Daily Health Care News

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Managed Care

Anthem Blue Cross Signs Up the Most Californians Under Health Law
Monday, April 21, 2014; Source: Los Angeles Times
Cross stayed ahead of the pack in California sign-ups and widened its lead over rival Blue Shield of California.

Affordable Care Act Only Chips Away at a Core Goal
Monday, April 21, 2014; Source: Associated Press
Swan Lockett had high hopes that President Barack Obama's health overhaul would lead her family to an affordable insurance plan, but that hasn't happened.

Love It or Hate It, Obamacare is Accomplishing Its Mission
Monday, April 21, 2014; Source: The Exchange
After six months of partisan drama over the Affordable Care Act, there’s finally enough reliable information to assess whether the law is doing what it was supposed to do.

Avoiding Healthcare Cost With Pricing Transparency Hype
Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 12:05 am ET; Source: Forbes
No less than two reports were published last week which fall loosely under the banner of healthcare pricing transparency.

Health Insurance Complaints Skyrocket in CA
Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 9:41 am ET; Source: NBC Bay Area
Even if you aren’t one of the 1.2 million people signing up for Covered California, chances are you’re feeling the pinch when calling your insurance company.

Accountable Care Organizations, Medical Homes

Reform Update: Patients Often Seek Care Outside of Their ACOs, Research Shows
Monday, April 21, 2014, 3:45 pm ET; Source: ModernHealthcare.com
Medicare accountable care organizations may find the incentive to manage healthcare quality and cost very weak.

Consumer-Driven Healthcare

Millions Slip into Obamacare 'Coverage Gap'
Monday, April 21, 2014; Source: CNN Money
They earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid, yet don't make enough to get federal subsidies to buy private insurance on an Affordable Care Act exchange.

Change Your Income, Change Your Health Insurance Plan
Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 11:03 am ET; Source: NPR
People who qualified for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act aren't necessarily locked into the plan they chose.

Looking at Costs and Risks, Some Skip Health Insurance
Tuesday, April 22, 2014; Source: Telegram
Steve Huber, an affable salesman who is still paying off an unexpected medical bill, was not among the millions of Americans who signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act during the enrollment period that ended March 31.

Healthcare Technology

Healthcare.Gov Users Told To Change Passwords After Heartbleed Review
Saturday, April 19, 2014, 2:14 pm ET; Source: Huffington Post
People who have accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the confounding Heartbleed Internet security flaw.

CMS Searching for Small Biz Vendors for Next HealthCare.gov Contract
Monday, April 21, 2014; Source: ModernHealthcare.com
The CMS is in the early stages of determining if a smaller vendor could take over HealthCare.gov when Accenture’s one-year contract expires.

Policy and Regulatory

Dems Want Government Health Care For All — No Matter the Cost
Saturday, April 19, 2014; Source: New York Post
With little fanfare, Vermont is preparing to become the first state to implement a single-payer, government-run health-care system.

The Most Misused Word in Health Care
Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 5:00 am ET; Source: CNN Money
Let's ban the word "rationing" from the health care debate.

Obama's Approval Rating Improves as Healthcare Drag Eases
Monday, April 21, 2014; Source: Los Angeles Times
President Obama’s job approval ratings have improved, if only slightly, from a low point during the winter, a trend that potentially could help embattled Democrats in key Senate races this fall.

Let Me Know When to Start Panicking About Health Care Spending Again
Monday, April 21, 2014, 8:49 am ET; Source: The Incidental Economist
For some time, we’ve seen a slowdown in health care spending.

Medicare and Medicaid

Medicaid Gets Affordable Care Act Bump in Pennsylvania
Monday, April 21, 2014; Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pennsylvania’s Medicaid enrollment is up by more than 18,000 people since the Oct. 1 launch of the Affordable Care Act’s online health plan marketplaces.

Medicare vs. Private Insurance: Which Costs Less
Monday, April 21, 2014; Source: Money CNN
Medicare has the bad rap of being a big, bloated government program, but it's not because it's overpaying doctors.

Privatization or Bust: The Big Reveal in Ryan's Latest Medicare Plan
Monday, April 21, 2014; Source: New Republic
Earlier this month, Loren Adler—a policy analyst at the Center for a Responsible Federal Budget—noticed a highly technical, but pivotal change to Paul Ryan's plan to overhaul Medicare.

Medicare Wants to Better Coordinate Care. Here’s Why That Could be Difficult.
Monday, April 21, 2014, 4:19 pm ET; Source: The Washington Post
Aside from expanding coverage, one of Obamacare's main goals is to better coordinate care, with the idea of lowering costs and producing better health outcomes.