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Report Quantifies Burden of Multiple Chronic Conditions

September 20, 2017

A new report, seeking to outline and quantify the key challenges of multiple chronic conditions found that with each additional chronic condition, health care costs more than double, so that treating a patient with four chronic conditions could cost as much as 16 times more than a patient with only one condition could.

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Wolf Administration Declares September as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Month

September 19, 2017

Department of Human Services Acting Secretary Teresa Miller and Drug and Alcohol Programs Acting Secretary Jennifer Smith recently held a joint press event to educate expectant mothers and the public on the dangers of consuming alcohol while pregnant and to announce that Governor Wolf has declared September as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Month in the commonwealth.

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COACH Hospitals Implementing Healthy Access Food Pilot, Temple among First to Report Preliminary Data

September 14, 2017

The COACH (Collaborative Opportunities to Advance Community Health) collaborative is making progress toward its goal of addressing food insecurity among vulnerable, at-risk patients in southeastern Pennsylvania.

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Hospitals Work to Address PA’s Obesity Rate, Up Nearly 50% since 2000

September 05, 2017

During the past 16 years, Pennsylvania’s obesity rate has increased 49 percent, from a rate of 20.3 percent during 2000 to a rate of 30.3 percent during 2016, according to updated data from Trust for America’s Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Pennsylvania hospitals are doing their part to address this unhealthy trend.

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New AHA Guide: Housing and the Role of Hospitals

August 25, 2017

The American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Health Research & Educational Trust has released a guide, Housing and the Role of Hospitals, about how hospitals can help address unsuitable housing conditions and homelessness within their communities. It also identifies other considerations often associated with housing instability and homelessness, such as lack of transportation, limited literacy, and lack of social supports.

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Federal Report Shows Overall Improvement in U.S. Health Care Quality; Disparities Persist

August 24, 2017

An annual federal report, 2016 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report, about health care quality and access indicates that health care quality across the U.S. improved overall from 2000 through 2014-2015, but at different rates for different priority areas. Although some of the gaps in care are lessening, disparities persist, especially among poor and low-income families.

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Report Identifies Opportunities for Providers to Better Meet Consumer Expectations

August 23, 2017

Kaufman Hall’s 2017 State of Consumerism in Healthcare, a compilation of online survey responses from 125 organizations, found that health care providers may not be meeting consumer expectations. As increasing out-of-pockets costs force patients to become more educated about their health care, and more sophisticated as consumers about their choices, providers need to make consumer expectations a higher priority.

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States That Expanded Medicaid Are Reducing Uninsured Amongst Minority Populations; Outreach Important to Sustaining Coverage Gains

August 22, 2017

The Commonwealth Fund recently released a report that shows that the decision by states, such as Pennsylvania, to expand Medicaid has resulted in 2016 uninsured rates for lower-income whites, blacks, and Latinos that were born in the United States dropping below 10 percent. 

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Pennsylvania CHIP Enrollment up 4.1 Percent This Year

August 22, 2017

Pennsylvania has seen 4.1 percent growth in Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollment during 2017, despite a slight decline from July to August. Since December 2016, Pennsylvania has added 6,874 eligible children to the state program, increasing from 169,367 last December to 176,241 this month.

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Governor Announces New Leaders for Department of Human Services, Insurance

August 18, 2017

Governor Wolf has announced that he has nominated Teresa Miller, current Commissioner for the Pennsylvania Insurance Department to serve as Secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS), effective August 21.

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President Signs Veterans Choice Appropriations Bill

August 16, 2017

President Trump signed into law legislation providing $2.1 billion in funding to continue the Veterans Choice Program that allows veterans to see a civilian health care provider if they cannot be seen by a VA medical facility in a timely manner or if they face burdens in traveling to a VA medical facility.

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CMS Extends Deadline for Insurers to File 2018 Rates

August 15, 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that insurers participating in the Health Insurance Marketplaces (HealthCare.gov) have until September 5 to file their final rates for 2018. The action provides additional time for insurers to adjust their premiums due to continued uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act, including the possibility that cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies will go unfunded next year.

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President Declares Opioid Crisis a National Emergency

August 14, 2017

President Trump has declared the country’s opioid crisis a national emergency and has instructed the administration to use all appropriate emergency and other authorities to respond to the crisis.

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PA Tracks National Averages in Most Behavioral Health Metrics; Heroin Use/Adult Mental Health Service Use Higher

August 11, 2017

Pennsylvania’s annual averages in substance use prevalence are similar to national annual averages across most measures in youth and adult substance use or mental health illness. But in two metrics, Pennsylvania’s annual averages were higher than national averages.

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HHS Secretary Price Says All Options on the Table to Fight Opioid Crisis

August 08, 2017

Following a briefing from the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price addressed the media and pledged continued support from the Trump Administration to fight the crisis.

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