Staff Directory 277764631

Christopher Snowbeck

Reporter | Business
Chris has covered health care stories at four different daily newspapers since 1994. His work at the Star Tribune focuses on health insurers, hospitals and the state's MNsure health insurance exchange. Previously, he worked at the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Daily Progress of Charlottesville, Va., and the Indianapolis News.
Recent content from Christopher Snowbeck
Mayo Clinic's CEO to retire at year's end

Mayo Clinic's CEO to retire at year's end

Dr. John Noseworthy served nine years as president and chief executive at the Rochester-based health system.
Strong sales at Medtronic, but profit margins decline

Strong sales at Medtronic, but profit margins decline

Following a quarter of strong sales, but diminished profit margins, Medtronic officials on Tuesday suggested one key to future growth is contracts that link payments for medical devices to good patient outcomes.
Prescription drug cost trends moderated in 2017

Prescription drug cost trends moderated in 2017

The report from Eagan-based Prime Therapeutics showed a slightly year-over-year decline in per -person, per-month spending.
Abbott Northwestern health kick includes Panera Bread in former McDonald's spot

Abbott Northwestern health kick includes Panera Bread in former McDonald's spot

McDonald's operated in the Minneapolis hospital until May 2016.

Abbott Northwestern building $29.2 million neuroscience unit

Abbott Northwestern sees a growing need for neuroscience options as the population ages.

DaVita cuts 38 jobs in Minneapolis

The Denver-based health care company is trimming its research operations.
Blue Cross CEO Michael Guyette leaving for new job

Blue Cross CEO Michael Guyette leaving for new job

Michael Guyette, who led the Eagan-based health insurer since 2013, is leaving for California.
Judge allows UnitedHealth Medicare fraud case to proceed

Judge allows UnitedHealth Medicare fraud case to proceed

Federal judge allows portions of whistleblower case, dismisses others.
Will the health care worm turn?

Will the health care worm turn?

Big-name CEOs ratchet up the rhetoric in launching bid to repair the system.
Insurance plans push healthier choices at grocery store

Insurance plans push healthier choices at grocery store

Medica, UnitedHealthcare offer discounts to motivate shoppers.

Mayo Clinic proposes medical facility in Hudson

The plan is called a "direct challenge" to HealthPartners in region.
MNsure, other state exchanges top feds on enrollment

MNsure, other state exchanges top feds on enrollment

Minn.-based health insurance exchange reached a record-high number of sign-ups.
Andy Slavitt launches push for affordable health care

Andy Slavitt launches push for affordable health care

New nonprofit seeks bipartisan solutions from Minneapolis and D.C.
Like Amazon, big companies in Minn. tried to upend health care, but the effort fell apart

Like Amazon, big companies in Minn. tried to upend health care, but the effort fell apart

Twin Cities effort from the 1990s has some lessons for innovating CEOs.
Amazon, Buffett, JPMorgan tackle U.S. health care 'tapeworm'

Amazon, Buffett, JPMorgan tackle U.S. health care 'tapeworm'

Investors are chewing over the vague announcement but it answers speculation about Amazon's interest in health.

Health system mergers in the U.S. at record high

There were 115 deals made, report says, and 11 involved sellers with net revenue of at least $1B.
Sanford Health's Dr. Dan Blue discusses the provider's global vision

Sanford Health's Dr. Dan Blue discusses the provider's global vision

Sanford Health announced last week new clinic and research ventures in Costa Rica, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and Vietnam as the South Dakota-based health…
St. Cloud's CentraCare Health is buying more clinics

St. Cloud's CentraCare Health is buying more clinics

The St. Cloud-based health system says the moves ensure that doctors and services remain in Central Minnesota.
HealthPartners names new chief financial officer

HealthPartners names new chief financial officer

Changes continue at the top of HealthPartners, with the health system and insurance company this week announcing the hiring of a new chief financial officer.Todd…
South Dakota's Sanford Health expands into five more countries

South Dakota's Sanford Health expands into five more countries

The South Dakota-based health system's new clinics mean it will have 30-plus locations in nine countries.
Blue Cross shifting work to Anthem

Blue Cross shifting work to Anthem

The Eagan-based insurer is hiring a subsidiary of Indiana-based Anthem.
UnitedHealth and Walgreens are mixing urgent care with pharmacy

UnitedHealth and Walgreens are mixing urgent care with pharmacy

The tiny suburb of Hilltop, located just north of Minneapolis, is hosting an experimental mash-up of health care services that's helping to generate buzz on Wall Street.

