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Health Care’s Transition to Value-Based, Patient-Centered Care Continues Through Population Health

February 20, 2017

Population health management is a key factor as health care executives work to control costs, and improve health care quality and outcomes. A new study looks at the evolution of population health management in the United States. 

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House Labor and Industry Committee Holds Hearing on Drug Prescribing in Workers Compensation Program

February 17, 2017

Members of the Pennsylvania House Labor and Industry Committee heard testimony from various stakeholders on House Bill 18, introduced by Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R-Lehigh), aimed at reducing opioid abuse within the Workers’ Compensation Program.

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Medicaid Redesign Expert, Seema Verma, Receives Hearing to Serve as Head of CMS

February 16, 2017

In a hearing today, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee considered the nomination of Seema Verma—an experienced health care policy consultant who has championed redesign of Medicaid in several states—as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

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CMS Delays New Bundled Payment Models

February 16, 2017

Citing the “Regulatory Freeze”, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is delaying the implementation of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) new bundled payment models and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) final rule on confidentiality of substance use disorder patient records.

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CMS Issues Proposed Rule Released to Stabilize Health Insurance Markets

February 15, 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today released a proposed rule intended to stabilize the health insurance marketplaces, through which millions of Americans have acquired health insurance coverage. Insurers and providers both have pressed the Trump Administration and Congress to address the challenges that threaten coverage options, and may cause more insurers to discontinue offering policies through the marketplace in 2018.

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Nation’s Uninsured Rate Is at Historic Low

February 14, 2017

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the findings of the January–September 2016 National Health Interview Survey showing that the nation’s uninsured rate is at a historic low—8.8 percent. This represents 20.4 million more individuals with health insurance coverage in 2016 than had coverage in 2010.

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Readmission Rates Declined After Hospital Readmission Reduction Program

February 13, 2017

A recent study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that readmission rates declined after the implementation of the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP). The study examined more than 20 million Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries that were discharged between January 1, 2008 and June 30, 2015.

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U.S. Senate Confirms Tom Price as U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary

February 10, 2017

By a vote of 52 to 47, the U.S. Senate confirmed U.S. Congressman Tom Price, a former orthopaedic surgeon, to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As Secretary, Dr. Price will exercise significant influence over the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), both through regulatory policy, and working with Congress to repeal and replace the law.

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Department of Human Services Receives Technical Assistance Grant for Early Childhood Mental Health

February 10, 2017

The Department of Human Services secured a three-year technical assistance grant to promote mental health and school readiness. Pennsylvania is one of 12 states, tribal communities, and United States territories awarded the Intensive Technical Assistance grant through the Center of Excellence for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC).

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National Report Shares Strategies to Improve Patients’ Experience, including Examples from PA Hospitals

February 09, 2017

Health care is at a crossroads and patients are playing an unprecedented role in shaping the future of our nation’s health care system. According to a new report by Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock, Inc., hospitals and health systems are responding by giving deeper thought to how to improve the experience they provide to their patients.

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Pennsylvania Hospital Employment Reaches All-Time High

February 08, 2017

Pennsylvania hospital employment increased by 600 jobs from November 2016 to December 2016, for total direct employment of 274,900. This is 3,100 more hospital jobs than one year ago, December 2015, when the total number was 271,800.

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Pennsylvania House Insurance Committee Hearing on Drug Price Transparency

February 08, 2017

Today, the Pennsylvania House Insurance Committee held a hearing on drug price transparency. Central to the hearing was House Bill 161, introduced by Representative Anthony DeLuca (D-Allegheny), which creates the Pharmaceutical Cost Transparency Act. Specifically, the bill would require drug companies to disclose the costs and profits of their drugs, including the cost of research and development, marketing, and advertising associated with the drug.

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Governor Wolf Introduces 2017-2018 State Budget, Maintains Payments for Hospitals

February 07, 2017

Earlier today, Governor Wolf introduced his proposed state spending plan for the 2017–2018 fiscal year. Generally, it maintains 2016–2017 funding levels for hospital payments, including the Medical Assistance Supplemental payments for critical access hospitals, obstetrics/neonatal payments, hospital burn centers, and trauma centers.

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PA Attorney General Joins 15 Other Attorneys General in Amicus Brief Regarding Executive Order on Immigration; Brief Cites Impact on Medical Institutions

February 07, 2017

Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro joined with 15 other Democratic attorney generals in an amicus brief supporting Washington state’s lawsuit against President Trump’s executive order on immigration. The amicus brief calls for upholding the federal court decision to temporarily restrain the order and to deny the federal government’s emergency motion for a stay.

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PA House Votes to Send Stroke Center Update Legislation to Senate

February 07, 2017

Today, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted unanimously to send House Bill 23 to the Senate. Sponsored by State Representative Ryan Mackenzie (R-Lehigh), HB 23 makes changes to the state’s stroke center law.

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