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HolaDoctor introduces new Toll Free Help Line to assist Hispanics in New Jersey

HolaDoctor introduces new Toll Free Help Line to assist Hispanics in New Jersey

HolaDoctor, the leading health and wellness online destination for Hispanics, launched a new Toll Free Help Line to assist Hispanics in New Jersey with questions regarding Healthcare Reform, as well as to guide them in the application process for acquiring health insurance in the state and federal marketplace. [More]
State highlights: Calif. ballot measure updates; Va. prison health care budget shortfall

State highlights: Calif. ballot measure updates; Va. prison health care budget shortfall

A selection of health policy stories from California, Arizona, Maine, South Dakota, Virginia, Maryland, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Texas, Washington state and Missouri. [More]
Viewpoints: Abortion and birth control issues in N.C. Senate race; replacing Obamacare; cancellations

Viewpoints: Abortion and birth control issues in N.C. Senate race; replacing Obamacare; cancellations

But on Wednesday in Charlotte, Kay Hagan stood without hesitation next to Janet Colm, chief executive of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund of Central North Carolina, and proudly bashed her opponent, Thom Tillis, for reducing women's rights on abortion and birth control. [More]
State highlights: Blue Cross Blue Shield dominant in Texas

State highlights: Blue Cross Blue Shield dominant in Texas

A selection of health policy stories from Texas, New Jersey, Connecticut, Georgia, Missouri and New Mexico. [More]

Picwell to analyze potential impact of latest decision support systems on consumer health plan selection

Picwell, the most advanced predictive recommendation engine for health plan selection, today announced finalized agreements to conduct studies focused on the potential impact of latest generation decision support systems on consumer health plan selection. [More]
State highlights: States and drug prices; Ariz. limiting Sovaldi for patients; L.A. boosts uninsured care by $61 million

State highlights: States and drug prices; Ariz. limiting Sovaldi for patients; L.A. boosts uninsured care by $61 million

Because of its high cost, some state Medicaid programs and prison systems are refusing to provide Sovaldi to any but the sickest patients. Most recently, Oregon last month threatened to limit access to the drug unless it can get Sovaldi at a deeply discounted price. But Sovaldi is only the beginning. Expensive new treatments for certain cancers, rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions also have rattled Medicaid officials, patients and health care providers. What can states do to hold down drug costs? Drug pricing is a complicated and opaque process. [More]
Viewpoints: Another troubled website rollout; insurers fight consumer measures in Calif.

Viewpoints: Another troubled website rollout; insurers fight consumer measures in Calif.

If the federal government's new Open Payments website were a consumer product, it would be returned to the manufacturer for a full refund. Open Payments is the government's site for publishing payments made to doctors and teaching hospitals by drug and medical device manufacturers. It includes 4.4 million payments, worth $3.5 billion, to more than half a million doctors and almost 1,360 teaching hospitals (Charles Ornstein, 10/1). [More]
Viewpoints: Mergers causing health costs to rise; reauthorize CHIP; Obamacare's influence on politics

Viewpoints: Mergers causing health costs to rise; reauthorize CHIP; Obamacare's influence on politics

Health care costs are going up, and there's a lot of debate about why. Is it the high cost of drugs or our aging population? [More]
Bigger challenges forecast for health law's second enrollment drive

Bigger challenges forecast for health law's second enrollment drive

Enrolling new customers will be more complicated this time around because potential enrollees may be harder to reach, reports The Wall Street Journal. [More]
Viewpoints: Surgery surprise: Out-of-network doctors' bills; consequences of making Medicaid enrollees pay premiums

Viewpoints: Surgery surprise: Out-of-network doctors' bills; consequences of making Medicaid enrollees pay premiums

The New York Times' Elisabeth Rosenthal offered an important lesson in healthcare economics over the weekend that's a must-read for anyone about to undergo a major medical procedure. [More]

New Medicaid enrollees pleased with coverage, but note they still face obstacles

Focus-group research finds that people who received Medicaid coverage under the health law's expansion are generally happy but find roadblocks to getting care, The Washington Post reports. [More]

Va. legislators return to bitter Medicaid expansion debate, kill plan without formal vote

State legislators united across party lines Thursday to plug a $2.4 billion hole in the state budget but quickly reverted to bitter partisanship as they debated Medicaid expansion, with House Republicans ultimately killing a bill to expand the health-care program without giving it a formal vote (Vozzella and Weiner, 9/18). [More]

States' efforts to customize their Medicaid expansion efforts could complicate reform

Some conservative states have won concessions from the administration in exchange for moving forward on expansion, and other states are carefully weighing those choices. [More]
State highlights: Report: Hospitals ill-prepared for Sandy; Iowa Supreme Court lets teleabortion go on while it decides

State highlights: Report: Hospitals ill-prepared for Sandy; Iowa Supreme Court lets teleabortion go on while it decides

When Superstorm Sandy slammed into the Northeast nearly two years ago, hospitals found themselves dealing with surges in patients, lost power supplies and employees who couldn't get to work -- problems that a new federal report finds they were not prepared to handle (Mulvihill, 9/17). [More]
High impact health interventions reduce maternal and child mortality in poor countries

High impact health interventions reduce maternal and child mortality in poor countries

New studies have uncovered the specific interventions and advances that have led to the success with these at-risk populations in the poorest countries. [More]
Viewpoints: New uninsured numbers are outdated; chiropractors' unusual move into nutrition

Viewpoints: New uninsured numbers are outdated; chiropractors' unusual move into nutrition

The federal government released some very reliable estimates of how many people had health insurance in the first three months of 2014. [More]
Research roundup: Prevention services for seniors; drug shortages

Research roundup: Prevention services for seniors; drug shortages

This policy brief reports the findings of a systematic review conducted by the Community Health Innovations in Prevention for Seniors (CHIPS) project. ... Clinical preventive services such as colorectal cancer screening and pneumococcal immunization can help reduce rates of premature death and disability. Yet, many older adults are not receiving the full set of clinical preventive services that have been proven effective and are considered "high value" in terms of their costs per life saved. Rates are particularly low among racial and ethnic minority older adults compared to national goals. [More]

House approves bill to extend some plans that don't meet health law standards

The legislation would allow people to use the once-canceled policies through 2018. However, the measure is not expected to get a vote in the Senate. [More]

Obamacare has not cut uninsured rate for kids

The children's uninsured rate hardly budged in the first year of the health law's expansion of coverage, even as the rate for adults dropped four percentage points, according to reports from the Urban Institute and Georgetown's Center for Children and Families. [More]

Viewpoints: Health law is not affordable; narrow doctor networks may not sacrifice quality

The Affordable Care Act attempts to help low- and middle-income families avoid some of the tough sacrifices that would be necessary to purchase health insurance without assistance. [More]