In the News
MNsure plans have highest deductibles of 15 states, lowest premiums in U.S.
- November 19, 2013
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The health plans offered on Minnesota's online insurance marketplace have the highest deductibles of those in 15 states, according to a new study.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Breakaway Policy Strategies consultancy determined the average annual deductible for a MNsure plan - the amount consumers must pay before a plan pays for a medical expense -- was $4,061. That's more than twice the deductible for a comparable plan in Massachusetts or Maine. [More here]
ACA boosting competition between insurers
- November 19, 2013
A major goal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is to foster greater competition between health insurers to drive down premiums and improve the quality of coverage. A new report by the McKinsey Center for U.S. Health System Reform suggests that it's working so far [....]
"What is interesting to folks, and a little probably surprising, is how many new entrants there are to the market," said Margaret Nowak, director of research at Breakaway Policy Strategies, a health research firm that has done its own study of exchange plans. "There are a lot of new players who have chosen to enter this market." [More here]
MNsure deductibles highest in 15 states
- November 19, 2013
Low rates = high deductibles. (And vice versa). Elizabeth Stawicki of MPR says: "The health plans offered on Minnesota's online insurance marketplace have the highest deductibles of those in 15 states, according to a new study. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Breakaway Policy Strategies consultancy determined the average annual deductible for a MNsure plan — the amount consumers must pay before a plan pays for a medical expense — was $4,061. That's more than twice the deductible for a comparable plan in Massachusetts or Maine. It is key reason why MNsure plans also have the lowest premium rates in the United States." Just as long as I can keep my high-deductible, high-co-pay, no-real-coverage plan if I like it. [More here]
InVentiv Health launches policy shop
- October 29, 2013
WASHINGTON: InVentiv Health has launched a health policy firm called Breakaway Policy Strategies.
The shop is a joint venture with the partners of Washington-based government affairs firm Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti.
Breakaway provides strategic policy guidance, research, and analysis to healthcare stakeholders dealing with new guidelines from federal and state policymakers.
Dean Rosen, former health policy director for Sen. Majority Leader William Frist (R-TN), will lead the joint venture. Rick Smith, former EVP for policy and research at the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America, and former Walgreens head of policy Margaret Novak have also taken positions at the firm.
OUTSOURCING-PHARMA: InVentiv launches health policy JV with DC lobbying firm
- September 23, 2013
CRO inVentiv on Monday announced a joint venture with the partners of the US lobbying firm Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti to help pharma companies further understand the health policy and regulatory landscape. [More here]
AGENCY SPY: InVentiv and Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti launch Breakaway
- September 23, 2013
Healthcare services company, inVentiv Health, has launched its new health policy firm, Breakaway Policy Strategies, a joint venture with the partners of D.C.-based government affairs firm, Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti.
POLITICO: InVentiv, MVC Team Up on Breakaway
- September 23, 2013
INVENTIV, MVC TEAM UP ON BREAKAWAY: Healthcare consulting firm inVentiv Health and lobbying shop Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti are partnering on Breakaway Policy Strategies. MVC launched the specialty healthcare shop earlier this year — and inVentiv will now partner with MVC on the firm. The new joint venture aims to help clients address the major changes to the health care system. Dean Rosen — a former health policy director to former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist — will serve as president of the firm. Rick Smith and Gina Boscarino will join Breakaway. Smith comes to the group from PhRMA and AHIP, while Boscarino was at Highmark Health Services. The rest of the team includes Margaret Nowak, Colette Desmarais, Erica Pereira and others. "Federal and state policymakers are reshaping the future of healthcare daily,” said Rosen in a statement. “No matter what policies are written or how healthcare may change, Breakaway understands policy details, knows the decision makers and is closely connected to the system in which these decisions are taking place. By Byron Tau.
InVentiv Health and Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti Announce their Joint Venture Partnership in Breakaway
- September 16, 2013
Washington, D.C. – inVentiv Health, offering best-in-class clinical, commercial and consulting services, today announced the launch of its new policy arm, Breakaway Policy Strategies, a joint venture between inVentiv and the partners of Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti, a leading, bipartisan lobbying firm.
Breakaway helps companies address the diverse challenges posed by a nationwide healthcare system being reshaped by increasing government regulation and dramatic shifts in the private healthcare market. The firm provides strategic analysis and policy guidance to help healthcare stakeholders navigate transformative changes arising from decisions made daily by Federal and state policymakers.
Changes already underway include the emergence of Accountable Care Organizations, Health Insurance Exchanges and bundled payment arrangements. Additional changes will take effect next year, leading to dramatic expansions of health coverage for American consumers and increasing government influence over hospitals, health plans, employers, doctors, patients, employers, biopharmaceutical firms, and device companies.
