Weekly recap of Federal and State Developments in Health Care Reform

Week of August 24, 2009

With opposition to a government-plan option evident at many health care reform town hall meetings this summer, an alternative option based on private regional cooperatives is now getting a lot more serious attention.

If your company is a medical provider, health care insurance payor, or you need to gather insights on the coming changes in electronic health care, HIPAA, and ARRA related health care developments, Contact us to schedule a discussion with one of our industry experts

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Senate Finance Committee member Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), part of a six-member team that continues to try to achieve a bipartisan agreement throughout the Congressional recess, said last week that he could support a co-op provision. However, the co-op idea has its detractors and is still not well defined.


With Congress in recess, there is no federal report this week.


CALIFORNIA: Legislation to initiate a health insurance tax to fund the state’s high-risk pool has been shelved for the year.

The tax would have required all health insurers to be assessed up to $1 per member per month across each company’s entire book of business, including self-funded clients.

Insurance companies led the opposition to this tax, which has been proposed in the past by California-domiciled health insurers and HMOs. Insurance companies argued that funding a high-risk pool should be broad-based and not single out one industry, nor should it tax employers that do not purchase insurance but instead choose to fund health benefit arrangements in-house. The concept of funding high-risk pools by tapping employer’s self-funded arrangements was proposed but ultimately withdrawn or defeated in Oregon, Maine and Colorado this year as well. It is anticipated that these states will revisit the legislation in 2010.

NEW YORK: Governor Paterson’s office is again outlining its priorities for federal health care reform for New York’s congressional delegation and is signaling its intent to maintain or strengthen the state’s role in regulating health care benefits.

The Governor’s office is emphasizing a need for any insurance exchange program to ensure a level playing field between the exchange and non-exchange insurers; the view that the federal law should be a floor and not a ceiling; and that there should be concurrent jurisdiction of the federal and state governments to regulate the insurance industry. In addition, Governor Paterson appointed James Wrynn as the new superintendent of insurance. The Senate is expected to act on this and other appointments in a one-house special session on Sept. 10.

TEXAS: In a press conference held last week, Governor Rick Perry emphasized the importance of state-developed health care reform rather than the costly, expansive, one-size-fits-all mandates being considered by the federal government.

The Governor expressed concern over the potential loss of a state’s ability to develop solutions tailored to the unique needs of its citizens. He further argued that current federal health care reform legislation would pose a serious threat to patients and providers, and would cost Texas taxpayers tens of billions of dollars over the next 10 years, without significantly improving care for Texans.

August 14, 2009 – Study urges action to get patients to follow prescriptions – It is based on seven systematic reviews of medical literature, as well as interviews with 16 health care organizations, insurers, drug makers, and technology companies. The health care institute recommends some system wide changes, such as revamping how health care providers are paid. Other recommendations include using health information technology to monitor what happens after an electronic prescription is transmitted to a pharmacy and to help patients manage multiple medication regimens.

health care process improvement, electronic health record, electronic medical record, management consulting, human and investment capital, outsourcing. Specializing in health care, financial services, education, renewable energy, retail. www.noworldborders.com

Michael F. Arrigo

Michael Arrigo, an expert witness, and healthcare executive, brings four decades of experience in the software, financial services, and healthcare industries. In 2000, Mr. Arrigo founded No World Borders, a healthcare data, regulations, and economics firm with clients in the pharmaceutical, medical device, hospital, surgical center, physician group, diagnostic imaging, genetic testing, health I.T., and health insurance markets. His expertise spans the federal health programs Medicare and Medicaid and private insurance. He advises Medicare Advantage Organizations that provide health insurance under Part C of the Medicare Act. Mr. Arrigo serves as an expert witness regarding medical coding and billing, fraud damages, and electronic health record software for the U.S. Department of Justice. He has valued well over $1 billion in medical billings in personal injury liens, malpractice, and insurance fraud cases. The U.S. Court of Appeals considered Mr. Arrigo's opinion regarding loss amounts, vacating, and remanding sentencing in a fraud case. Mr. Arrigo provides expertise in the Medicare Secondary Payer Act, Medicare LCDs, anti-trust litigation, medical intellectual property and trade secrets, HIPAA privacy, health care electronic claim data Standards, physician compensation, Anti-Kickback Statute, Stark law, the Affordable Care Act, False Claims Act, and the ARRA HITECH Act. Arrigo advises investors on merger and acquisition (M&A) diligence in the healthcare industry on transactions cumulatively valued at over $1 billion. Mr. Arrigo spent over ten years in Silicon Valley software firms in roles from Product Manager to CEO. He was product manager for a leading-edge database technology joint venture that became commercialized as Microsoft SQL Server, Vice President of Marketing for a software company when it grew from under $2 million in revenue to a $50 million acquisition by a company now merged into Cincom Systems, hired by private equity investors to serve as Vice President of Marketing for a secure email software company until its acquisition and multi $million investor exit by a company now merged into Axway Software S.A. (Euronext: AXW.PA), and CEO of one of the first cloud-based billing software companies, licensing its technology to Citrix Systems (NASDAQ: CTXS). Later, before entering the healthcare industry, he joined Fortune 500 company Fidelity National Financial (NYSE: FNF) as a Vice President, overseeing eCommerce solutions for the mortgage banking industry. While serving as a Vice President at Fortune 500 company First American Financial (NYSE: FAF), he oversaw eCommerce and regulatory compliance technology initiatives for the top ten mortgage banks and led the Sarbanes Oxley Act Section 302 internal controls I.T. audit for the company, supporting Section 404 of the Sarbanes Oxley Act. Mr. Arrigo earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Southern California. Before that, he studied computer science, statistics, and economics at the University of California, Irvine. His post-graduate studies include biomedical ethics at Harvard Medical School, biomedical informatics at Stanford Medical School, blockchain and crypto-economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and training as a Certified Professional Medical Auditor (CPMA). Mr. Arrigo is qualified to serve as a director due to his experience in healthcare data, regulations, and economics, his leadership roles in software and financial services public companies, and his healthcare M&A diligence and public company regulatory experience. Mr. Arrigo is quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine, Kaiser Health News, Consumer Affairs, National Public Radio (NPR), NBC News Houston, USA Today / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Medical Economics, Capitol ForumThe Daily Beast, the Lund Report, Inside Higher Ed, New England Psychologist, and other press and media outlets. He authored a peer-reviewed article regarding clinical documentation quality to support accurate medical coding, billing, and good patient care, published by Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) and published in Healthcare I.T. News. Mr. Arrigo serves as a member of the board of directors of a publicly traded company in the healthcare and data analytics industry, where his duties include: member, audit committee; chair, compensation committee; member, special committee.

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