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Headlines On Deadline...

The AMA has asked the U.S. Department of Justice to block Aetna's planned purchase of Prudential's health care lines, calling it anticompetitive. The association and Aetna have been squabbling over language in physician contracts, but with Aetna soon to be in control of an eighth of all managed care lives, it will be harder for most physicians to refuse.... Health Options, a subsidiary of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, has acquired 150,000-member Principal Health Care of Florida.... Aetna U.S. Healthcare has instituted a system for external review of coverage denials.... Kaiser Permanente is offering a benefits package providing coverage for domestic partners.... A growing number of plans are adding alternative-care benefits. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Hawaii will soon begin covering acupuncture, naturopathy, chiropractic care, and massage. And PacifiCare of Oregon has contracted with Complementary Health Plans, an alternative-care PPO, to serve PacifiCare members.

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Recent topics have included:

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  • CVS-Aetna deal may trigger merger mania, Johns Hopkins criticized for lack of asthma prevention, & Columbia sees free-ride future for all of its med students

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