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House Republications introduce Bills to Increase Health Care Access in Rural Communities

December 13, 2018

As part of the U.S. House Ways and Means Medicare Red Tape Relief Project, House Republican members this week introduced a package of health care-related bills, which puts a spotlight on two pieces of legislation aimed at increasing access in rural communities.

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Congress Approves Compromise Farm Bill that Safeguards Key Nutrition Assistance

December 12, 2018

Federal lawmakers reached a bipartisan, bicameral compromise that reauthorizes the Farm Bill, including key investments in nutrition assistance resources—the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps. Pennsylvania hospitals have called for support for SNAP as an important tool to help address food insecurity. Healthy food access is among the top social determinants of health.

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Wolf Administration Presents Commonwealth’s Mid-Year Economic Health Status, New Budget Secretary Announced

December 11, 2018

Today, Pennsylvania Budget Secretary Randy Albright announced that he will step down from his role as budget secretary, but not before he presented on the status of the Commonwealth’s economic health at the half-way point of the current fiscal year.

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HAP and Pennsylvania Providers Voice Health Care Consequences of Proposed “Public Charge” Immigration Policy

December 11, 2018

Pennsylvania hospitals and statewide organizations representing health care providers that serve Pennsylvania patients urged federal policymakers to reconsider a proposed immigration policy that will have direct consequences for the health of millions of lawfully present families and, in turn, impact the health of all citizens and communities.

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New PHC4 Report Shows Substance Use Present in One of every 25 Maternal Hospital Stays

December 11, 2018

The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4) today released a research brief detailing trends related to the opioid crisis in Pennsylvania. The report found that one in 25 pregnancy-related hospitalizations documented maternal substance use, up from 1 in 69 in 2000–2001. Of those patients with substance use disorder, 49 percent involved opioids.

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Governor’s “Stop Overdoses in PA: Get Help Now Week” Includes Distribution of Free Naloxone

December 10, 2018

Governor Tom Wolf kicked off “Stop Overdoses in PA: Get Help Now Week,” a statewide initiative to distribute naloxone and get help for residents suffering from opioid-use disorder.

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Fear of Clinical Judgment Censors Patient Disclosure, Study Says

December 07, 2018

A new study published by the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor revealed that between 60 and 80 percent of patients actively withhold relevant health information from their clinicians. This highlights dilemmas that providers face in caring for individuals whose care may be more likely to be compromised because of the complexity of their health habits or lack of candid disclosure. 

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Hospitals Seek to Overturn New Payment Policy Jeopardizing Community Care

December 06, 2018

In a lawsuit filed this week, hospitals and hospital advocates—including the American Hospital Association and Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)—argued that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is acting outside the law by imposing a harmful new payment policy that reduces reimbursement and jeopardizes the ability of hospitals to meet the needs of their patients in community-based settings.

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HAP Achievement Awards Spotlight: St. Luke’s University Health Network

December 05, 2018

This week, HAP is spotlighting St. Luke’s University Health Network’s Achievement Award-winning program to reduce the rates of pneumothoraces (collapsed lungs) in its high-risk infants.

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U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury, Labor Release Health Care Competition Report

December 04, 2018

In fulfillment of an October, 2017, presidential Executive Order, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury, and Labor today released a report intended to make recommendations that would facilitate a high-quality, affordable health care system by promoting choice and competition.

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Bloomberg Philanthropies Commits $10 Million to Fight Opioid Crisis in Pennsylvania

December 03, 2018

Bloomberg Philanthropies announced a $50 million commitment to help combat the U.S. opioid epidemic. Pennsylvania is the first state slated to receive funding, in an amount of $10 million.

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The Number of Uninsured Children in the U.S. Increased for First Time in Almost a Decade

November 30, 2018

Following a historic low during 2016, the uninsured rate among children in the United States has increased. From 2016 to 2017, newly released data from the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute Center for Children and Families shows that an estimated 276,000 more children were uninsured. Nationwide, the percentage of children without health insurance increased from 4.7 percent during 2016, to 5 percent during 2017.

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Marketplace Open Enrollment in Pennsylvania: Signups Down from Last Year

November 29, 2018

Newly released Open Enrollment numbers from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for health insurance signups via HealthCare.gov show that enrollment for 2019 coverage is down compared to last year. Pennsylvania is among the states with the largest enrollment decrease; Pennsylvania hospitals are encouraged to continue their enrollment and outreach efforts.

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HAP Achievement Awards Spotlight: UPMC St. Margaret

November 28, 2018

Incredible work is being done across the state as Pennsylvania hospitals step up to improve health care. This week, we’re sharing an award-winning initiative from UPMC St. Margaret to improve the medication history discrepancy rates in patient medical records.

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Medicare Open Enrollment Ends December 7—Beneficiaries Should Review Options and Sign Up

November 27, 2018

Medicare Open Enrollment provides an opportunity for all Medicare beneficiaries to consider their health care coverage. The Medicare Open Enrollment period closes December 7, 2018. Eligible individuals are encouraged to review the available options and select the plan that best meets their needs prior to the deadline.

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