"Now more than ever, clients must have a sophisticated understanding of the sweeping changes taking place in America's healthcare system," said Paul Meister, CEO of inVentiv Health. "Navigating this new landscape requires seasoned experts with historical knowledge, a deep understanding of political context, and the ability to anticipate what's next. Through Breakaway, we offer experts with an unmatched level of health policy expertise."
The collaboration expands inVentiv's presence in Washington, D.C. and enhances its broad portfolio of services. For Breakaway, the investment enables an expansion of research capabilities and the addition of top-notch talent.
Health Policy Leaders Join Breakaway
- September 09, 2013
Washington, D.C. – Breakaway Policy Strategies announced today that it is adding two senior leaders to its team that will significantly expand the breadth and depth of its services at this time of enormous transformation in the health care system.
Richard I. Smith, formerly Executive Vice President for Policy and Research at the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), is joining the Breakaway team as Executive Vice President. Gina M. Boscarino, former Associate Counsel for Highmark Health Services, one of the largest Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliates in the country, also has joined Breakaway as Senior Policy Director.
"Better than anyone I know, Rick understands both the near term and long range business threats and opportunities facing the biopharmaceutical industry," said Dean Rosen, Breakaway's President and Chief Executive Officer.
CQ HEALTHBEAT NEWS: Grapevine
- September 09, 2013
Breakaway Policy Strategies has snagged for its shop Richard I. Smith, formerly a top policy analyst at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and before that at America's Health Insurance Plans.
Breakaway is the health policy consulting firm founded earlier this year by Dean Rosen, formerly health policy aide to Republican Sen. Bill Frist of Tennessee when he was majority leader.
It's a high profile hire for Breakaway, a name Rosen said he picked as "a reference to my life long love of ice hockey." Rosen says "I am going to split my time forever" between Breakaway and Mehlman, Vogel and Castagnetti, where he is a partner. A second new hire for Breakaway is Gina Boscarino, former associate counsel for Highmark Health Services, a large Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliate.
Politico Pulse: ROSEN FIRM ADDS PAIR OF POLICY HEAVYWEIGHTS
- September 09, 2013
Dean Rosen's health care strategy shop, Breakaway Policy, has made a pair of high-profile hires. Rick Smith, who headed PhRMA's policy division for more than a decade after a decade at AHIP, joins as executive vice president. And Gina Boscarino, a former counsel with Highmark Health Services of Pennsylvania, will spearhead a project to catalogue insurance exchange premiums, co-pays and deductibles by the end of the year.
Inside Health Policy: Health Reform Insider
- September 09, 2013
Breakaway Policy Strategies has hired PhRMA's Rick Smith as an executive vice president at the firm, as well as former Highmark Health Services Associate Counsel Gina Boscarino as a senior policy director.
Obamacare delay has foes focusing on flaws
- July 04, 2013
The Obama administration's surprise decision to delay penalizing large employers that fail to provide health coverage appears unlikely to unravel the president's signature healthcare law, despite claims from Republicans that the law's collapse is imminent.
But the move casts a spotlight on a central dilemma facing the administration as it moves to implement the complex law: Even supporters acknowledge that some of the Affordable Care Act's provisions may not work as written. But partisan tensions in Washington have made changes all but impossible.
"There just are not a lot of Republicans who are anxious to help the administration fix the law," said Dean Rosen, a Republican healthcare lobbyist and onetime aide to former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. "At the same time, there are not a lot of Democrats who want to engage in anything that might show that the law has flaws. It's a very tough environment."
Breakaway Policy Strategies Releases Updated Comprehensive Health Policy Savings Matrix
- May 08, 2013
Washington, D.C. – As policymakers on both sides of the political aisle continue to search for solutions to our federal budget crisis, Breakaway Policy Strategies today released an updated comprehensive Breakaway Health Policy Savings Matrix that compares and contrasts the key health reform elements in twelve of the most prominent deficit reduction proposals and compendiums.
Over the next decade, projected federal government spending on health care will grow faster than all other categories of government programs, including Social Security and defense spending. As a result, dozens of prominent organizations, as well as various federal government agencies and legislators, are offering recommendations about how to slow federal health spending. These proposals are voluminous, complex, and often incorporate economic projections about future costs and savings. Moreover, the recommendations vary in category and specificity, so it is difficult to determine areas of agreement. Capitol Hill staff, news media, and health care industry stakeholders need help understanding which proposals reflect a consensus – or at least point to similar conclusions.
The Breakaway Health Policy Savings Matrix is the first-of-its-kind tool that allows users to compare the differences and see the similarities in these proposals. It also shows projected budgetary savings, where available, for each recommendation. The Matrix is comprehensive, searchable, and organized by program area.
