Bertha Coombs, NBR, CNBC.com’s Posts

Most hospitals don’t have their own navy. Ochsner Baptist in New Orleans does, complete with a fleet of rescue boats and staffers who undergo water rescue training—all because of Hurricane Katrina. Ten years ago, Dr. Glenn Casey and others at the hospital scrambled to find boats, in order to evacuate patients and staff. He said …

First the good news. After years of shifting health costs to workers, most large firms are taking a breather on benefit redesign, and your health benefits next year will probably look a lot like this year’s. But analysts say brace yourself for some big changes in 2018 if the so-called Obamacare Cadillac tax isn’t changed. …

The Department of Defense is expected to grant a 10-year health care IT contract, estimated to be worth as much as $10 billion, to overhaul the department’s electronic health system records. “Relative to the electronic health records vendors, we’re talking probably $2 billion over the life of the contract,” said Michael Cherny, health IT analyst …

Cigna believes a merger with Anthem would create a health insurance powerhouse, but the Connecticut-based insurer is still rejecting a $53.8 billion takeover bid from its larger rival, saying the offer is not in the best interest of shareholders. “We are deeply disappointed with your recent actions,” the company wrote in a letter signed by …

John Hogue has struggled with his weight for years. He knew diet and exercise could help bring his diabetes and blood pressure under control, but admits he was never one to count calories. “I would go to the doctor and say ‘yes, sir’ and listen to all the good advice, and then I would go …

Large companies have cut their rate of health-care spending growth nearly in half over the last decade by pushing both their employees and health-care providers to be more cost-conscious, according to a new report out Tuesday. In 2016, employer health costs are expected to rise 6.5 percent—the slowest rate in 10 years, predicted PwC’s Health …

If you’re pleased that McDonald’s and other restaurants are switching to healthier foods, like chickens raised without antibiotics, you might want to thank a millennial. And if you’re unhappy with a recent doctor’s bill, you might want to act like one. It turns out millennials are twice as likely to challenge the cost of their …

Dr. Andrew Kleinman would rather spend his time with patients than dealing with billing. The New York plastic surgeon is worried that next fall, when he has to switch to a new medical coding system known as ICD-10, billing issues will overwhelm his practice “At one of the training sessions, the consultant recommended that everybody …

When a massive data breach struck retailer Target during the midst of the 2013 holiday season, consumers responded by shopping at other stores and its brand was briefly tarnished. Now, Anthem, the nation’s largest Blue Cross operator, finds itself in a similar position. But switching health insurers is a whole lot more complicated than heading …

This year’s flu season is shaping up to be just as bad as expected, and that is driving consumers to drug stores for relief. Walgreens Boots Alliance, the nation’s largest pharmacy chain, saw a big boost in December in part because of flu-related purchases. The retailer said sales in stores open at least 12 months …

Only a half dozen states in the South are reporting high levels of flu activity, but from early indications, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is worried that this year’s flu season will be severe. “From what we know about the viruses we are seeing, we are concerned that it may be a severe …

Legal challenges to the legitimacy of the Affordable Care Act are nothing new. But with the next wave of Affordable Care Act litigation, it’s not the government but large employers who could find themselves facing worker lawsuits for violating the health-reform law. Honeywell CEO David Cote never expected that his company’s wellness program would be subject …

Apple‘s market capitalization has hit a record $700 billion, a major milestone for CEO Tim Cook since the market cap doubled in the three years he’s been at the helm. “It’s the ultimate statement of what Tim Cook has added,” said Gene Munster, a senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray. Cook took the reigns in …

Large employers are going into this year’s health insurance enrollment season with more uncertainty than they have in years. New Obamacare rules are making it hard to get a handle on how much their benefit costs could increase. “We have employers extending coverage to a lot of people who may not have had coverage before, …

CEOs of some of the nation’s top companies are challenging the business community to take the lead on improving health care in the U.S. through innovation. The top executives of Coca-Cola, Bank of America, Aetna and others will unveil a new initiative in Washington Tuesday afternoon at the Bipartisan Policy Center. “What they said during their meetings was ‘can’t …