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Grasping for the Middle Ground on Obamacare Print E-mail
Written by Emily Bazar | KHN   
Thursday, 20 April 2017 00:00

Joel Hay, a professor at the University of Southern California, describes his political views as "conservative, free market." But in a counterintuitive twist, his proposal to fix the Affordable Care Act would expand the largest source of public health coverage in the country: Medicaid.

Hay, who specializes in health policy and economics, envisions an Obamacare replacement plan that would scrap health insurance exchanges such as Covered California, which sell subsidized private market plans.

Instead, he would allow people under the age of 65 to buy into Medicaid, called Medi-Cal in California. Their premiums would be based on family income and a surcharge would be assessed on those who are uninsured at the time they apply. That would be intended as an incentive to keep them from buying insurance only when they're sick. People could acquire coverage regardless of preexisting conditions.

Under Obamacare, 31 states and the District of Columbia expanded Medicaid, the federal-state health care program for people with low incomes. In doing so, they added more than 11 million people to the rolls, including about 3.7 million in California.

Hay believes the Medicaid expansion was the most successful part of the ACA and contends that the health insurance exchanges have struggled to provide affordable plans with adequate networks in many states.

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Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Medscape   
Monday, 10 April 2017 00:00

More than 19,200 physicians in more than 27 specialties responded to this year's Medscape compensation survey.

Use this report to access not only salary information, but also important factors affecting income, such as hours worked, time spent with patients, etc.

Read More>>

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6 Changes The Trump Administration Can Still Make To Obamacare Print E-mail
Written by Danielle Kurtzleben | NPR   
Thursday, 30 March 2017 00:00
After seven years of trying, Republicans failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act last week.

That doesn't mean the health care drama is over, though. House <of Representatives> Speaker Paul Ryan this week told donors that the party is "going to keep getting at this thing," according to The Washington Post.

But whatever Ryan and his colleagues manage to do, plenty could still change in the Affordable Care Act. Last week's failed bill, after all, was only one part of the GOP's plan.

The second part - making changes to regulations and howObamacare is administered - doesn't even requireCongress' help. And those changes could make or break the health law.

"There are things the Trump administration might do that could prop up the markets, and there are things they might do that could help the markets explode, if that's what they want to happen," says Cynthia Cox, who studies Obamacare's effects on private insurance at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Here are a few possible changes.

Last Updated on Friday, 31 March 2017 18:27
House Cancels AHCA Vote Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 27 March 2017 17:26
Ben Mathis-Lilley reporting for Slate on 3/24/17:

A day after Donald Trump demanded that Republican House leaders hold a Friday vote on the flailing American Health Care Act (AHCA) Obamacare replacement bill-and hours after he reportedly repeated his demand in a meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan-the AHCA has been pulled from consideration and will not be voted on.

According to a CNN opinion piece, by  Dean Obeidallah, published this morning:

Donald Trump may just have achieved another first -- but this isn't one he will like. He may be on the verge of becoming the first president to be considered a "lame duck" within the first two months of his presidency.

Even Fox News admitted the result was a major setback for Republicans, labeling Trump's compromise healthcare bill Mission Impossible

Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>>

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 April 2017 17:10
Need to know: Chronic care management and remote monitoring companies are not created equal Print E-mail
Written by Accountable Care Options   
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 00:00

The healthcare industry is moving heavily into engaging, monitoring and empowering beneficiaries with tools to improve their health. Companies are jumping on the trend, offering telephonic chronic care management and remote patient monitoring for a fee.

All firms promise to ease the time burden on a practice’s staff. Some offer 24/7 support, including a nurse response line or web-based physician consultation. Here are tips on choosing the right provider:

1. Electronic interaction should be relevant to the disease burden of the patient, age group and individual goals, such as diet and activities.

2. Remote monitoring should be interactive, where patients can contact their care team or receive education on their condition, medications and the importance of keeping readings within expected ranges.

3. Rather than push out information, a firm’s representative should be asking questions such as “Which of your COPD inhalers is the emergency one?” and educating the patient when responses are incorrect.

4. The company should keep outreach simple and interesting, taking a few minutes but not being repetitive. If approached with the same questions and education every day, patients won’t stick with their plans.

5. The platform should be scaled to the technological comfort level of the population.  Telephonic outreach may be necessary for the less tech-savvy.

6. The platform should be measurable. Ask for before-and-after effects of a population’s hospitalization utilization.  If that’s not tracked, require measurements of patient engagement.

7. Compare the service delivered to the billing criteria.  Most companies are sub-contractors that charge a percentage. The figure varies widely from firm to firm, though it’s never 100 percent of what Medicare is billed. Make sure you know what services and documentation the company must provide in order for Medicare to accept the invoice.

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 March 2017 06:25
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