The Supreme Court will hear a petition from the Trump administration asking it to allow implementation of a 2018 rule scaling back the Affordable Care Act's birth control mandate. The rule permits employers to stop covering contraceptives on moral or religious grounds, but it was blocked after Pennsylvania and New Jersey challenged the policy.
An analysis from the Health Care Cost Institute found that spending for 70 "shoppable" health care services targeted in a Trump administration rule mandating disclosure of insurer-negotiated rates for certain care by 2021 only accounted for 12% of Medicare's medical spending and 16% of out-of-pocket spending in 2017. The findings suggest that consumer-focused transparency efforts "alone are not likely to substantially alter the trajectory of healthcare spending," said Katie Martin, a senior fellow with the HCCI.
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Analytic tools that use EHR data, claims data or both had similar power in predicting hospitalizations over a six-month period, researchers reported in the American Journal of Managed Care. "Although our results suggest some utility to combining EHR and claims data to inform predictive model creation, we find that even in scenarios in which only EHR or claims data are available, strong performance can be achieved provided that a diverse collection of variable types is represented," researchers wrote.
The CDC warned against the use of e-cigarettes containing tetrahydrocannabinol in an update of last year's broader recommendations advising against all use of e-cigarettes, but the agency still discourages use of any type of e-cigarette by youths, pregnant women and nonsmokers. The agency said 82% of sickened patients for whom data is available reported use of products containing THC.
Three US airports -- San Francisco International Airport, New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport -- will begin screening travelers arriving from central China for a new coronavirus causing a pneumonia outbreak in China. The CDC is sending health workers to assist with screening for the virus, which is genetically similar to Middle East respiratory syndrome and severe acute respiratory syndrome.
Mass. Addressing Bad Directory Data It's highly likely that your provider directory is peppered with inaccuracies. Members, providers and state regulators are taking notice and becoming increasingly vocal about addressing this issue. Join the discussion about advances Massachusetts is making in directory data accuracy while highlighting what you can do today to make an impact in your data quality.
An executive order signed last week by California Gov. Gavin Newsom will create a $750 million state fund to combat rising homelessness in the state. Blue Shield of California pledged $20 million while Kaiser Permanente will contribute $25 million to the fund, which will be used to pay rents, subsidize housing or assist board and care homes.
A study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found adults with food insecurity had 10% to 37% increased odds of dying prematurely from any cause except cancer, compared with their peers who had adequate access to food. The findings, based on data from over 510,000 adults in Canada from 2005 to 2017, showed rates of premature death due to suicide, unintentional injury and infectious-parasitic disease were more than doubled among adults experiencing severe food insecurity.
Children, including those with special health care needs, with elevated family resilience and neighborhood cohesion had a reduced likelihood of having unmet health needs, researchers reported in Pediatrics. The findings, based on 2016 CDC data involving 11,543 youths whose family incomes were lower than 200% of the poverty level, also correlated material hardship with increased emergency department visit risk for those with and without special health care needs, with neighborhood cohesion mediating the link between material hardship and ED visits among those with special health care needs.
Novo Nordisk announced that the FDA has approved its application for the expanded indication of its drug Ozempic, or semaglutide, to diminish the risk for major adverse cardiovascular events in adult patients with type 2 diabetes who have been previously diagnosed with heart disease. The approval was based on data from its SUSTAIN 6 trial.
HHS has proposed ending a policy requiring religious providers of social services to refer patients elsewhere for any services they don't offer on the basis of religion. The proposal would also lift the requirement that faith-based organizations provide notification of the mandate.
Federal Trade Commission member Christine Wilson told a Council for Affordable Health Coverage event that horizontal hospital mergers will be under scrutiny in 2020, and some mergers could get an after-the-fact review to see whether they achieved cost and quality goals. Wilson said the FTC will continue to focus on competition, including seeking the repeal of state certificate-of-need laws and flexibility in scope-of-practice laws.
2020 will be another tumultuous year in health care. The election cycle will be an ongoing platform to debate Medicare for All versus building upon and strengthening our current system. Institute & Expo is your opportunity to think clearly about the future of health care and see how health insurance providers are leading the way toward more accessible, safe and affordable care.
Tune in to AHIP's "The Next Big Thing in Health" podcast, where health care leaders take a deep dive into the big ideas and new solutions to improve care. The podcast features insights, trends, and perspectives to make care more affordable, more available, and more effective. Catch up on Season 1 episodes.
Tradition is the albatross around the neck of progress.
Bill Veeck, professional baseball club executive, owner, promoter
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