Study finds value-based contracts improve care, but providers still hesitate | Health system says CMS' star ratings calculation is flawed | AMA adopts policies to address physician shortages, reduce health care gaps
Value-based reimbursement models are reducing unnecessary medical spending in the US by an average of 5.6% while improving care quality and patient engagement, according to a study by ORC International for Change Healthcare. However, many payers surveyed said they have struggled to attract health care providers to value-based models and launch new episodic care bundles.
Rush University Medical Center analysts say they have found flaws with CMS' health care safety calculation that factors into star ratings for hospitals. Rush's analysis found that instead of weighting the eight safety of care measures evenly, the CMS relied heavily on the PSI-90 measure for the first four ratings releases, then changed the calculation to rely heavily on hip and knee replacement complications for the latest release, with the single measure accounting for nearly all of the safety performance.
Twenty-one health systems in Minnesota are participating in accountable care organizations under Medicaid, rewarding health care providers who can reduce spending while keeping their patients healthy, and the state is among a dozen testing the model as they seek ways to restrain Medicaid costs. Challenges, as well as success stories, under the programs often center on social determinants of health, such as housing insecurity and poor nutrition.
House Republicans unveiled a budget proposal Tuesday that would slash Medicare spending by $537 billion and funding for Medicaid and other health care programs by $1.5 trillion. The proposal would also fast-track a reconciliation process that would allow Senate lawmakers to repeal the Affordable Care Act with only 50 votes.
Switching EHR systems can improve efficiency and productivity, but the switch can also be costly, according to the Medical Economics 2017 EHR Report. Physicians can predict costs for software and hardware but some unanticipated expenses often result.
The Labor Department issued a final rule that will make it easier for small businesses and self-employed individuals to join together to purchase cheaper association health plans that skirt some Affordable Care Act requirements. Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta said the new plans "will offer more health care coverage options at a better price," but a recent Avalere Health analysis showed expansion of association health plans would cause 3.2 million people to leave the ACA markets by 2022 and raise premiums for those still in the individual market by 3.5%.
Aon has committed to the United Nations' Principles for Sustainable Insurance, becoming the first insurance broker to join the initiative focused on risks and opportunities related to environmental, social and governance issues in core business activities. Aon "and the wider insurance industry must be prepared to address critical economic, social and environmental challenges," said co-President Eric Andersen, who added that "de-risking cities and countries has never been more important."
As life science companies continue to look outside the US to conduct clinical trials, the risks and regulations of doing so continue to change from region to region. Aon leaders recently explored our newly released Clinical Trials Risk Map, as well as pending changes to European regulations, to better understand local laws, ethics committee requirements and market practices for clinical trials in more than 80 countries around the world. View the replay.
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