Humana, Two Private-Equity Firms To Acquire Kindred Healthcare.
The Wall Street Journal (12/19, Moise, Subscription Publication) reports that Humana and two private-equity firms will
acquire Kindred Health in a deal worth $783.2 million. The private-equity firms will own 60% of Kindred Health and
Humana will own the other 40%.
The AP (12/19, Murphy) reports that the move is the "latest example of a health insurer growing more involved
in the delivery of care on top of handling the bills for it." According to the AP, "Health insurers and other
entities have been pushing deeper into managing or providing patient care in order to cut costs and improve
quality," but the "trend is drawing concern from some patient advocates who worry that it could lead to fewer
doctor choices or other treatment restrictions."
USA Today (12/19, Schneider) reports that Humana's goal with the deal is "to acquire full ownership of
Kindred's home care business in three to five years at a price to be determined later."
Reuters (12/19, Humer, Mishra) reports that Wall Street analysts "said the Kindred deal, which had
been reported on Sunday based on unnamed sources, would not end speculation that Humana itself could
be a takeover target in the current healthcare consolidation wave."
Additional coverage is provided by Fierce Healthcare (12/19, Small) and Modern Healthcare (12/19, Livingston, Subscription Publication).
Congressional Republicans Close To Passing Tax Reform Bill That Would Repeal ACA's Individual Mandate.
In a front-page article, the Washington Post (12/19, A1, Stein) reports that Congressional Republicans
"are on the verge of passing the most significant overhaul of the tax code since 1986." The bill "would cut the corporate tax rate dramatically,
and the vast majority of households would see their income taxes go down in 2018, with the largest savings going to the wealthy."
The Los Angeles Times (12/19, Mascaro) reports the bill would also "repeal the Affordable Care Act's mandate that all Americans
carry health insurance by doing away with a tax on those who fail to have coverage."
The Hill (12/20, Carney) reports the Senate passed the bill "in a 51-48 vote on Wednesday morning,
inching closer to finishing off the first major legislative victory of President Trump's tenure."
Modern Healthcare (12/19, Meyer, Subscription Publication) reports that repealing the ACA's
individual mandate, a move "which was strongly opposed by health insurers, providers and consumer groups, is projected to reduce
the number of insured Americans by 13 million in 2027 and drive up average premiums each year by 10% more than they otherwise
would rise." In addition, it will probably "prompt younger and healthier people to go without coverage, driving up costs for
insurers and potentially causing some carriers to exit the individual market in 2019 and beyond."
Click here to read the full NAHU release.