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Pennsylvania Hospitals Add Jobs for Eleven Straight Months

August 21, 2017

During July, Pennsylvania hospitals added 900 jobs to their workforce, capping off an 11-month hiring frenzy which resulted in 8,900 new hospital jobs since August 2016 and record high hospital employment in Pennsylvania. Preliminary, not seasonally adjusted, Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry data show that direct hospital employment reached 278,200 in July 2017. Hospital employment in Pennsylvania has risen 5.7 percent (15,100 jobs added) since their recession low of 263,100 jobs in April 2010.

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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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Employers Plan to Adopt Consumer-Focused Strategies to Reduce Health Care Costs

August 10, 2017

Two health care employer surveys released recently reveal that, faced with a five to 5.5 percent increase in health care benefit costs in 2018, United States employers plan to adopt new strategies to manage costs.

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South Central Hospitals and Health Care Providers Meet to Improve Emergency Preparedness

August 09, 2017

South Central Pennsylvania health care preparedness officials met in Harrisburg to kick off the region’s new Health Care Coalition, which focuses on improving emergency preparedness across the health care delivery system. 

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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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Hospitals Continue Adding to the Pennsylvania Workforce

August 07, 2017

Unlike colleges and universities that laid off nearly 20 percent of their workforce during June, hospitals added 2,100 workers. Preliminary, not seasonally adjusted, Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry data show that direct hospital employment reached 277,500 during June 2017, an increase of more than 3 percent during the last year.

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New CDC Report Outlines New Guidelines for Antibiotic Use

August 04, 2017

“Antibiotic Use in the United States, 2017—Progress and Opportunities”, a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), describes how antibiotics have saved millions of lives during the years in treating bacterial infections. The report, however, also highlights ways that the overuse or misuse of antibiotics has contributed to the development of superbugs (highly resistant bacteria), serious infections such as Clostridium difficile (CDI), poor patient outcomes, and increased patient care costs.

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Bipartisan Efforts to Address Insurance Market Stability Begin to Take Shape

August 03, 2017

In the wake of the U.S. Senate’s failure to pass legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), bipartisan efforts focusing on market stability are underway through the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and the U.S. House bipartisan “Problem Solvers Caucus.”  

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CMS to Explore New Behavioral Health Payment Model—Open Forum Scheduled September 8

August 03, 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service (CMS) announced interest in launching a new payment model for behavioral health services.  To gather input, CMS is holding a public forum on Friday, September 8, 2017, at the CMS Central Office in Baltimore, Maryland. Community health organizations, medical societies, health care providers, state Medicaid agencies, advocacy groups, non-profit organizations, and other interested parties are invited to participate.

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Federal Appeals Court Ruling Could Help Preserve Cost Sharing Subsidies

August 02, 2017

Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held that a coalition of 16 state attorneys general–including Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro–may intervene in the House v. Price appeal relating to the future of cost-sharing subsidies. While the decision does not bar the Trump Administration from ending the cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments, it does make it more difficult to cut off the payments.

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HAP Convenes Council to Advance Provider-Patient Partnerships

August 02, 2017

Pennsylvania hospitals and health systems continue to develop partnerships with their patients, guiding them through the health care delivery process and helping them be active participants in their care. In an effort to provide a forum for these organizations to communicate and exchange best practices, HAP’s Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (HIIN) has recently convened a Person and Family Engagement (PFE) Leadership Council to bring together hospital leaders responsible for facilitating the development of sustained partnerships with patients and families. 

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New ANA Recommendations for How Nurses Can Help Optimize Antibiotic Use

July 24, 2017

The American Nurses Association (ANA) recently released a white paper outlining the importance of good antibiotic stewardship and the important role nurses can play in optimizing the use of antibiotics in hospital settings.

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State Insurance Commissioner: Pennsylvania’s Individual Health Care Insurance Market is Stabilizing

July 21, 2017

Pennsylvania’s Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller released today the insurer rate filings for health care insurance policy premiums for the 2018 individual marketplace, with an average rate increase of 8.8 percent for individual plans, and 6.7 percent for small group plans. Although the state's individual market is stabilizing, she also stressed that the current uncertainty surrounding national health care law threatens to upset that stability.

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Pennsylvania Recognized for Top-Performing Rural Critical Access Hospitals

July 21, 2017

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recognized Pennsylvania’s rural Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) this week for achieving the highest quality reporting rates and improved performance during the past year. Pennsylvania is among ten top-performing states that were recognized under HRSA’s Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project. HAP commends the state’s CAHs for their achievement in earning HRSA’s recognition.

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New CBO Analysis on Repeal Legislation: Higher Premiums and 32 Million More Uninsured by 2026

July 20, 2017

A newly released analysis about the direct spending and revenue effects of the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act of 2017 (ORRA), would significantly increase the number of uninsured Americans. In addition, average premiums for individual health insurance policies would increase as much as 25 percent during the first year. Republican members of the U.S. Senate are vowing to push for a vote as early as next week for repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.

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