Noteworthy News

Archive for July, 2014


Uninsured Rate Falls

The number of uninsured Americans is falling, according to a new survey taken by the Commonwealth Fund. As the foundation reports, The uninsured rate for people ages 19 to 64 declined from 20 percent in the July-to-September 2013 period to 15 percent in the April-to-June 2014 period. An estimated 9.5 million fewer adults were uninsured. Young men and women drove a large part of the decline: the uninsured rate for 19-to-34-year-olds declined from 28 percent to 18 percent, with an estimated 5.7 million fewer young adults uninsured. By June, 60 percent of adults with new coverage through the marketplaces or Medicaid [&hellip

Foundation to Track Effect of ACA on Hospitals

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has launched a project to measure the impact of the Affordable Care Act on hospitals. Working with 24 state hospital associations, the foundation’s Hospital ACA Monitoring Project will collect quarterly hospital data on admissions, emergency room visits, and selected diagnoses and procedures.  The project will collect data from different types of hospitals with different payer mixes. According to the foundation, the project “is designed to shed light on some of the effects of health reform on hospitals and provide extremely timely data to researchers, policymakers and hospital leaders.” Learn more about the Robert Wood Johnson [&hellip

Medicare to Add Services to Telehealth Program

Medicare would add new telehealth services to those for which it already pays providers under a newly proposed regulation. The new telehealth services that would be eligible for Medicare payment to physicians are annual wellness visits, psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, and prolonged evaluation and management services. The additions are part of Medicare’s annual regulation updating how it pays providers for various outpatient services. To learn more about the Medicare telehealth additions and the proposed regulation in general, see this fact sheet or find the regulation itself here

Medicare Proposes Updating Physician Quality Program

Medicare is proposing changes in its quality program for outpatient care provided by physicians. In a newly proposed regulation, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposes adding 28 new measures to Medicare’s Physician Quality Reporting System and removing 73 current measures.  In all, the program would still encompass 240 measures designed to quantify the quality of care doctors provide to their Medicare patients. The proposal comes as part of Medicare’s annual update on how it pays physicians for outpatient services. To learn more about the Medicare outpatient quality changes or the proposed regulation in general, see this CMS [&hellip

The Cost of Rejecting Medicaid Expansion

The 24 states that have chosen not to expand their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act have cost 1.4 million of their residents a source of regular health care, failed to generate an estimated 184,000 jobs through the end of 2015, and lost approximately $88 billion in federal revenue between this year and the end of 2015. These and other estimates come from the report Missed Opportunities:  The Consequences of State Decisions Not to Expand Medicaid, issued last week by the White House Council of Economic Advisers. The report offers state-by-state projections of the number of people who gained [&hellip

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