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CMS Working to Strengthen the Health Insurance Marketplace; Key Focus on Risk Adjustment

August 31, 2016

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule recommending several changes to how risk adjustment—methods for determining whether patient characteristics will result in higher use of medical services—will be handled in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces.

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Medicare Coordinated Health Care Model Continues to Improve Quality and Reduce Costs

August 26, 2016

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ latest quality and financial performance results found that Medicare Accountable Care Organizations are improving the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries, while generating financial savings.

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CMS Issues Analysis on Health Insurance Marketplace; AHA Calls for CMS to Take Further Actions to Stabilize Availability of Affordable Coverage

August 25, 2016

Amid growing concerns nationally that health plans are withdrawing from the health insurance marketplaces, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has issued an analysis reflecting the availability of affordable options.

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Pennsylvania Hospital Employment Down by 700 Jobs in July 2016

August 23, 2016

Pennsylvania hospital employment decreased by 700 jobs from June 2016 to July 2016, for total direct employment of 273,800. Despite the drop, this is 3,000 more hospital jobs than one year ago.  

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New Data Shows Prescription Drug Trends: Higher Cost and Utilization

August 22, 2016

The second annual release of data on prescription drug prescribing and cost under the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program validates the increasing costs of prescription drugs and the significant impact on Medicare spending.

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Study Provides Insight into Nation’s Remaining Uninsured

August 19, 2016

The Commonwealth Fund released findings from a recent survey about the nation’s uninsured and why they have not yet signed up for health insurance coverage. An estimated 24 million Americans still lack health insurance coverage.

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New Study Confirms the Benefits of State Medicaid Expansion

August 11, 2016

A new study published this week in JAMA Internal Medicine confirms that state expansion of Medical Assistance can have a positive effect on the health and lives of people who were previously uninsured.

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Senator Casey Hears from Hospital Leaders on PA’s Opioid and Heroin Epidemic

August 05, 2016

Focusing particularly on the impact of the opioid epidemic on infants and mothers, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D, PA) has convened a series of roundtable discussions with Pennsylvania hospitals to garner input from the medical field and discuss federal solutions. In visits this week to Pocono Medical Center and WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital, Senator Casey heard firsthand about the alarming increase in incidence of infants born with a dependency to opioids.

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National, State Rural Health Efforts Target Improving Health Care Access

August 04, 2016

The Frontier Community Health Integration Project Demonstration, a new federal initiative to develop and test new delivery of care models in “frontier” or sparsely populated rural areas, was announced today. Ten critical access hospitals, selected by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, will participate in the three-year demonstration set to begin this month. This is a continuation of ongoing efforts to consider new policy approaches to support rural providers.

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Lawmakers Hear Testimony About Pennsylvania Opioid Crisis

August 03, 2016

The Pennsylvania House Republican and Democratic Policy Committees wrapped up their third hearing in a series of eight that will occur throughout the summer to help address the state’s opioid crisis. Lawmakers and staff are gathering insight on policy ideas to be considered during a special session on the opioid crisis when the legislature returns this fall.

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CMS Releases Updated Medicaid and CHIP Enrollment

August 02, 2016

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has released updated Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) preliminary data for May 2016.

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Pennsylvania Hospital Employment Up 2,300 Jobs in June

July 29, 2016

Pennsylvania hospital employment increased by 2,300 jobs from May to June 2016, for a total direct employment of 274,800. This is the greatest increase in Pennsylvania hospital employment since June 2008. It also is 4,000 more hospital jobs than one year ago, June 2015, when the total number was 270,800.

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CMS Continues Push for Value through Mandatory Bundling

July 26, 2016

Yesterday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) accelerated the agency’s efforts to shift from volume to value by expanding bundled payment initiatives that pay health care providers for an episode of care. CMS is spurring broader adoption of new delivery models by requiring mandatory participation.

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CMS Estimates Health Care Expenditures to Grow to 20 Percent of Economy

July 15, 2016

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released its national health expenditure projections for 2015–2025, finding that health spending is projected to grow at an average rate of 5.8 percent per year, from 17.5 percent in 2014 to 20.1 percent by 2025.

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Federal Nondiscrimination Law Goes Into Effect July 18

July 15, 2016

On Monday, July 18, federal regulations go into effect that clarify Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA). This section of the law prohibits sex discrimination in any hospital or health program that receives federal funds.

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