UnitedHealth Group and Walgreens expand collaboration to Las Vegas

UnitedHealth Group's growing network of urgent care clinics is opening four locations in Las Vegas as part of an emerging collaboration with pharmacy giant Walgreens.The…
MNsure's health plan enrollment tops last year's total

MNsure's health plan enrollment tops last year's total

Slight improvement comes as exchange enrollment in other states has slipped.
UnitedHealth Group doubles its profit, surpasses $200B in revenue

UnitedHealth Group doubles its profit, surpasses $200B in revenue

The insurer surpassed $200B in revenue in 2017, and forecasts more earnings and investment.

Hopeful signs for Minnesota health insurers

Premium hikes helped cover claims, but the future remains uncertain.
Minnesota finds 'cause for optimism' in individual health insurance market

Minnesota finds 'cause for optimism' in individual health insurance market

A new report suggests stability despite continued enrollment declines.
Don Moe, legislator with passion for reform, dies at 75

Don Moe, legislator with passion for reform, dies at 75

He also brought into politics his younger brother Roger, the long-serving Senate majority leader who unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2002.
Health plan shoppers now in buying mode as MNsure closes in on deadline

Health plan shoppers now in buying mode as MNsure closes in on deadline

The health exchange is extending hours during the final four days of open enrollment.

Farmer health plans draw 1,700 in Minnesota

They offer alternative to state's individual market.
Logo dispute between HealthPartners and Sam's Club is quietly settled

Logo dispute between HealthPartners and Sam's Club is quietly settled

And the winner is … unclear.
About $100 million in unused health premium rebates headed back to state

About $100 million in unused health premium rebates headed back to state

About 100,000 people received relief, but lack of demand for individual health insurance policies left portion of aid untapped.
Regions Hospital planning new birth center

Regions Hospital planning new birth center

Officials say construction of a new center would be separate from its push to expand licensed beds.
St. Paul's Regions Hospital seeks big expansion

St. Paul's Regions Hospital seeks big expansion

The St. Paul medical center is asking the Legislature to back state's largest hospital growth in 10 years.
Sanford Health getting bigger in weight loss with Twin Cities stores opening

Sanford Health getting bigger in weight loss with Twin Cities stores opening

Sanford Health of South Dakota will offer counseling, food at several spots in the Twin Cities.
Blue Cross executive Tom Vanderheyden talks patience, mission and health insurance

Blue Cross executive Tom Vanderheyden talks patience, mission and health insurance

Tom Vanderheyden was the executive in charge of Harken Health, an innovative startup from Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group that drowned last year in red ink. Subscribers…
UnitedHealth plans $2.8B bid to grow South America business

UnitedHealth plans $2.8B bid to grow South America business

It's buying a Chilean health care provider as it charts a global growth plan.

From artwork to real estate, gifts on the rise at Mayo Clinic

While most donors give cash, the famed medical center saw an increase in noncash gifts last year.
MNsure reports surge of sign-ups at first enrollment deadline

MNsure reports surge of sign-ups at first enrollment deadline

The tally of health insurance enrollees for next year is more than 108,000 people.
MNsure says demand for health insurance exceeds last year

MNsure says demand for health insurance exceeds last year

Tax bill's removal of the individual mandate could hurt exchange in the future.
Minnesota health systems see less income

Minnesota health systems see less income

Officials are watching to see if the numbers mark the beginning of a trend.
MNsure optimistic about sign-ups as deadlines approach

MNsure optimistic about sign-ups as deadlines approach

Wednesday is cutoff for Jan. 1 coverage, but you can still enroll in January.
Farm co-ops extend deadline for health plan sign-ups

Farm co-ops extend deadline for health plan sign-ups

Minnesota farmers are getting more time to decide whether to seek health insurance from co-op providers.
Health insurers are running with big rewards for using fitness trackers

Health insurers are running with big rewards for using fitness trackers

UnitedHealthcare program for wearable devices fits with growing focus on worker wellness in employer health plans.

Willmar health system would be part of CentraCare

Carris Health, a subsidiary of CentraCare Health, would benefit from an electronic health record system.

Mayo Clinic reports $300,000 theft by worker

Mayo Clinic says it discovered last year the theft of more than $300,000 by an employee who was responsible for handling cash at the Rochester-based…

HealthPartners expands Wisconsin footprint

Provider signs on with two hospital systems to expand footprint in state.

MNsure highlights newcomers in sign-up tally

The exchange already is halfway to its goal of 10,000 new enrollees for 2018.
Farmer cooperative health plans may rattle Minn. individual market

Farmer cooperative health plans may rattle Minn. individual market

Minnesota farmers are sizing up a new crop of health plans after struggling for years with skyrocketing premiums and diminished insurance options. Lawmakers blessed the…
Children's Minnesota says CEO Bob Bonar will retire

Children's Minnesota says CEO Bob Bonar will retire

Departure of Bob Bonar will be the second since feud with Blue Cross.

