Today, Congress will patch the FAA appropriations issue until September 15 so people can get back to work. As previously noted in the FEHBlog, FEHB coverage continues during a furlough like this. Employees can catch up on their share of the premiums when they return to work.
In business news and notes, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Medco is facing the loss of its sixth largest customer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. That major insurer is contemplating joining Prime Therapeutics, a prescription manager owner by a group of Blues organizations. Shedding clients is not good for any company but it strikes the FEHBlog that this shift could boost the case that Express Scripts and Medco are making to the antitrust regulators that their deal will not create an anti-competitive monolith.
Meanwhile, a smaller PBM, SXC Health Solutions, announced a definitive agreement to acquire "PTRx, Inc. ("PTRx"), a full-service PBM, and SaveDirectRx, Inc. ("SaveDirectRx"), its exclusive mail-order pharmacy provider, both based in San Antonio," for $77 million.
Finally, Blackstone Capital Partners is taking the major electronic healthcare transaction interchange company Emdeon private in a transaction valued at $3 billion. Emdeon emerged from Healthion's acquisition of WebMD Envoy in the 1990s. A lot of health plans and health care providers contract with Emdeon.