The Breakaway team recently updated the Matrix to reflect changes in the latest Bowles-Simpson proposal, the President's Budget, and Rep. Paul Ryan's Budget. It also includes entirely new additions from Sen. Patty Murray's FY 2014 Budget, the Bipartisan Policy Center, and the Brookings Institution. The Matrix is available here.
Team of Prominent Physicians Join Breakaway Policy Strategies
- May 08, 2013
Washington, D.C. – Breakaway Policy Strategies, LLC announced today that three prominent physicians with deep policy expertise and business experience will form the firm's new Medical Advisory Board, bringing clinical expertise to health care organizations facing complex policy changes. The Senior Medical Advisors are Dr. Jan Berger, Dr. James Fasules and Dr. Michael Miller. The combined experience of these physicians in academic medicine, corporate America, and on Capitol Hill will enhance Breakaway's capability to provide a full range of consulting services to its health care clients.
Julie Barnes, Executive Director of Breakaway Policy Strategies, said that "Breakaway's distinguished Medical Advisory Board will help clients better understand the real world impact of policy changes that are transforming the U.S. health care system. Their advice is critical during this time of significant changes in the industry, including market consolidation, expanded use of information technology, workforce shortages, Medicare payment reform and the emergence of new value-based delivery models."
Politico Pulse: BREAKAWAY HIRES THREE NEW DOCS
- May 06, 2013
Breakaway Policy Strategies, the new policy shop led by executive director Julie Barnes, has hired three physicians to serve on the firm's new medical advisory board. The new hires are: Dr. Jan Berger, who consults with clients on national and global health business strategies; Dr. James Fasules, who was the senior vice president of advocacy and health policy at the American College of Cardiology, and Dr. Michael Miller, who specializes in quality improvement, medical advances and health care delivery.
Health Policy Analysts Join Breakaway Policy Strategies
- May 02, 2013
Washington, D.C. – Breakaway Policy Strategies, LLC announced today that Anne Pick and Amit Rao joined the health policy team to enhance the services Breakaway provides to its growing client base.
"We are thrilled to have Anne and Amit on board to provide additional substantive depth and research and writing capabilities for Breakaway clients," said Julie Barnes, Breakaway's Executive Director. "They will assist clients to closely monitor and analyze changes in the ever-evolving health policy landscape."
Anne joins Breakaway after two years as a Research Analyst at Dobson DaVanzo & Associates, a health economics and policy consulting firm focusing on helping payers and providers develop, implement, and evaluate health care payment methodologies.
CMS Reverses Course on Cuts
- April 05, 2013
The insurance industry chalked up one of its greatest political victories in recent memory on Monday as the Obama administration reversed course on a proposal to cut Medicare Advantage rates.
After intense lobbying, the agency said Monday that it would change the proposed 2.3 percent cut to those plans to a 3.3 percent boost. That's a significant swing worth billions of dollars to the industry next year alone.
"It's a major victory for health plans," said Dean Rosen, a partner at Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti.
But the decision — and reasoning – are going to have broader implications.
Breakaway Policy Strategies Releases Comphrensive Health Savings Matrix
- March 01, 2013
Washington, D.C. – As the nation braces for across-the-board sequestration cuts to take effect at midnight, and policymakers on both sides of the political aisle continue to search for alternatives, Breakaway Policy Strategies today released a comprehensive Breakaway Health Policy Savings Matrix that compares and contrasts the key health reform elements in eleven of the most prominent deficit reduction proposals and compendiums.
A series of recent reports have highlighted the fact that the nation is on an unsustainable fiscal path. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the federal debt is expected to equal 77 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2023. Moreover, it is clear that health spending is a significant factor. Over the next decade, projected spending in major health care programs will grow faster than all other categories of government programs, including Social Security and defense programs. As a result, dozens of prominent organizations have issued proposals and outlined options over the past few months and years that would slow federal health spending.
"There's no shortage of proposals to slow health costs and save money in government health programs," according to Julie Barnes, Executive Director of Breakaway Policy Strategies. "But, until today, there was no effective way to compare these options."
The Breakaway Health Policy Savings Matrix is the first-of-its-kind tool that allows users to compare the differences and see the similarities in these proposals. It also shows how much each of the options is intended to save. The Matrix is comprehensive, searchable, and organized by program area. The Matrix is available here.
As new proposals emerge, the Breakaway team plans to update the Matrix. Later this year, Breakaway will survey health policy experts and policymakers and issue a report based on these findings regarding which of the proposals are most likely to become law.
Politico Pulse: HERE'S THAT LIST YOU'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR
- March 01, 2013
Breakaway Policy Strategies, which celebrated its launch last night, is planning to release this morning a searchable matrix comparing the health proposals in the top deficit reduction plans, such as the ones put out by the White House, CBO, and Bowles-Simpson. Want to know who has said what about tort reform, FMAP payment cuts or reducing payments to rural providers? It's here.
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