Sanford acquires stake in German hospital

The investment extends the connection between the Sioux Falls-based health systems and the German health care system.

UnitedHealth Group enters senior fitness market race

The Optum Fitness Advantage plan is seen by analysts as competing with popular "SilverSneakers" program.

Mayo winding down HMO in Wisconsin

Like other insurers across the country, the health plan won't sell to individuals in 2018.

Employer health costs up 4.7 percent in Minnesota

The report says annual increases remain low across the country compared with previous periods.
MNsure enrollment begins with few complaints

MNsure enrollment begins with few complaints

The first hours of open enrollment are playing out better than last year's "nightmare scenario."
MNsure, insurers seeking more sign-ups

MNsure, insurers seeking more sign-ups

The state's health insurance exchange has targeted growth as the broader market shrinks.
Hazelden cuts 57 jobs as fewer patients are paying own way

Hazelden cuts 57 jobs as fewer patients are paying own way

The addiction treatment provider is adjusting to discounted payment rates from health insurers plus cash-flow trouble related to a new system for electronic health records.
Employers, once poised for big changes, settle for benefit tweaks

Employers, once poised for big changes, settle for benefit tweaks

Open enrollment won't feature the big changes that could have come with the repeal of the federal Affordable Care Act.

Few changes in Medicare plans for 2018; 2019 is another story

Seniors are finding more options and lower prices for the coming year, but plans used by 350,000 could disappear in 2019.
UnitedHealth Group shrugs off reports that Amazon may enter pharmacy business

UnitedHealth Group shrugs off reports that Amazon may enter pharmacy business

The nation's largest health insurer boosted full-year earnings guidance after topping analyst estimates.

Feds drop a whistleblower case against UnitedHealth Group

A judge had dismissed a suit alleging false filings; other litigation continues.
Dayton signs agreement for 'reinsurance' program

Dayton signs agreement for 'reinsurance' program

The program will lower individual market premiums for 2018.
Minn. joins suit against Trump's halt to health insurance subsidies

Minn. joins suit against Trump's halt to health insurance subsidies

The state health insurance program receives much of the "cost-sharing reduction" money marked for elimination by the Trump administration.
Consumers could see steady premiums as UnitedHealthcare enters Minnesota market

Consumers could see steady premiums as UnitedHealthcare enters Minnesota market

The Minnetonka health insurer is ramping up competition in Minnesota.
Judge tosses Medica lawsuit challenging DHS contract changes

Judge tosses Medica lawsuit challenging DHS contract changes

The HMO sued after dropping its public health contract, then losing business to insurers who stepped in.
Interim CEO Mark Traynor will stay in top post at UCare

Interim CEO Mark Traynor will stay in top post at UCare

UCare has named Mark Traynor as the Minneapolis-based health insurer's permanent chief executive, a job Traynor has held on an interim basis since April.
UnitedHealth goes for bigger slice of market in Minnesota

UnitedHealth goes for bigger slice of market in Minnesota

The nation's largest health insurer said it plans to start selling coverage next year to commercial groups in Minnesota.
Whistleblower lawsuit filed in California against UnitedHealth Group is dismissed

Whistleblower lawsuit filed in California against UnitedHealth Group is dismissed

Ruling in California whistleblower lawsuit doesn't halt parallel case in the Twin Cities.
As much of Minnesota sees premiums decline, Rochester's are on the rise

As much of Minnesota sees premiums decline, Rochester's are on the rise

Individual health insurance premiums are flat or going down across most of Minnesota next year, but that won't be true in the southeast corner of the state — a region that already has the highest rates in the market.
HealthPartners expanding in Dakotas in 2018

HealthPartners expanding in Dakotas in 2018

The health plan will sell Medicare coverage in conjunction with Sanford Health.

Small-business premiums on the rise in Minnesota

Roughly 263,000 Minnesotans could be affected by the hikes, expected to range from 8 to 14 percent.
Premiums declining, steady for plans via MNsure

Premiums declining, steady for plans via MNsure

After three years of big jumps, officials say 2018 will be more steady.

'Narrow networks' that limit health plan choice likely to endure

When regulators release 2018 health plan details Monday, buyers on the individual market are likely to see moderate increases and a steady lineup of insurers. But a wide range of insurer choices is unlikely to return.

Medica is lone insurer in Iowa, Nebraska individual markets

Premiums there will rise at least 30 percent.
Dayton, health plans clash on rate release timeline

Dayton, health plans clash on rate release timeline

Health plans say the state should first iron out the future of funding for the MinnesotaCare program.
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