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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

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]

Va. lawmaker stabbed by so calls for national mental health system reform

Elsewhere, the Washington state Supreme Court will allow psychiatric hospitals more time to find beds for patients with mental illnesses, and Connecticut plans to overhaul children's mental health care. [More]

Percentage of Texans without health insurance drops after first enrollment period of ACA

The percentage of Texans without health insurance dropped after the first enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a report released today by the Episcopal Health Foundation and Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. [More]

Insurers, exchanges gird for next open enrollment

Officials say they are expecting glitches, but most do not expect the crippling technical problems that afflicted last year's open enrollment period. [More]
First Edition: September 3, 2014

First Edition: September 3, 2014

Today's headlines include reports about how insurers and consumers are bracing for round two as the health law's online insurance marketplaces prepare for open enrollment season. [More]
State highlights: Mass. health care costs grow smaller 2.3 percent; new rules in Calif. for inmates with mental illness

State highlights: Mass. health care costs grow smaller 2.3 percent; new rules in Calif. for inmates with mental illness

Two years ago, Massachusetts set what was considered an ambitious goal: The state would not let that persistent monster, rising health care costs, increase faster than the economy as a whole. [More]
Viewpoints: Medicaid expansion spreading; 'GOP's woman problem;' praising Medicare

Viewpoints: Medicaid expansion spreading; 'GOP's woman problem;' praising Medicare

The latest jerry-built effort to destroy health care reform could be defeated in the full federal appeals court in the District of Columbia. In July, a three-judge panel of that court -; taking a ridiculously crabbed view of a section in the law -; ruled 2-to-1 that tax-credit subsidies are allowed only for those buying insurance on a health exchange "established by the state." [More]
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