated aim.

UnitedHealthcare’s new social determinants effort spans 23 programs

The payer’s Community Catalyst initiative includes 23 programs that involve collaborations with various community-based organizations and health centers. They tackle different types of social determinants of health issues, including food insecurity among seniors and the health needs of those in public housing.

Anthem, Epic strike data exchange partnership

The EHR giant will integrate its payer platform with the insurer’s operating system to facilitate two-way data exchange with providers. Through this integration, the organizations hope to support clinical decision-making and streamline administrative processes like prior authorizations.

Lawsuit: Like a “boa constrictor,” UnitedHealthcare squeezed anesthesia group out of competition

U.S. Anesthesia Partners has filed lawsuits against UnitedHealthcare in Colorado and Texas, accusing the payer of forcing it out of network and intentionally interfering with its relationships with providers in those states. But, according to UnitedHealthcare, the lawsuits are an attempt to get the insurer to meet the anesthesia group’s high rate demands.

Hospitals to DOJ: UnitedHealth’s purchase of Change Healthcare will curtail competition

The American Hospital Association is urging the Justice Department to thoroughly review UnitedHealth’s intended acquisition of Change Healthcare. The transaction would reduce competition in the health IT arena and result in higher prices and lower quality of care, the hospital group says.

How Bind Benefits’ CEO will use $105M to upend the health insurance market

Insurance startup Bind Benefits just raised $105 million in a Series B funding round to further expand into the fully insured market. CEO Tony Miller sees the company’s health plan product as a way for employers to stay agile while offering insurance in a rapidly changing world.