The FLATLINING Podcast from Fulcrum Strategies

The FLATLINING Podcast from Fulcrum Strategies

The FLATLINING Podcast from Fulcrum Strategies brings you great healthcare news analysis and discussion each week from industry experts who know their way around politics, economics, and a doctor’s office. Questions about payor issues, Medicaid expansion, or the No Surprises Act? We’ve got you covered. New episodes drop every Wednesday morning.

Episodes

May 29, 2024 59 mins
This week on the FLATLINING Podcast from Fulcrum Strategies, Ron Howrigon and Matthew Handley sit down with Lou Tharp to discuss patient-centered healthcare and patient advocacy.  

Lou Tharp is the co-founder and executive director of the Global Healthy Living Foundation, a non-profit organization that focuses on improving the quality of life for those living with chronic diseases such as arthritis, psoriasis, IBS, cardiovascular di...
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This week on the FLATLINING Podcast from Fulcrum Strategies, Ron Howrigon and Matthew Handley take a look back at the last 20 years of Fulcrum Strategies.  They discuss why Ron left his employment with the payers and began working with physicians and what has changed in the last twenty years.  They also take a look at what might change in the future.

Listen to the FLATLINING Podcast from Fulcrum Strategies wherever you listen to pod...
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This week on the FLATLINING Podcast from Fulcrum Strategies, Ron Howrigon and Matthew Handley break down testimony from the Congressional hearings about the Change Healthcare cyber attack.  On May 1, UnitedHealth Group CEO Andrew Witty was in the hot seat as senators and representatives grilled him on the impact to patients and providers.  Ron and Matthew break it down in a way that is easy to understand and help you know how it im...
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On today’s episode of the FLATLINING Podcast from Fulcrum Strategies, President and CEO Ron Howrigon and Matthew Handley talk to John Scagnelli, MD, about multiple sclerosis.  This disease has no known cause and no known cure, but there have been some incredible advancements in treatment over the past few decades.

Dr. Scagnelli specializes in Multiple Sclerosis and Adult Neurology at Raleigh Neurology’s Durham and Raleigh offices. D...
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Next week on the FLATLINING Podcast from Fulcrum Strategies, President and CEO Ron Howrigon and Matthew Handley are joined by John Scagnelli, MD of Raleigh Neurology.  They will be discussing multiple sclerosis, a devastating disease with no known cause and no known cure.  But there is hope.  Recent research has created new advancements in treatment.  You won’t want to miss this episode of the FLATLINING Podcast.  Subscribe now whe...
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On today’s episode of the FLATLINING Podcast from Fulcrum Strategies, President and CEO Ron Howrigon and Matthew Handley discuss some of the most pressing topics affecting physicians and their patients.  

