April 23, 2021
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SmartBrief for Health Care Leaders
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Top Story
Substantial changes to the Affordable Care Act are likely off the legislative table for the foreseeable future, but smaller changes with bipartisan support may be forthcoming, says Premier CEO Susan DeVore and former acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt. The Biden administration might reverse some Trump administration health care policies, such as Medicaid block grants, but some may prove politically sensitive, such as rules for association-offered and short-term coverage.
Full Story: MedCity News (4/22) 
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The Health Care Leaders Poll
Poll responses: How central will SDOH become for payers?
With Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina starting a number of pilot programs to address food insecurity, we asked how important you think addressing social determinants of health will be in the future. Your answers suggest at least some uncertainty about the next two to three decades, but a plurality of you expect payers to rely on targeted programs and partnerships. Watch for next week's poll question in Wednesday's edition. -- Tom Parks, editor, SmartBrief for Health Care Leaders
In 20-30 years, directly addressing social determinants of health will be central to how health care payers work.
 37.10%
Payers will address SDOH through targeted programs and partnerships.
 43.55%
Addressing social determinants of health will not be a core focus for payers.
 19.35%
Strategies and solutions for clinicians
and health care leaders

The pandemic, a summer of protests against injustice, an increasing focus on social determinants of health and the adoption of value-based care have made addressing health inequity an imperative. Join SmartBrief and a panel of experts from across health care for a virtual roundtable discussion of health equity challenges and solutions.
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Health Care Leadership & Innovation
Scientists and clinicians have produced vast troves of data on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, but all that data is useless for preventing or responding to the next pandemic in the absence of real-world, real-time data aggregation and analysis, write Panalgo founder and CEO Joseph Menzin and Peter Neumann, director of the Tufts University Center for the Evaluation of Value and Risk in Health. "If de-identified patient data could be mined at a national level, artificial intelligence and machine-learning algorithms could have identified patterns far faster than it took isolated researchers working with small patient pools," they write.
Full Story: Scientific American online (4/22) 
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CEOs should be giving constructive feedback to senior leaders so that they keep growing, learning and adding value, writes Grant W. Levitan. "You have the person's best interests at heart and are authentically aligned with their ambitions; this almost always comes across when presented with a positive mindset," he writes.
Full Story: Chief Executive (4/21) 
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Legislation, Policy & Regulation
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other Democrats are calling on the Biden administration to include provisions to lower prescription drug costs and expand the Affordable Care Act in the forthcoming American Families Plan, amid reports that health care measures won't be included in the legislative package expected to be released next week. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden was working with advisers on a final legislative package, which is expected to include investments in education and child care.
Full Story: The Hill (4/22),  The New York Times (4/22),  The Wall Street Journal (4/22) 
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The Federal Trade Commission warned health systems and businesses that they may be violating consumer protection laws if their use of artificial intelligence algorithms has a discriminatory outcome. In a blog post, the FTC's Elisa Jillson also warned developers of AI not to make misleading statements about their technology and wrote that algorithms should be tested before being used and periodically thereafter to ensure they don't discriminate.
Full Story: FierceHealthcare (4/22) 
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Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, has reintroduced Time to Rescue United States' Trusts Act, which seeks to address projected shortfalls in Social Security, Medicare and other federal programs. Critics are concerned the bill will lead to cuts in Social Security benefits.
Full Story: CNBC (4/20) 
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Trends & Technology
A Life Image survey in March found many health insurers and health care providers were unprepared to comply with new patient data access rules that went into effect April 5. Half of the 4,000 health care executives surveyed were still charging fees or sharing records on paper or compact disc, and despite broad awareness that new rules were imminent, close to 50% of the respondents were unaware of what practices would be considered information blocking.
Full Story: HealthLeaders Media (4/21) 
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About 3 in 10 health care workers say they have considered leaving the profession and about 6 in 10 say the pandemic has harmed their mental health, according to a poll by the Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation. Most health care workers surveyed said they felt respected by patients and the public, but most also said Americans were not taking sufficient precautions against COVID-19.
Full Story: The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (4/22) 
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