New executive order expected to target drug costs | Senators mull retaining some ACA taxes | CMS: Report tracks US hospital care spending growth
June 16, 2017
AHIP Solutions SmartBrief
Top Stories
New executive order expected to target drug costs
New executive order expected to target drug costs
President Donald Trump will meet with HHS Secretary Tom Price, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney and other officials today to discuss a new executive order aimed at reducing drug prices, sources say. Ideas under discussion include instructing federal agencies to pursue value-based contracts as well as promote trade regulations that strengthen drugmakers' intellectual property rights.
The Hill (6/15) 
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Senators mull retaining some ACA taxes
The idea of keeping some taxes imposed under the Affordable Care Act is reportedly gaining favor among Senate Republicans. Taxes likely to be eliminated include an excise tax on high-cost health plans, a tax on medical devices and a tax on insurance premiums, while taxes on investment income might remain.
Reuters (6/15) 
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Better Quality Post-Acute Care at a Lower Cost
Post-acute care (PAC) accounts for an estimated 45 percent of total health plan spending, and of this, hospital readmissions account for more than half. A better model to build efficiency and improve outcomes is desperately needed. Learn how data and technology can help identify the best path for each patient's care, resulting in better care with lower costs. Read more.
Providers & Suppliers
CMS: Report tracks US hospital care spending growth
CMS: Report tracks US hospital care spending growth
(Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
A report from the CMS Office of the Actuary showed total hospital services spending grew nearly threefold from 1991 to 2014, with annual growth rates ranging from 3.8% in the District of Columbia to 7.9% in Idaho. Per capita health care spending in Medicaid expansion and non-expansion states climbed by 4.4% and 4.5%, respectively, which the report attributed to increased coverage in expansion states and higher spending growth per insured person in non-expansion states, the report said.
Healthcare Finance News (6/15) 
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Poor work environment, patient load tied to missed pediatric nursing care
Sixty-one percent of pediatric nurses in hospitals with poor work environments missed at least one care activity such as comforting, counseling, planning or teaching, compared with 46% of those in better work environments, researchers reported in the journal Hospital Pediatrics. The findings, based on a 2006 to 2008 survey of 2,187 pediatric registered nurses in 223 hospitals, also showed that every additional patient was tied to a 70% increased odds of missing a care activity.
United Press International (6/13) 
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Medical Update
Oral contraceptives may lower long-term cancer risk among women
A UK study in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology found women who used combined oral contraceptives had lower risks of colorectal cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, and lymphatic and hematopoietic cancer. The findings, based on 46,022 women enrolled in the Royal College of General Practitioner's Oral Contraception Study, showed these protective benefits against cancer persisted at least 30 years following contraceptive use cessation.
Healio (free registration)/HemOnc Today (6/14) 
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Children with iron-deficiency anemia may benefit more from ferrous sulfate
Infants and young children with iron-deficiency anemia ages 9 months to 2 years who took ferrous sulfate drops had more significant improvements in hemoglobin and median serum ferritin levels, as well as their mean total iron-binding capacity after 12 weeks, compared with those who received iron polysaccharide drops, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The findings also showed lower diarrhea prevalence among those who received ferrous sulfate.
MedPage Today (free registration) (6/13) 
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Emerging Trends
Survey: Generational health care preferences vary
Survey: Generational health care preferences vary
Health care organizations must increasingly tailor services and experiences to the varying needs and desires of the different generations, according to a survey that found millennials place importance on high-tech experiences such as telemedicine and wearable health-monitoring devices. Generation X, baby boomers, millennials and those born between 1925 and 1945 all value in-person contact with health care providers but have different preferences, with younger consumers prioritizing access to specialists, Gen X favoring same-day primary care appointments, boomers wanting home visits, and older consumers needing more intensive services.
BenefitsPro (6/13) 
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Researchers find sharp increase in costs for neonatal abstinence syndrome
Hospital care costs for babies with neonatal abstinence syndrome in the US rose from $61 million in 2003 to more than $300 million in 2013, researchers report in the journal Addiction. The findings also showed three times longer and more expensive hospital stays among those with NAS, compared with other hospitalized newborns.
HealthDay News (6/15) 
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Health Insurance Plan Company News
Solutions Provider News
Pharma News
Gottlieb: FDA to take "more forceful" action on opioid crisis
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the agency will take "more forceful steps" to stem opioid addiction, including creating a steering committee to look at additional regulatory and policy responses. The public will be able to participate in online forums and a two-day meeting set for July 10 and 11.
Medscape (free registration) (6/13) 
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Policy Watch
Uncertainty remains as 2018 exchange filing deadline nears
With the federal government's June 21 deadline for 2018 public exchange applications and rate filings looming, health insurers face a difficult decision as they weigh how to handle uncertainty about whether the administration will fund cost-sharing reduction payments. Early filings suggest rate increases will be substantial and some counties will be left without an exchange insurer for 2018.
The Hill (6/15) 
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Iowa proposes ACA alternative program to help ensure coverage
Iowa, in the wake of some insurers exiting its Affordable Care Act marketplace for 2018, has developed an alternative proposal to help ensure health plans are available to its 72,000 residents with ACA coverage. The alternative would include a standard health plan with fixed subsidies based on age and income, and the state would form an $80 million reinsurance fund to assist with high-cost claims.
Bloomberg (6/12),  ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (6/12) 
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The need-to-knows vs. the day-to-days
Need a convenient way to stay on top of the need-to-knows while managing your day-to-days? Look to AHIP for insights and guidance -- with in-person conferences, webinars, self-study courses, professional designation programs and an online library of resources -- available to match your budget and your learning style. Explore your options.
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Must-attend webinars. Register today
June 29, 1 to 2 p.m. ET, "When Money Isn't Enough to Motivate Doctors" discusses three intangible motivators of physicians that are pivotal in promoting transformational healthcare for consumers. July 11, 2 to 3 p.m. ET, "Using Technology to Drive Health Savings Account Engagement" imparts the latest technology solutions, enabling richer conversations about HSAs, financial wellness, and best practices for engaging employees in financial wellness.
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Medicare, Medicaid, Duals conference sponsorships
As Medicare and Medicaid continue to grow and insure more than one third of Americans, health plans are looking for solutions to meet new demands. Share yours and become a sponsor of AHIP's National Conferences on Medicare, Medicaid, & Duals. Opportunities are filling fast, so contact AHIP's Business Affairs Team today at
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