(For more on the national implications of health care reform on United States Medicare, and information on other Medicare issues, see theabcsofmedicare blog here.)
With a little work I could really pull a Boston Globe and make my post's headline read as if the private insurance company that used to run1 all of Original LBJ/Democratic-Party/"as we know it" Medicare in Massachusetts (and elsewhere in New England) was a crooked, blood sucking, for-profit bunch of billionairres apparently paying off state politicians with some kind of bribes (maybe just campaign contributions) to get a multimillion-dollar contract to provide terrible health-care administration services to the poor and downtrodden on Medicaid here in the Bay State.
But the news is less dramatic than the way left-wing newspapers such as the Boston Globe like to portray things. In reality
- As part of a typical end-of-contract review/audit, National Heritage Insurance Company2 (NHIC) of Hingham, a division of Hewlett Packard (HPQ) of California, has to give back a couple of hundred thousand dollars it overbilled because of the way it accounted for its employees' retirement plan during the seven years it had the contract to administer most of traditional fee for service Medicare in Massachusetts (Oddly, the same day, Medicare audtiors announced that NHIC did not claim some costs it could have claimed. Why did they issue two separate reports on basically the same subject on the same day? Because it is the government.)
- Hewlett-Packard (HP) received renewal of a contract to help administer MassHealth. It does not appear that HP's Hingham-based NHIC division is involved but that would be good for jobs in Massachusetts is true.
In fact the news is so undramatic that you won't read anything about it in the Boston Globe because the truth disagrees with a major tenent of Democratic Party dogma: that Original LBJ/Democratic-Party/"as-we-know-it" Medicare and Medicaid are administered by the government.
1The for-profit private insurance company that used to run Original LBJ/Democratic-Party/"as we know it" Medicare in Massachusetts was replaced last year by another for-profit private insurance company, Wellpoint of Indiana. Almost all public Part C Medicare Advantage capitated-fee health plans in Massachusetts are run by local private non-profit insurance companies. Almost all traditional fee for service Medicare plans across the United States are run by national private for-profit insurance companies.
2I am not positive of this but it appears that NHIC is continuing to administer traditional Medicare claims in Massachusetts as a subcontractor to Wellpoin