health reform


health reform

Maine Lawsuit to Have Ramifications for Key Enforcement Mechanism in Health Reform

Monday, October 31st, 2011 - 12:17
Monday, October 31, 2011 - 12:04
A lawsuit filed in Maine by a unit of WellPoint argues that state regulators violated the law when they held down proposed insurance rate increases, according to a report ( from Kaiser Health News. WellPoint argues that regulators should not be allowed to force insurance companies to have rates low enough that the companies have to take a loss on that section of their business.

Will Palliative Care Attract Converts?

Monday, October 24th, 2011 - 16:42
Monday, October 24, 2011 - 16:17
Relatively few lines of the Affordable Care Act address the burgeoning field of palliative care for the seriously and chronically ill. Palliative care, sometimes confused with hospice care for those in their final six months of life, attempts to balance advanced medical care while relieving suffering and improving quality of life. The Los Angeles Times explores the "promises and pitfalls" facing this relatively young area of medicine in a fascinating report.

Obama Administration Softens ACO Regulations in Response to Industry Concerns

Friday, October 21st, 2011 - 14:05
Friday, October 21, 2011 - 13:30
After a firestorm of criticism about its first iteration of regulations for accountable care organizations (ACOs), the Obama administration has released final regulations that are much more palatable to the health care industry.

For Some States, Health Reform Law is a Tether

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011 - 14:26
Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 14:10
Flexibility is the name of the game according to proponents of the law including the President himself. However, the much heralded waiver system which has been employed for decades with joint federal-state programs like Medicaid may not be reactive enough for progressive states. Oregon, led by Governor John Kitzhaber, wants to institute a state-wide Medicaid plan available to public employees and payment reform effect immediately.

Obama Administration Ditches Long Term Care Element of Health Reform

Monday, October 17th, 2011 - 12:50
Monday, October 17, 2011 - 12:33
The Obama administration has decided to jettison the CLASS Act program, which would have helped seniors pay some of their long-term care costs, coming to the conclusion that the program would have been financially unsustainable.

Want To Cut Costs in Medicaid? Integrate Care for Those Suffering From Substance Abuse and Mental Illness

Thursday, October 13th, 2011 - 13:47
Thursday, October 13, 2011 - 13:39
As states prepare for bringing large numbers of people into Medicaid starting in 2014, it is important for them to have an accurate picture of the health conditions that are driving spending in this program. A recent presentation by Tricia McGinnis at the Center for Health Care Strategies in Princeton, NJ, offers some important guidance.

Florida Sets Up Mini-Exchange for Small Businesses

Monday, October 10th, 2011 - 8:09
Monday, October 10, 2011 - 07:59
Florida, one of the staunchest opponents of the health reform law, will offer a health insurance exchange for small businesses with 50 or fewer employees, according to a report from Kaiser Health News. The exchange will not offer coverage to individuals, set a minimum level of essential benefits or provide subsidies to businesses to help them afford coverage. Setting up the exchange for small businesses is a far cry from the exchange(s) called for under health reform.

HHS Panel Recommends a Low Cost Target for Health Plans

Friday, October 7th, 2011 - 14:53
Friday, October 7, 2011 - 14:25
In deciding the makeup of the "essential health benefits" to be offered in the health insurance exchanges, the Institute of Medicine recommends consideration of costs. On Thursday, the Institute, part of the National Academy of Sciences, submitted a report to the Department of Health and Human Services that detailed on what basis plans should be constructed that will be offered through state exchanges.

Report: Increase in Income Over Past Decade Wiped Out By Increased Health Spending

Monday, October 3rd, 2011 - 8:19
Monday, October 3, 2011 - 08:04
The gains in income for the average family of four between 1999 and 2009 were largely offset by increased health spending, according to an article by David Auerbach and Arthur Kellermann in the latest issue of the journal Health Affairs.

CMS Tries Out Coordinated Care Experiment to Reduce Medicare Costs

Thursday, September 29th, 2011 - 13:44
Thursday, September 29, 2011 - 13:21
The Department of Health and Human Services unveiled on Wednesday a new initiative designed to get primary care practices to better coordinate care with other providers, with the goal of saving money for Medicare. The initiative is separate from the Accountable Care Organization effort; those participating in ACOs cannot also participate in this latest initiative.