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Pennsylvania Sees 100,000 Insurance Sign-ups During First Three Weeks; PA Hospitals Urge Consumers to Continue Signing Up for Health Care Coverage

November 22, 2017

During the first three weeks of open enrollment (November 1–18), Pennsylvania has had 101,286 plan selections for health insurance enrollment. Nearly 800,000 people have selected health plans using the HealthCare.gov platform. This puts nationwide open enrollment selections near 2.3 million during the first three weeks of open enrollment, including more than 550,000 new consumers.

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Individual Mandate Repeal Included in U.S. Senate Tax Reform Legislation

November 15, 2017

The U.S. Senate Finance Committee has included policy in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that would, in effect, repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate by eliminating the penalty that individuals who do not maintain health coverage must pay.

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Senate Committee Considers House Health-Related Legislation

November 14, 2017

This week, the Pennsylvania Senate returned to session after briefly breaking following the final passage of state budget legislation. Today, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee resumed business by considering three different legislative proposals.

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AHA Report: Regulatory Burdens Cost Hospitals $39 Billion Annually

November 13, 2017

A recent American Hospital Association (AHA) report quantifies the impact of regulatory burden on our nation’s hospitals and post-acute care facilities. The report, Regulatory Overload, details the cost to providers of complying with an ever-changing array of new and existing regulations that don’t improve patient care, but increase the cost of care.

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U.S. House Passes CHIP Bill; Includes Two-Year Delay to DSH Cuts

November 03, 2017

The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that would extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for five years and provide a two-year delay to Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payment cuts.

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CMS Payment Rule Undercuts Key Program Supporting Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs

November 02, 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a payment regulation that will undermine efforts to ensure access to affordable prescription drugs by dramatically cutting payments for drugs acquired under the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

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Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and Opioid Crisis Releases Report, Recommendations

November 02, 2017

Yesterday, the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis released its final report, including a set of recommendations for addressing the opioid crisis across a variety of federal, state, and local agencies.

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HHS Issues Patient Privacy Guidance for Crisis Situations

November 02, 2017

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights released new guidance on when and how health care providers can share a patient’s health information with his or her family members, friends, and legal personal representatives when that patient may be in crisis and incapacitated, such as during an opioid overdose.

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Open Enrollment Starts Today; HAP, PA Hospitals Encourage Pennsylvanians to Get Covered, Stay Covered

November 01, 2017

Today, HAP president and CEO Andy Carter joined Philadelphia Mayor Kenney and Health Commissioner Dr. Farley at a press conference promoting the start of open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance marketplace. Carter underscored the importance of securing health insurance coverage as well as how Pennsylvania hospitals are helping consumers find the right plan for them.

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Report Finds Drop in Uncompensated Care, Outpatient Growth for PA’s Non-Acute and Specialty Hospitals

October 31, 2017

Today, the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4) released its Annual Report on the Financial Health of Pennsylvania Non-General Acute Care Hospitals, finding that uncompensated care saw a decrease of 17 percent or $3.3 million in fiscal year 2016. Specialty hospitals saw the largest percent point decrease, followed by psychiatric and long-term acute care

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Pennsylvania Health Care Providers Urge Congressional Action to Stabilize Marketplaces

October 26, 2017

Today, in a joint letter, health care providers and advocates serving Pennsylvania patients and families presented a unified voice that Congress should “take swift action to fund cost-sharing reduction (CSR) benefits for the thousands of Pennsylvanians who depend on this crucial support to make their health insurance coverage affordable.”

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Cost-sharing Reduction Payments Remain in Limbo

October 25, 2017

Federal lawmakers continue to grapple with next steps to provide greater stability to the individual insurance markets.

Earlier this month, the Trump Administration announced that it would not fulfill cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—designed to help reduce health care costs for lower-income Americans. The federal government pays the CSR subsidies monthly to insurers to compensate them for discounting insurance rates for low-income consumers who earn 100 to 250 percent of the federal poverty level.

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Gallup Survey Shows Uninsured Rate Starting to Rise Nationally; HAP Advocating to Protect Health Insurance Coverage

October 23, 2017

A recent survey by Gallup shows that nationally, the uninsured rate continues to increase since hitting a record low during 2016. The Gallup poll finds that the uninsured rate increased from 11.7 percent during mid-2017 to 12.3 percent during the third quarter of 2017; this represents an increase of 1.4 percentage points since the end of 2016.

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Cancellation of Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments Raises Concern for Premium Increases, Destabilization of Insurance Markets

October 13, 2017

The announcement that the Trump Administration will not fulfil cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—designed to help reduce health care costs for lower-income Americans—raises serious concern for the stability of the health insurance marketplaces and significant premium increases.

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Administration Pursues Insurance Market Policy Changes through Executive Order

October 12, 2017

An executive order issued today by President Donald Trump seeks to promote health insurance options that do not have to adhere to all of the requirements and protections under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Under the executive order—Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States, the Secretaries of the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health & Human Services (HHS) are directed to review existing policies and put forth proposed regulations or revised guidance that will expand the availability and use of those insurance mechanisms.

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