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State Releases Individual and Small Group Insurance Rates; Individual Rate Increases Reflect Federal Elimination of CSR Payments

October 16, 2017

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department has released the final 2018 rates for individual and small group health insurance products that comply with the reforms of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

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HAP Celebrates Healthcare Quality Week

October 16, 2017

Healthcare Quality Week, sponsored by the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ), is celebrated October 15–21, 2017. This event recognizes clinical and non-clinical quality professionals who contribute to excellence in health care quality. 

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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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News Release: Pa. Hospital Community Troubled by Cancellation of Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments

October 13, 2017

News Release:  Yesterday, the Trump Administration announced that it would not fulfil cost-sharing reduction payments, a provision of the Affordable Care Act designed to help reduce health care costs for lower-income Americans. Andy Carter, president and CEO of The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP), released the following statement.

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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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Congressional Committee Hears How Hospitals Use 340B Drug Pricing Program

October 11, 2017

In a hearing before the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, health care providers testified to how the 340B Drug Pricing Program helps them expand and improve access to care.

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National Data Demonstrates Hospital Community Benefits Exceed Value of Federal Tax Exemption

October 11, 2017

According to a new analysis prepared by Ernst & Young, hospitals’ and health systems’ community benefit activities outweigh the value of their federal tax exemption by a factor of 11 to one.

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Providers, Patients Encouraged to "Engage for Health" During Health Literacy Month

October 10, 2017

When patients and their families understand and engage in their health care, they have better outcomes and a more positive experience. October is National Health Literacy Month and HAP encourages providers and patients to learn more about what you can do to better understand your care.

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PA Right to Try Legislation Heads to Governor for Signature

October 09, 2017

Late last week, the Pennsylvania House unanimously approved House Bill 45, sponsored by Representative Robert Godshall, to allow terminally ill patients access to experimental medical treatments and medications that have not been approved by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration.

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GAO Report Highlights the Need for Federal Action to Address Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

October 06, 2017

The Government Accountability Office (GAO), as directed by requirements included in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016, examined Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) in the United States and related federal government response. A new GAO report describes the hospital and non-hospital settings for treating infants with NAS and how Medicaid pays for services, describes recommended practices and challenges for addressing NAS, and examines the federal strategy for addressing NAS.

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MedPAC Highlights Flaws in MIPS Design; Urges Immediate Repeal

October 06, 2017

After its analysis of the Merit-Based Payment Incentive System (MIPS), the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) is urging the immediate repeal and replacement of the new payment system introduced as part of the Quality Payment Program (QPP) required by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).

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U.S. Senate Stays Engaged in Federal Opioid Response

October 05, 2017

During the first in a series of hearings—The Federal Response to the Opioid Crisis—the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee heard from health care agency heads regarding actions to respond to the opioid crisis and implementation of recently enacted federal policy to address the epidemic.

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New Survey Finds 21 Percent of Americans Report Personal Experience with Medical Errors

October 05, 2017

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the National Patient Safety Foundation (IHI) Lucian Leape Institute and NORC at the University of Chicago released survey findings last week demonstrating that, while the vast majority of Americans are having positive experiences with the health care system, 21 percent of adults report having personally experienced a medical error. The survey will be among topics covered next week by IHI’s Patricia McGaffigan, keynote speaker at HAP’s 2017 Patient Safety & Quality Symposium.

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CHIP Funding Bills Advance; Delay to DSH Cuts Under Consideration

October 04, 2017

The U.S. Senate Finance Committee and the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee separately worked to advance legislation that would extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The House legislation also would provide a one-year delay to impending Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payment cuts. Addressing both policy issues—CHIP and DSH—is crucial to maintaining access to health insurance coverage and care for Pennsylvania patients.

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PHC4 Releases Research Brief on Sepsis Hospitalizations in Pennsylvania

October 04, 2017

Today, the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4) released findings from its analysis of sepsis hospitalizations. According to PHC4’s research brief, Sepsis Hospitalizations in Pennsylvania, patients hospitalized with sepsis saw a 28 percent decrease in the average length of stay during 2016 compared to 2008.

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