AHIP joins more than 1K stakeholders calling for "Cadillac tax" repeal | CMS: US health care spending up 4.6% to $3.6T last year | Survey: Patients are frustrated with appointment setting
December 6, 2019
AHIP Solutions SmartBrief
Top Stories
AHIP joins more than 1K stakeholders calling for "Cadillac tax" repeal
More than 1,000 stakeholders, including AHIP, signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., calling for the immediate repeal of the Affordable Care Act's tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health coverage, scheduled to take effect in 2022. The so-called "Cadillac tax" would result in higher health care costs and reduced access to health care providers, the stakeholders wrote.
Modern Healthcare (tiered subscription model) (12/5) 
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CMS: US health care spending up 4.6% to $3.6T last year
An analysis from the CMS Office of the Actuary showed US health care spending increased by 4.6% to $3.6 trillion last year, compared with 4.2% growth in 2017 and 4.6% in 2016. The increase was driven in part by faster spending growth in government-sponsored and private health insurance, largely because the Affordable Care Act's health insurance tax was reinstated.
Reuters (12/5),  Medscape (free registration) (12/5) 
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A Guide to Better Member Engagement
From onboarding to care management, see how leading healthcare companies are taking a proactive, personalized approach to engagement to drive healthy behaviors and improve outcomes. Download the free guide.
Providers & Suppliers
Survey: Patients are frustrated with appointment setting
Patients expect the health care industry to be as responsive as service providers in other fields and would like to see health care providers offer after-hours appointments and minimize the number of days they must wait to see a physician, according to a survey by DocASAP. Ninety percent of respondents said they would try other options including telemedicine or a phone consultation if they could not get an appointment immediately.
MD Magazine online (12/5) 
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Case Study: Improve credentialing end-to-end
MultiPlan, a leader in healthcare cost containment services, wanted to automate its sanctions monitoring from manually pulling data from disparate data sources to something streamlined. Learn how it simplified this key part of the credentialing process to maintain a high-quality network.
Medical Update
Hair dye, straightener tied to increased odds of breast cancer
Women who applied permanent hair dyes every five to eight weeks or more frequently during the past year had 9% overall increased likelihood of developing breast cancer, and risk was 60% higher among black women, according to a study in the International Journal of Cancer. Researchers also found nearly 30% increased odds of breast cancer among those who frequently used chemical hair straighteners.
HealthDay News (12/4) 
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WHO, CDC report on increase in measles cases, deaths
WHO, CDC report on increase in measles cases, deaths
(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
The World Health Organization reported that measles cases around the world rose from 7,585,900 in 2017 to 9,769,400 in 2018, while measles-related deaths increased from 124,000 to 142,300 during the same period, with most deaths involving unvaccinated children. Meanwhile, a CDC study in the agency's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report showed that although yearly global measles incidence and deaths dropped between 2000 and 2018 and vaccination prevented 23.2 million deaths during that period, the number of infections and deaths have increased since 2016.
Reuters (12/6),  Physician's Briefing/HealthDay News (12/5) 
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Payment integrity for Medicaid and MCOs
The road to accountability is only growing more complex, and payers, especially Medicaid and MCO plans, can't succeed without a strong strategy for effective coordination of benefits/third-party liability. This should include access to secure, frequently updated health plan data on millions of members across the US. Download the white paper to learn more.
Value-Based Care Insights
Sponsored content from Geneia
The Conversation Physicians Need to Have
Recent research indicates most patients want to talk about costs during medical visits. To facilitate this conversation, physicians and care teams need enriched data and insights, including a clear line of sight into final costs, alternatives, social needs and past patient adherence. Learn more.
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Case Study: Improving HEDIS® Performance
Geneia's health plan client reported a statistically-significant increase in 16 key HEDIS® measures while reducing the administrative burden on providers. Read how here.
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Emerging Trends
Blue Shield of Calif. collaborates on mental health project
Blue Shield of California collaborated with the California Department of Education and nonprofit groups to launch Blue Sky, which will provide online and other mental health resources to students in middle and high school. The program will also provide one-on-one therapy for student and youth mental health first aid training.
Employee Benefit News (free registration) (12/3) 
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Report: Engage patients, providers with AI
Report: Engage patients, providers with AI
Artificial intelligence can improve health care delivery and patient outcomes if health systems gain the support of patients and health care providers, invest in innovation, and develop strong data governance protocols, according to an American Hospital Association report. Physicians are concerned about the usability and accuracy of AI-based software, and patients worry about privacy and safety, according to the report, which recommends ways to increase patient and provider acceptance of AI.
Health IT Analytics (12/5) 
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Consumer Satisfaction Hinges on Cost and Tools
Check out our infographic and see how Millennials, Gen Xers, Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation differ in their satisfaction with their health insurance plan.
Insights include:
-The rise of wearable devices to track health data
-Who the generations trust more with their health insurance
Health Insurance Provider Company News
Our Guide to Creating & Managing Credentialing Committees is here to help.
When we ask our clients what takes up the most space on their to do list, the answer is resounding: network approval management. We've compiled our best practices, top tips, and easy-to-use templates to take you through the process step by step. Click here to get your complimentary copy!
Solutions Provider News
Pharma News
House expected to pass Pelosi's drug-pricing bill next wee
House leaders said the chamber will vote next week on legislation introduced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., that would allow HHS to negotiate drug prices for up to 250 drugs per year. The House is expected to pass the measure, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has vowed to block it.
The Hill (12/5) 
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Policy Watch
ACA sign-ups down from last year as deadline approaches
Data from the CMS shows that as of Nov. 30, fewer than 2.9 million people had signed up for Affordable Care Act plans through the federal exchange, down from 3.2 million at the same point last year. Open enrollment through the exchange ends Dec. 15.
United Press International (12/4) 
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SNAP rule may end benefits for almost 700K recipients
The Trump administration on Wednesday approved a rule that could remove almost 700,000 people from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by making it more difficult for states to waive program work requirements. Two additional rules proposed by the administration that would affect SNAP would change how states automatically enroll families that receive other federal aid and limit deductions made for housing and utility costs.
NBC News (12/5),  The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (12/4) 
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Save 30% and grow your disability insurance expertise
Deepen your understanding of complex disability insurance (DI) programs and how they fit into retirement, estate, and long-term care planning with AHIP's DI online courses. Take a single course or build on what you learn to earn a career-driving designation. Now through Dec. 31, save 30% on these and other select online courses with coupon code HOLIDAY. Enroll today!  
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Insurance providers tackle housing, transportation
A lack of access to transportation and stable housing are both tangible barriers to care, making it difficult or impossible for patients to prioritize their health or visit their care providers. As we understand the impact social factors have on people's health, health insurance providers are seeking -- and finding -- new ways to improve the health of their members from this broader perspective. Read on to learn how.
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Don't miss out: Register for webinars today
Join us Tuesday, Dec. 10, from 2 to 3 p.m. ET for "Social Determinants of Health: Evolving Identification and Documentation" as Optum discusses the importance of proper documentation in SDoH. Join us Monday, Dec. 16, from 3 to 4 p.m. ET for "Leveraging AI to Improve Prioritization of Care Management" as IBM Watson Health discusses prioritizing patients for outreach.
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