✦ UnitedHealth Group will make Optum CEO Andrew Witty its next CEO, succeeding retiring CEO David Wichmann, who has held the top job since 2017. Witty has run UnitedHealth’s PBM, hospital, finance and data analytics subsidiary since 2018, and previously served as CEO of pharmaceutical manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline plc from 2008 to 2017. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Witty “took an unpaid leave of absence from his company positions to serve as a Global Envoy for the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 efforts” and “served as an advisor to the UK Government Vaccine Taskforce,” according to a press release. Dirk McMahon will become the company’s new president and chief operating officer. Read more at http://bit.ly/3oPigeW.
✦ President Joe Biden on Feb. 2 signed an executive order on immigration that called for a review of the Trump administration’s so-called “public charge rule.” The rule allowed immigration officials to consider use of Medicaid coverage and other non-cash benefits in reviewing applications for legal residence. Although the regulation was tied up in litigation before its February 2020 implementation, research showed it still caused enough confusion and fear among immigrants to prevent them from enrolling in Medicaid. Estimates of the potential negative impact of the public charge rule on Medicaid enrollment range from about 1 million to more than 4 million, wrote Evercore ISI analyst Michael Newshel on Feb. 2. “The Biden administration has been expected to rescind the rule, which is positive for Medicaid MCOs and also hospitals.” Read the order at http://bit.ly/3pQagvw.