In this episode, they discuss:
•    UnitedHealth Group admits they paid the ransom for the Change Healthcare cyber attack
•    The Justice Department sets up an online portal for people to report anti-competitive healthcare practices
...
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This week on the FLATLINING Podcast from Fulcrum Strategies, Matthew and Ron discuss the news that UnitedHealth Group posted a $1.4 billion loss in quarter 1 of 2024 following the Change Healthcare cyber attack.  They talk about whether or not providers should care about news such as this.
Then, they discuss a new law going into effect in California that ups the minimum wage for healthcare workers to $25 an hour.  There could be som...
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Today on the FLATLINING Podcast from Fulcrum Strategies, Ron Howrigon and Matthew Handley take a look at some of the latest healthcare news.  First, they discuss changes to the Medicare Advantage rates published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; they explain why insurers are saying out of pocket expenses will go up for seniors.  Ron and Matthew also discuss Home Depot’s decision to appeal a settlement with BlueCros...
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Today on the FLATLINING Podcast from Fulcrum Strategies, Matthew Handley and Ron Howrigon have a conversation with Matthew Stephens, MD, a board certified radiologists at Radiology of Indiana. Dr. Stevens, Matthew, and Ron discuss the exciting topic of artificial intelligence in healthcare, particularly AI's influence in radiology.  They discuss what some of the pitfalls are of using the new technology and what might be coming next...
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In this episode of the FLATLINING Podcast from Fulcrum Strategies, Ron Howrigon and Matthew Handley discuss Congress’ late fix to eliminate part of the cut to Medicare physician fee schedule.  They also discuss a recent report about a whistleblower case that alleges major accountable care organization Aledade engaged in serious Medicare fraud. -- Follow Matthew on X and LinkedIn. Follow Ron on LinkedIn. -- Articles mentioned in thi...
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Medicare Advantage continues to be one of the most profitable sectors of the health insurance industry, yet a lobby group backed by the nation's largest payers has claimed the federal government isn't paying them enough.  Fulcrum Strategies President and CEO Ron Howirgon and Matthew Handley discuss this. Plus, Elevance-owned Anthem BlueCross BlueShield in New Hampshire has royally screwed up their mail-order pharmacy benefits for N...
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This week on the FLATLINING Podcast from Fulcrum Strategies, Ron Howrigon and Matthew Handley discuss a proposal in Washington to remove the site of service differential.  Removing that change would pay doctors the same regardless if a procedure is performed at a hospital or an office. Ron and Matthew also discuss if the Medicare fee schedule is going to change, a PhRMA's lawsuit against the Biden administration over drug price neg...
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On today's episode of the FLATLINING Podcast from Fulcrum Strategies, Ron Howrigon and Matthew Handley discuss a current US Supreme Court case that is looking at COVID-19 misinformation and free speech.  Namely, the justices are evaluating if misinformation is protected speech.  Matthew and Ron discuss what this could mean for physicians who think they are giving their medical opinion to patients or to the public on social media. P...
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In our continuing series on prior authorization, Ron Howirgon and Matthew Handley discuss a press release from Cigna detailing all the "good" reasons big insurers like it use prior authorizations.  They claim it is to save patients money but ultimately, it saves patients' lives.  But a new law in New Jersey seems to fly in the face of that saying in its introduction that prior authorizations can be detrimental to patient health in ...
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This week on the FLATLINING Podcast, Matthew and Ron talk about a new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rule that requires insurance companies to respond to prior authorization requests for certain products within seventy-two hours.  Those products include Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, and Obamacare plans.  Unfortunately, commercially insured patients are left out in the cold.  Ron shares his concerns with the rule but acknowl...
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This week on the FLATLINING Podcas from Fulcrum Strategies, Matthew and Ron discuss the current situation with the Medicare fee schedule.  Unfortunately, a cut was not removed by Congress and doctors are now being paid (on average) 3% less to see Medicare patients.  Ron shares his insights into what he thinks will change in the next few weeks. Then, Matthew and Ron discuss a story that was previously shared on Matthew's Friday Puls...
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This week on the FLATLINING Podcast from Fulcrum Strategies, Matthew Handley and Ron Howirgon discuss the failed Cigna / Humana merger and why Wall Street analysts thought it was a bad idea from the start.  They also talk about the potential buyer for Cigna's Medicare Advantage business and why it doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of Medicare Advantage plans. Matthew also asks Ron what he's looking at in 2024. The FLATLININ...
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January 3, 2024 50 mins
Our most listened to episode of 2023: In 2023, the nation’s largest health insurers saw several lawsuits brought against them for refusing to cover care under the guise that it was not medically necessary or that physicians did not comply with prior authorizations. This happened to otolayrngologist Dan Hurley and Matthew had the opportunity to interview him for the FLATLINING Podcast from Fulcrum Strategies before he died in August...
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December 27, 2023 31 mins
We are continuing the Best of 2023 series on FLATLINING Podcast from Fulcrum Strategies. Weight loss drugs got a lot of hype this year as more were approved by the FDA with very promising results. But, as has been noted by several lawmakers and activists, insurance companies are still refusing to cover the drugs. Ron and Matthew discussed the new drug from Novo Nordisk called Wegovy and how it could change America’s public health. ...
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December 20, 2023 29 mins
This week on the FLATLINING Podcast, we start our best of 2023 countdown with our third most popular program of the year.   Ron and Matthew discussed a bill that was proposed in the Indiana state legislature that attempted to regulate how hospitals can do business in the state.  That bill was later signed into law by Indiana Governor Jonathan Jennings.  Ron and Matthew also discussed statistics that showed just how many physicians ...
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