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Employers are Adopting Value Innovations to Manage Health Care Costs and Improve Health

August 07, 2018

The Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy recently released a brief which highlights new initiatives that employers are adopting to manage rising health care costs and improve employee health.

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PA Hospital Perspective, Economic Impact Shared During Federal Opioid Policy Roundtable

August 03, 2018

Federal and state policymakers received input from business leaders, local officials and hospital and health care providers during a roundtable policy discussion this week in Somerset exploring the impact of the opioid crisis on economic development in Appalachia counties.

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PA Insurance Commissioner Issues Letter to HHS on State’s Plan to Implement Association Health Plans Rule

August 02, 2018

Today, Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman sent a letter to the U.S. departments of Labor and Health and Human Services outlining the state Insurance Department’s position on the implementation of a federal rule aiming to expand association health plans (AHP).

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Trump Administration Continues to Promote Less-Costly, Less-Generous Coverage

August 01, 2018

A newly finalized federal policy significantly extends the amount of time individuals may remain enrolled in short-term health insurance plans from three months to up to three years. The stated intent of the policy is to expand access to less expensive alternative insurance options; however, these plans are not subject to the full patient protections and benefits assured under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

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Surgeon General Announces Partnership with Hospitals to Combat Opioid Abuse

July 30, 2018

The U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, M.D., announced that this fall his office will partner with the American Hospital Association to further combat the opioid epidemic.

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Voters across Parties Value Protections for Pre-existing Conditions

July 27, 2018

The latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll looks at how important a candidate’s positions on seven health care issues are to voters. Continued protections for people with pre-existing conditions tops the list, with 63 percent of registered voters ranking these protections as the single most important factor, or a very important factor, in their 2018 vote.

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CMS Restarts ACA Insurer Risk Adjustments to Stabilize Individual and Small Group Markets

July 25, 2018

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a new rule to restart the insurer risk-adjustment program under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). CMS’ stated goal is to “maintain stability and predictability in the individual and small group health insurance markets” nationwide.

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With Average Requested Rate Increase of 0.7%, ACA Marketplace Appears Stable for Next Year

July 23, 2018

According to today’s announcement from the Insurance Commissioner, Pennsylvania’s individual and small group health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) remain stable. Based on insurers’ requested rate filings for 2019, Pennsylvanians can expect minimal rate increases and more choices.

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U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health Hearing Provides an Update on 21st Century Cures Act Implementation

July 20, 2018

This week, the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing to provide a status update about the mental health provisions included in the 21st Century Cures Act. During the hearing, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the agency at the helm of implementing the Cures Act’s mental health provision, reported about the agency’s progress.

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Legal Challenge to 340B Payment Cut Rejected on Procedural Grounds; HAP Advocates for 340B Program As Crucial Tool in Helping Hospitals Managing Drug Costs

July 17, 2018

A federal appeals court upheld a lower court decision rejecting, on procedural grounds, a lawsuit brought by the American Hospital Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, and America’s Essential Hospitals that could have prevented Medicare payment cuts from taking effect for many hospitals in the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

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Americans Divided About Value of Medical Treatment; Concerned About Cost

July 16, 2018

While new survey results show a divide among Americans about the value of medical treatments, a strong majority (83%) expressed concern that the cost of medical treatment was a barrier to high-quality health care.

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Federal Task Force Created to Address Critical Drug Shortages

July 13, 2018

Addressing concerns about the continuing shortage of critical drugs, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday released a statement from Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, announcing the formation of a federal task. The task force will investigate the causes of the shortages and recommend solutions to ensure appropriate supplies of medications are always available.

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Reduced Resources for Insurance Navigators; Outreach Efforts will be Crucial to Encouraging Coverage

July 12, 2018

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its annual notice for federal grants to fund navigators that assist consumers in enrolling in the federal health insurance marketplace. For the second year, CMS reduced the funding available to support the outreach efforts.

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Trump Administration Freezes Risk Adjustment Payments

July 09, 2018

On Saturday, the Trump Administration announced a temporary halt of risk adjustment payments to insurers. Those payments, totaling more than $10 billion based on 2017 business, are designed to offset higher costs for insurers that offer plans to high-risk individuals.

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New Medicare Cost Growth Estimates Paint Concerning Financial Picture

July 06, 2018

The Kaiser Family Foundation has released a new, updated resource, which provides detailed information relating to trends in Medicare benefit payments, Medicare spending projections, and an assessment of Medicare’s financial condition and future outlook. 

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