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First Edition: July 28, 2014

First Edition: July 28, 2014

Today's headlines include reports about the deal reached by House and Senate negotiators regarding veterans' health care. [More]
Despite public programs, food insecurity remains an intractable problem in the US

Despite public programs, food insecurity remains an intractable problem in the US

Vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, ethnic minorities, and low-income households are disproportionately affected by food security, despite the extensive private and public food safety net in the United States, according to a new report by RTI International. [More]
Anxiety regarding inconclusive cancer screening test results is far less than claimed

Anxiety regarding inconclusive cancer screening test results is far less than claimed

Anxiety regarding inconclusive cancer screening test results among some patients is real and is only natural. [More]
SAVE Medicare Home Health Act replaces unprecedented rebasing cuts

SAVE Medicare Home Health Act replaces unprecedented rebasing cuts

Home health leaders today said that growing support for the Securing Access Via Excellence (SAVE) Medicare Home Health Act – introduced last week by Representatives Greg Walden (OR-2) and Tom Price (GA-6) – underscores the importance of legislation to repeal the 14 percent, four-year rebasing cuts instituted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on January 1. [More]
GAHHA commends Congressman Price for introducing SAVE Medicare Home Health Act

GAHHA commends Congressman Price for introducing SAVE Medicare Home Health Act

Georgia Association for Home Health Agencies, Inc. (GAHHA) today thanked Congressman Tom Price (R-Roswell) for introducing new Medicare legislation that would replace across-the-board Medicare cuts with targeted reform that will improve the quality of home healthcare services. [More]
Viewpoints: Ryan's 'thoughtful blueprint' to end poverty; GOP challenges after health law ruling

Viewpoints: Ryan's 'thoughtful blueprint' to end poverty; GOP challenges after health law ruling

The Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee today released a thoughtful blueprint for overhauling $800 billion worth of U.S. anti-poverty programs. [More]
HealthInsight to lead health care quality improvement activities for Medicare program

HealthInsight to lead health care quality improvement activities for Medicare program

HealthInsight has been named to lead health care quality improvement activities for the Medicare Program for a four-state region serving Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Utah under a five-year contract awarded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). [More]

Semler Scientific revenues increase $371,000 to 78% in second quarter 2014

Semler Scientific, Inc., an emerging medical risk assessment company that develops patented products that assist healthcare providers in monitoring patients and evaluating chronic diseases, today reported financial results for the second quarter and six months ended June 30, 2014. [More]

Three community pharmacies win Cardinal Health Independent Pharmacy Best Practices Competition

Cardinal Health will today name three of the nation's most innovative community pharmacies as winners of its prestigious Independent Pharmacy Best Practices Competition, during the company's Retail Business Conference, one of the nation's largest gatherings of independent pharmacists. [More]
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]