Week Ahead: Following a successful third quarter, UnitedHealth Group will report its fourth-quarter earnings for 2018.
Jan. 14: Comments are due on a proposed rule that aims to make the managed-care regulations for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program more efficient and cheaper for state agencies. As with many of the CMS’ proposed rules, this one is intended to eliminate “undue administrative burdens.” The CMS has been told that the regulations as they are today are too rigid and expensive.

Jan. 14: At the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco last week, CVS Health CEO Larry Merlo told investors that the merger with Aetna will start paying off as early as this year’s first quarter. Among other things, he said the companies have created a combined purchasing organization to ensure goods and services fetch “the most effective prices.” Perhaps Merlo will expand on the new company’s impact on healthcare during his luncheon speech at the National Press Club. Modern Healthcare D.C. reporter Susannah Luthi will be there to find out.

Jan. 15: Following a successful third quarter, UnitedHealth Group will report its fourth-quarter earnings for 2018. The company expects to increase its Medicare Advantage membership in 2019, which would be in line with the overall Medicare Advantage membership growth the CMS is predicting.

Jan. 15: Can HHS change Medicare payment calculations without notice? That’s for the Supreme Court to decide. The high court will hear oral arguments in Azar v. Allina Health Services; the case concerns whether the department overstepped its authority in retooling the DSH calculation formula without a notice-and-comment rulemaking.

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The extended open-enrollment period closes in California and Colorado. Those states were among a handful to push the deadline for enrolling in 2019 plans. California decided to extend the deadline after a U.S. District Court judge in Texas ruled that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional, which the state worried would confuse people about their coverage.

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