Noteworthy News

Archive for Affordable Care Act

 

Verdict: Medicaid Expansion Improved Care and Access

A new review of studies published since the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion has concluded that expansion improved care, access to care, and coverage in states that expanded their Medicaid programs. Among the improvements cited by studies are: greater use of primary care more preventive health visits more behavioral health care shorter hospital stays fewer avoidable hospital admissions reduced access problems reduced reliance on hospital ERs as a primary source of care improved monitoring and compliance rates for patients with diabetes and hypertension higher rates of screening for prostate cancer and Pap smears In addition, hospitals provided less uncompensated care [&hellip

HHS Unveils Spring Regulatory Agenda

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has published a comprehensive list of the regulatory actions it plans to take in the coming months. Included on the list are regulations that have been proposed, that are being finalized, and that are currently under development.  They address Medicare, Medicaid, Food and Drug Administration endeavors, medical devices, the 340B prescription drug discount program, and more. Among the policy changes contemplated through future regulations are measures to reduce regulatory burdens for hospitals, address the opioid problem, facilitate the use of non-Affordable Care Act-compliant health insurance plans, and more. Go here to see [&hellip

Helping Safety-Net Hospitals Help Their Patients

A new report published on the Health Affairs Blog describes the continuing challenges safety-net hospitals face and offers suggestions for helping them meet those challenges. The challenges, according to the report, are the virtual elimination of the Affordable Care Act’s individual health insurance mandate; the continued decline in the amount of Medicare disproportionate share hospital money (Medicare DSH) provided to safety-net hospitals; and hospital closures that shift more of the burden for caring for uninsured patients onto a smaller pool of safety-net hospitals.  The result is under-served patients and new financial risks for the hospitals that remain after some safety-net [&hellip

Study Looks at Medicaid and Managed Care

A new Commonwealth Fund study examines how managed care plans have tackled serving new members in Affordable Care Act-authorized Medicaid expansion states. According to the report, these managed care organizations have …focused on identifying and helping high-risk populations and addressing the social determinants of health. MCOs are testing value-based payment strategies that link payment with performance and are increasingly focused on engaging patients in their care. Leaders report common challenges: setting appropriate payment rates; managing members whose needs differ from traditional Medicaid beneficiaries; ensuring access to specialty care; and effectively implementing payment reform and practice transformation. Learn more about how [&hellip

A New Wave of Medicaid Expansion?

Spurred by the Trump administration’s invitation to states to apply for approval to make work requirements a part of their Medicaid program, a number of states that spurned the opportunity created for expansion under the Affordable Care Act may consider pursuing Medicaid expansion in the near future. Currently, some elected officials in Idaho, Kansas, North Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming appear to be considering what they once considered unthinkable:  making more of their residents eligible for Medicaid. For the most part, expansion talk is coming from moderate Republican legislators who believe a work requirement may help soften the staunch opposition [&hellip

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