KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Sebelius Credits Health Law With Slowing Medical Cost Growth

News outlets report on various aspects of the health law's implementation.

The Hill: Sebelius: Health Law Has Slowed Growth In Medical Costs
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Thursday credited President Obama's health care law with a recent slowdown in medical spending. The Congressional Budget Office has projected a significant slowing in the growth of Medicare spending and healthcare costs more generally (Baker, 3/7).

McClatchy: Few Insurers Now Cover Services Required In 2014 Under Health Care Law
Just 2 percent of health plans available to consumers in the private insurance market offer all the coverage that will become mandatory next year under the health care overhaul, a new analysis has found. That means that only about one in 50 plans are now in compliance with the main requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to HealthPocket Inc., a Sunnyvale, Calif., technology firm that "compares and ranks" health plans. And consumers and the federal government might end up paying the cost of those new requirements in higher premiums (Pugh, 3/7).

Modern Healthcare: CMS Adds 20 More Organizations To Care Transitions Program
Twenty more organizations will join the 82 already participating in the CMS's community-based care transitions program, launched in 2011 under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The program was designed to reduce hospital readmissions among high-risk Medicare beneficiaries. Close to one in five Medicare patients -- or about 2.6 million seniors -- are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of discharge. That comes at a cost of more than $26 billion a year, the government estimates. With the 20 additional sites, the program will be offering care transition services to more than 700,000 patients in 40 states (Landen, 3/7).

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.