What We're Reading: Zika Vaccine Ready for Human Trial

What we're reading, June 21, 2016: potential Zika virus vaccine to be tested in humans; California regulator approved the potential merger between Aetna and Humana; and 5 states will be the testing ground for a new Medicare initiative to reduce fraud.

A vaccine to stop the Zika virus is now ready to be tested in humans. The study will include 40 healthy subjects and is designed to assess the safety of the vaccine and the immune response generated by the injection, reported The Washington Post. The vaccine was developed by Inovio Pharmaceuticals, of Pennsylvania, and GeneOne Life Sciences, of South Korea.

California’s state insurance commissioner may have come out against the Anthem-Cigna merger, but the state is taking a different stance on Aetna’s proposed acquisition of Humana. According to the Los Angeles Times, the director of the California Department of Managed Health Care is approving the Aetna-Humana merger. Aetna has agreed to give greater state oversight of rates. The Department of Justice still has to approve the merger.

Five states will be the testing grounds for a new Medicare initiative to reduce fraud. The Dallas Morning News reported that home health providers in Texas, Illinois, Florida, Michigan, and Massachusetts will be required to send every claim to be reviewed before Medicare pays. However, some are concerned that the program could put beneficiaries at risk of being discharged if claims are not approve in a timely manner.