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Viewpoints: Looking to the supremes for answer on subsidies; 'personhood' laws

Viewpoints: Looking to the supremes for answer on subsidies; 'personhood' laws

Liberals are telling themselves that the latest ObamaCare legal challenge won't amount to much, although more nervously after the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the White House is defying the law's plain text by allotting insurance subsidies through the federal exchanges. Allow us to increase their anxiety by speeding things along to the Supreme Court (7/23). [More]
Cedars-Sinai launches applied research center to improve value of patient care

Cedars-Sinai launches applied research center to improve value of patient care

Cedars-Sinai has launched an applied research center to improve the value of patient care inside the medical center and beyond its walls by strengthening patient-doctor bonds and bringing greater efficiency to the delivery of clinical services. [More]
Direct medical costs projected to increase to $49 billion annually by 2020

Direct medical costs projected to increase to $49 billion annually by 2020

The American College of Chest Physicians announced today the Online First publication of 'Total and State-Specific Medical and Absenteeism Costs of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Among Adults Aged ≥18 Years in the United States for 2010 and Projections Through 2020' in the journal CHEST. [More]
Highlights: Texas abortion rates falls dramatically; start-up problems for Virginia's psychiatric reforms

Highlights: Texas abortion rates falls dramatically; start-up problems for Virginia's psychiatric reforms

A four-month-old psychiatric-bed registry that is supposed to provide up-to-the-minute information for Virginians who need emergency mental health treatment is being updated as seldom as once a day, state officials told a panel of lawmakers this week (Shin, 7/22). [More]
$1,000-a-pill hepatitis C drug boosts Gilead's fortunes

$1,000-a-pill hepatitis C drug boosts Gilead's fortunes

Sales of the new hepatitis C drug Sovaldi reached $3.5 billion in the second quarter, putting it on track to become one of the world's best-selling medicines and intensifying concerns about its costs. [More]
First Edition: July 24, 2014

First Edition: July 24, 2014

Today's headlines include more analysis of this week's conflicting appeals courts' decisions regarding a key part of the health law. [More]
Viewpoints: 'Entitlement meltdown;' improving Medicare Advantage; 'sloppy work habits' at CDC

Viewpoints: 'Entitlement meltdown;' improving Medicare Advantage; 'sloppy work habits' at CDC

Each day, 10,000 baby boomers retire and begin receiving Medicare and Social Security benefits. And while five workers supported the benefits of each retiree in 1960, there will be only two workers funding each retiree by 2030. Those who dismiss long-term budget projections should re-read the last paragraph. The retirement of 77 million baby boomers into Social Security and Medicare is not a theoretical projection. Demography is destiny (Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, 7/21). [More]
Out-of-pocket costs rising significantly for Medicare beneficiaries: Report

Out-of-pocket costs rising significantly for Medicare beneficiaries: Report

The analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation examines seniors' costs from 2000 to 2010. Also, another story focuses on a new Medicare effort to find ways to exempt beneficiaries from the requirement that they be in the hospital for three days before they qualify for nursing home coverage. [More]
Highlights: Florida officials crack down on direct Medicaid marketing; a wellness plan in Washington state breaks the mold

Highlights: Florida officials crack down on direct Medicaid marketing; a wellness plan in Washington state breaks the mold

[Florida] health officials are taking a cue from past problems and are banning health insurance companies from marketing their plans directly to Medicaid consumers as the state is rolling out a massive overhaul by transitioning millions into managed care. Insurance companies are allowed to market to consumers under the contracts, but only if the state gives prior approval (Kennedy, 7/22). [More]
First Edition: July 22, 2014

First Edition: July 22, 2014

Reporting for Kaiser Health News, Susan Jaffe writes: "Medicare officials have allowed patients at dozens of hospitals participating in pilot projects across the country to be exempted from the controversial requirement that limits nursing home coverage to seniors admitted to a hospital for at least three days. [More]

Obama administration, state regulators focus efforts on insurer networks

The New York Times reports that standards are being developed to protect consumers' choices of doctors and hospitals under the health law's new insurance plans. Also, the Wall Street Journal checks in on how the ranks of the uninsured are reacting to the overhaul. [More]
For Medicare, good news for future, changes in hospice rules

For Medicare, good news for future, changes in hospice rules

And a new report by a conservative group identifies Medicare Advantage cuts by congressional district. [More]
First Edition: July, 21, 2014

First Edition: July, 21, 2014

Today's headlines include a story about an effort by regulators to widen insurer networks, as well as a range of other health policy developments. [More]

SEC widens insider trading probe

Federal investigators are examining nearly four dozen hedge funds, asset managers and other investment firms to determine whether they violated insider-trading rules after receiving a tip from a Washington research firm. [More]
State highlights: Concerns continue about Coakley-partners antitrust settlement; Maine's Lepage announces extra $13.1 million for nursing homes

State highlights: Concerns continue about Coakley-partners antitrust settlement; Maine's Lepage announces extra $13.1 million for nursing homes

Criticism of Attorney General Martha Coakley's antitrust pact with the state's largest health care system mounted Thursday as a watchdog panel warned a judge the proposed deal might not meet its goal of holding down medical expenses. [More]
Research roundup: ACA lawsuit primer; ACA strategies in 4 states; competitive plans for those eligible for Medicare and Medicaid

Research roundup: ACA lawsuit primer; ACA strategies in 4 states; competitive plans for those eligible for Medicare and Medicaid

In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the ACA, but that did not end attacks against the law. Since the decision in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, objecting parties have filed more than 100 cases in federal courts nationwide. [More]

Experts urge Senate panel to increase hospital safety measures

Consumer advocates and medical specialists tell the committee that patients are not much safer today than they were 15 years ago when a landmark study on medical errors spurred calls for reform. [More]

Help wanted: CMS begins search for HealthCare.gov contractor

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released an 84-page solicitation this week seeking a company to oversee the operations of the troubled health exchange website. [More]

Largest U.S. insurer to be major Obamacare player in 2015

Insurance giant UnitedHealthcare said Thursday that it would sell policies through online insurance markets in as many as 24 states next year, up from only four this year. [More]
Phase 3 VIVID-DME trial of EYLEA Injection for treatment of DME shows improvement in visual acuity

Phase 3 VIVID-DME trial of EYLEA Injection for treatment of DME shows improvement in visual acuity

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced that in the Phase 3 VIVID-DME trial of EYLEA® (aflibercept) Injection for the treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME), EYLEA 2 milligrams (mg) dosed monthly (2Q4) and EYLEA 2 mg dosed every two months (after 5 initial monthly injections, 2Q8) showed a sustained improvement from baseline in best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) at week 100 (2 years), compared to laser photocoagulation. [More]