What we're reading, September 30, 2016: HHS prioritized payments to Obamacare insurers over the Treasury; the CDC is concerned flu vaccinations may be down; and UnitedHealth Group and University of California come together for new partnership.
The Obama administration has prioritized payments to Obamacare insurers over the Treasury department. According to The Wall Street Journal, HHS collected fees from unions, employers, and insurance companies and favored paying those funds to insurers instead of giving the Treasury its full portion of fees. The Affordable Care Act required HHS to collect set amounts of money, but when there were shortfalls, the agency didn’t make the required payments to the Treasury.
The CDC is worried a recommendation it made earlier this year could reduce the number of people who get the flu vaccine. The flu shot is recommended for everyone 6 months or older, but the recommendation to avoid using the nasal spray version of the vaccine could prevent people from getting protected, reported The Washington Post. The nasal spray had failed to protect children for 3 years in a row. The CDC director is concerned that not having the spray could mean lower vaccination rates.
UnitedHealth Group and the University of California Health System are creating a new health plan option. Through a 10-year partnership, the 2 will form an accountable care organization for large, self-funded employers, according to California Healthline. Plus, UnitedHealth will open a research lab in San Francisco, offering researchers and physicians with university access to a national database of patient records, including claims on more than 150 million people going back 20 years.