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Trump Administration Argues that Key Parts of ACA Should be Invalidated

June 08, 2018

Yesterday, the Trump Administration sided with Texas and a coalition of 19 other Republican-led states that filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

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National and State Suicide Rates Continue to Increase; Access to Behavioral Health Care Critical

June 08, 2018

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a VitalSigns monthly report highlighting the increasing rate of suicide across the nation. It states that suicide rates have increased in almost every state from 1999 through 2016. In Pennsylvania, the suicide rate increased 34.3 percent; a startling statistic that underscores the pressing need for more focused attention on behavioral health care services.

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HAP Congratulates PA Hospitals Receiving Grants to Improve Care Coordination for Medicaid Patients

June 08, 2018

This morning, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) announced it awarded nearly $8 million in onboarding grant funds to increase efficiency in health care service delivery to Medicaid patients through health information exchange.

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Today is Hospitals Against Violence Hope (#HAVhope) Friday

June 08, 2018

Today is the second annual Hospitals Against Violence Hope (#HAVhope) Friday, a national designation to increase awareness about violence and focus on ending it, in communities, workplaces, and at home.

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More Men Accessing Behavioral Health Care through Telemedicine; Time to Pass Senate Bill 780

June 07, 2018

New information from the nation’s largest telemedicine provider, Teledoc, shows the increasing value of telehealth in providing convenient access to care. The company reports that, so far this year, about half of its behavioral health visits have been with men between the ages of 20 and 35. This new information provides one more reason to expand access to telemedicine services in Pennsylvania.

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U.S. House Committee Considers Health Care Preparedness Policy

June 06, 2018

U.S. House lawmakers today discussed policy approaches to ensure our nation’s health care readiness for wide-ranging challenges, including public health risks such as Ebola and natural disasters, and security threats ranging from cyberattacks to mass casualty events.

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Pennsylvania Expects Modest Premium Increases for 2019

June 05, 2018

Today, Pennsylvania’s Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman announced that Pennsylvania health insurers are requesting an aggregate statewide increase of 4.9 percent for 2019 health insurance plans. This increase is a much lower increase than the national trend. All of the health insurers that participated in the 2018 Pennsylvania health insurance market will remain in the market for 2019.

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New Medicaid and CHIP Scorecard to include Information on Pennsylvania’s Programs

June 05, 2018

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released information late yesterday about a new scorecard for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The new scorecard, which will include state and federally reported measures, expects to increase transparency and accountability, as well as provide information about how states, including Pennsylvania, are managing their programs. 

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1 in 5 Deaths Among Young Adults Linked to Opioids

June 04, 2018

New data published last week in JAMA Network Open details how the opioid crisis has affected certain age groups, and identifies which groups experienced the highest burden of opioid-related deaths during a 15-year period from January 1, 2001, to December 31, 2016.

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More Young People are Dying, Greater Prevention and Intervention Efforts Needed

June 01, 2018

The death rate for people aged 10 to 19 jumped 12 percent between 2013 and 2016. These recent increases in deaths are not due to illness, but a rise in injury-related fatalities such as traffic accidents, drug overdoses, suicides, and homicides.

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Year One Participation in the Quality Payment Program Exceeded

June 01, 2018

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it exceeded its goal for year one participation in the Quality Payment Program, the physician payment model required by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, with 91 percent of all clinicians eligible for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System submitting their data for measurement.

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Standard & Poor's Says 340B Cuts Could Harm America's Safety Net

May 31, 2018

According to S&P Global Ratings, the impacts of the cuts to the 340B Drug Pricing Program on non-profit hospitals that rely on 340B drug savings will likely weaken their operating performance at a time of already tightening margins. Furthermore, despite the possibility of a successful legal challenge to the cuts, additional proposed program reforms at the federal level could further negatively affect these providers' finances.

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Field Hearing in Bucks County Focuses on Opioid Overutlization in Medicare and Medicaid

May 30, 2018

A field hearing convened by U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, in his capacity as Chairman of the U.S. Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care, provided a forum to explore trends in the utilization of opioids, and federal efforts to reduce opioid overutilization and misuse within the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

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Study Shows More Engagement Results in Positive Health Outcomes

May 29, 2018

When patients and their families understand and engage in their health care, they have better outcomes and a more positive experience. A recently published JAMA Network study found that when patients and health care providers were primed for a conversation about a patient’s treatment plan, the chance that a goals-of-care conversation occurred was higher.

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Pennsylvania Rural Global Payment Pilot in Spotlight at Federal Level

May 25, 2018

Pennsylvania’s Rural Global Payment Pilot was featured during a U.S. Senate Finance Committee hearing, Rural Health Care in America: Challenges and Opportunities, as an innovative approach to address the challenges of preserving access to care in rural communities.

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