Amendment might bring AHCA back to House floor for a vote | Insurers make preliminary filings in Va., Ky. for 2018 | MACRA expected to slow Medicare spending on physician, hospital services
April 21, 2017
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Amendment might bring AHCA back to House floor for a vote
Amendment might bring AHCA back to House floor for a vote.
(Stefan Zaklin/Getty Images)
An amendment to the American Health Care Act proposed by Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., would retain the Affordable Care Act's essential health benefits at the federal level but allow states to request approval to replace the EHBs with their own list. States could also let insurers charge higher premiums to people with preexisting conditions if they create high-risk pools for those patients, according to the amendment, which has been billed as a tool for resurrecting the legislation for a vote the White House would like to see happen next week.
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (4/20) 
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Insurers make preliminary filings in Va., Ky. for 2018
Health insurers have filed for participation in Affordable Care Act exchanges in Virginia and Kentucky, which have some of the first filing deadlines in the US, providing an early indication of what the markets might look like for the 2018 plan year. Even after filing, insurers could still decide against participating in those states, and details such as rates and regions where plans will be offered were not disclosed.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (4/20) 
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Providers & Suppliers
MACRA expected to slow Medicare spending on physician, hospital services
A RAND study in Health Affairs found the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act could save Medicare $35 billion to $106 billion in spending on physician services, and $32 billion to $250 billion through 2030 on hospital services. Researchers said the impact will depend on participation in the Advanced Alternative Payment Models.
Medscape (free registration) (4/20) 
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CMS prepares to launch Accountable Health Communities program
The 32 initial participants in the CMS Accountable Health Communities program will need to keep comprehensive databases with information on health care providers who can address health-related social needs, collect and share beneficiary data, and monitor and evaluate how well beneficiaries' social needs are being met. The program has three tracks -- awareness, assistance and alignment -- focused on increasing beneficiary awareness of available services, supporting community services for high-risk beneficiaries and improving alignment of services and needs.
Information Management (4/17) 
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Medical Update
Including informal caregivers in discharge processes might cut readmissions
Including informal caregivers in discharge processes might cut readmissions.
(Boris Horvat/AFP/Getty Images)
A study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that bringing informal, unpaid caregivers into the discharge process for elderly patients helped reduce 90-day readmissions by 25% and 180-day readmissions by 24%. Most of the studies included in the paper also found that inclusion of informal caregivers in discharge processes was linked to lower post-discharge care costs, shorter time-to-readmission and shorter rehospitalization periods.
HealthLeaders Media (4/20) 
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Study: Primary care intervention helps patients with anxiety
The Integrated Behavioral Health psychotherapy program at Mayo Clinic, used in primary care settings, improved symptoms for patients with anxiety, researchers reported at the Anxiety and Depression Association of America's annual meeting. Researcher Craig Sawchuk said anxiety disorders are more likely to be first seen in a primary care setting, compared with a mental health setting.
Medscape (free registration) (4/18) 
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Risk Adjustment Accuracy Webinar
As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, comprehensive patient data remains key to driving improvements in patient outcomes and financial performance. In this on-demand webinar, industry experts address the need for adaptive, flexible and integrated risk adjustment accuracy. Access Webinar.
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Emerging Trends
Report examines EHR adoption rates among US states
Wyoming has the highest rate of EHR adoption across the US at 78.6%, followed by South Dakota, Utah, Iowa and North Dakota, according to a report from SK&A. The lowest EHR adoption rates were found in Maryland, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Louisiana and New York.
BeckersASC.com (4/19) 
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GAO looks at telehealth, remote patient monitoring use by Medicaid in 6 states
A Government Accountability Office report on telehealth and remote patient monitoring use in Medicaid programs in six states found that Connecticut spent $89,053 in 2015 on 817 encounters involving provider-to-provider consultations via secure messaging, while Montana's Medicaid program used telehealth to let patients consult with in-state and out-of-state specialists remotely. Meanwhile, Kansas implemented a remote patient monitoring pilot project from September 2007 to June 2010 and called telehealth a "valuable" tool, the report stated.
BeckersASC.com (4/19) 
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Health Insurance Plan Company News
Solutions Provider News
Pharma News
Ovarian cancer drug debuted by Tesaro
Tesaro has launched Zejula, or niraparib, as a maintenance treatment for adults with recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer whose tumors have shrunk completely or in part because of platinum-based chemotherapy.
Seeking Alpha (free registration) (4/19) 
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Policy Watch
Trump signs law allowing some vets to receive care outside VA
President Donald Trump signed legislation to extend the "Veterans Choice" pilot program, which lets some veterans see health care providers in their communities rather than those inside the Veterans Affairs system. The program facilitates sharing of medical records and reimbursement of non-VA providers in the wake of concerns about delays and inefficiencies inside the system.
Reuters (4/19) 
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AHIP News
Take it all in. Earn your LTCP designation
Raise your status with a Long-Term Care Professional (LTCP) designation. Earn your LTCP by completing Long-Term Care, Parts I-IV. Learn how to spot a need for Long-Term Care Insurance (LTCI) and market it, understand the features of LTCI products, discover how LTCI can and cannot be financed, and more. Get started on the path to your LTCP today.
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Watch: What's driving drug prices
Most people wouldn't pay more for a product if the quality didn't improve. But that's what happens when it comes to pharmaceuticals. Watch this video to find out why.
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