Personal care treatments

Walmart will cover fertility treatments for workers under insurance

AP, reminding us that Walmart is also the nation’s largest private employer, says the retailer has partnered with fertility startup Kindbody. Also: a $20 million donation to the Episcopal Health Foundation to boost health care in Texas, a $35 million investment in GoHealth, and more.

AP: Walmart will cover fertility treatments under insurance plan

Walmart is partnering with a fertility startup to offer benefits under its insurance plan that will help its workers expand their families. The nation’s largest retailer and private employer said on Tuesday it is partnering with New York-based Kindbody to provide benefits such as in vitro fertilization as well as fertility testing regardless of gender, birth orientation, gender identity or marital status. (D’Innocenzio and Murphy, 9/27)

In other health industry news –

Houston Chronicle: Billionaire MacKenzie Scott donates $20 million to Houston nonprofit

Billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has donated $20 million to the Episcopal Health Foundation to help the Houston-based nonprofit in its mission to improve health and health care in Texas, the state announced Tuesday. foundation. The donation will be used to strengthen the effectiveness of EHF’s grantmaking, research and community engagement programs, according to a press release. (MacDonald, 09/27)

Reuters: DaVita loses bid to reject ‘poaching-free’ class claims

A federal judge in Chicago said on Monday a private civil antitrust case could go forward against DaVita Inc and other large employers in the outpatient medical care market who are accused of conspiring to restrict employee compensation and mobility. . (Scarcella, 09/27)

Modern Healthcare: GoHealth secures $35 million investment from Anthem

Weeks after laying off a fifth of its workforce, health insurance brokerage GoHealth closed a $50 million private investment round. According to an FCC filing, more than half of the investment came from Indianapolis-based insurance giant Anthem, which was recently renamed Elevance Health. (Turner, 9/26)

Axios: Back to Business: Healthcare M&A Activity Set to Accelerate

The Justice Department’s failed bid to block UnitedHealth’s $13 billion acquisition of healthcare tech Change Healthcare could bode well for more mega-deals as the country moves beyond the pandemic and the Healthcare industry players are consolidating their growth plans. (Dreher, 09/28)

Modern Health Care: Mass Gen. Brigham’s Grand Cost-Cutting Plan Approved by the State

The Massachusetts Health Policy Commission on Tuesday unanimously approved Mass Gen. Brigham’s 18-month plan to cut overspending. In January, the commission ordered Mass General to come up with a performance improvement plan after it exceeded the commission’s spending growth benchmark of $293 million from 2014 to 2019. The commission said shares of Mass General could jeopardize the State and its care delivery system. (Hudson, 9/27)

The Boston Globe: This next step in integrating Mass Gen. Brigham will be the toughest yet

While some doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s have ordered replacements for worn-out lab coats over the past year, many noticed a change when they received their new garments: the emblem on the chest no longer bore the crests of their individual hospitals, but instead bore the logo of the parent company – Mass General Brigham. (Bartlett, 9/27)

Also –

Modern Healthcare: Telehealth, Comparable Quality In-Person Visits: Study

Telehealth visits for primary care can be comparable in quality to in-person visits, suggesting that remote testing and screening are valuable tools for improving patient care. The finding follows a study of more than 500,000 patients at 200 ambulatory care sites in Pennsylvania and Maryland who were exposed to telemedicine or had only in-person visits between March 1, 2020 and March 30. November 2021. (Devereaux, 9/27)

KHN: Few places have more medical debt than Dallas-Fort Worth, but hospitals there are thriving

Almost everything about the Prosper High School Eagles 2019 football season opener was significant. The game in this Dallas-Fort Worth suburb began with fireworks and a four-plane flyover. A trained eagle hovered over the field. And some 12,000 fans filled the team’s new stadium, a $53 million colossus with the largest video screen of any high school in Texas. At the top of the stadium was also a big name: Children’s Health. (Levey, 9/28)

KHN: Montana health officials aim to strengthen oversight of nonprofit hospital donations

Montana health officials are proposing to oversee and set standards for the charitable contributions that nonprofit hospitals make each year in their communities to justify their access to millions of dollars in tax exemptions. The proposal is part of a package of laws that the state Department of Public Health and Human Services will ask lawmakers to approve when they meet in January. It comes two years after a state audit called on the department to play more of a watchdog role and nine months after a KHN investigation found some of Montana’s wealthiest hospitals were running out of money. trails state and national averages in community giving. (Houghton, 9/28)

KHN: $2,700 ambulance bill removed from collections

Peggy Dula is as surprised as she is relieved. The 55-year-old St. Charles, Illinois resident had been battling a $2,700 ambulance bill for nearly a year. Now, the amount she owes from her September 2021 car accident appears to be nil. This summer, KHN, NPR and CBS News spotlighted Dula on the Bill of the Month series. The initial $3,600 charge for Dula’s ambulance ride was considerably higher than the charges received by her two siblings, who were riding in her car at the time and were taken to the same hospital. The siblings rode in separate ambulances, each from a different nearby fire protection district. All three were charged different amounts for the same services. Dula’s injuries were the least severe, but her bill was the most expensive. (Sable-Smith, 9/28)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news outlets. Sign up for an email subscription.