FAQ: Grandfathered Health Plans

KHN Original

If you get your insurance from your employer, there’s a very good chance that you are in a “grandfathered plan,” and that means some of the provisions of the health law do not apply to you – yet.

CBO Says Medicare Spending Growth Slower Than Expected

KHN Original

Amid its grim projections for the economy overall, the Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday said that Medicare spending growth is slowing, although the program will take up a larger share of the economy in a decade than it does now. In an update to its January report on the nation’s budget and economic outlook, CBO […]

Group Health’s ‘Learning Health System’ Keeps Innovations Moving

KHN Original

At Group Health, a nonprofit health system in Washington state, doctors and researchers are collaborating to make sure the latest health care innovations don’t just sit on the shelf. They’ve adopted a strategy known as a “learning health system,” which creates a feedback loop of sorts between the system’s medical and research sides, including the […]

Economists Say Market-Based Approach Will Curb Costs Best

KHN Original

A market-based effort to control health care spending would provide Medicare beneficiaries with fixed subsidies, rather than the current system’s open-ended ones, a trio of conservative health economists said Wednesday. The economists said in an online paper for the New England Journal of Medicine that while the 2010 federal health law aims to slow health […]

Israel’s Health Care In The Spotlight After Romney Cost Comments

KHN Original

Mitt Romney caused quite a stir earlier this week when he applauded Israel for spending far less on health care than the United States but neglected to mention that the Israeli system depends on the kind of government regulation he has decried at home. Romney on Monday highlighted the fact that Israel spends 8 percent […]

Medicaid Costs Loom Over States’ Tepid Economic Recovery

KHN Original

Updated at 4:45 p.m. on June 13. States continue to struggle with Medicaid costs, a factor that looms over their tepid economic recovery, according to a report released Tuesday. The economic outlook for the states is starting to brighten, but growth is slow and budgets still are tight, said the National Governors Association  and the […]

D.C. Health Program For Illegal Immigrants Avoids Cuts

KHN Original

A public health insurance program that primarily serves illegal immigrants in the District of Columbia avoided the chopping block Tuesday under a budget compromise approved by the D.C. Council. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) earlier this spring recommended cutting hospital-based care from the HealthCare Alliance program to save more than $20 million in the District’s […]

Advocates Worry States Are Moving Too Fast On Dual Eligibles

KHN Original

Some states likely will begin testing new ways to care for people who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid early next year—a timeline that has some advocates urging officials to slow down. Finding high-quality, cost-effective ways to care for the 9 million people known as “dual eligibles” is among the brass rings of health policy.  […]

Few Doctors Consider Themselves Rich, Survey Says

KHN Original

Few doctors think of themselves as rich, and only about half think they’re fairly compensated, according to survey results released this week by Medscape. The annual survey isn’t scientific — and perhaps, not surprising, either — but it offers insights into what nearly 25,000 physicians earn, and how they view that number. In 2011, compensation self-reported by surveyed physicians ranged […]

Study: Higher U.S. Costs For Cancer Care May Be ‘Worth It’

KHN Original

Higher U.S. spending for cancer care pays off in almost two years of additional life for American cancer patients on average compared to their European counterparts — a value that offsets the higher costs –according to a study in the April issue of the journal Health Affairs. While previous studies have suggested U.S. cancer patients […]

Feds To Test Paying For Medicaid Patients With Psychiatric Emergencies

KHN Original

A group of states is testing whether Medicaid patients who seek emergency psychiatric care at private psychiatric hospitals are better off if the federal government picks up part of the costs. Right now, the federal government does not help states pay for inpatient psychiatric care for many Medicaid patients—a longstanding policy meant to discourage states from […]

Despite Best Intentions, Californians Don’t Talk About End-Of-Life Wishes

KHN Original

Most Californians say it is important to plan for end-of-life care but far fewer have done so, a gap that means they may not spend their dying days the way they wish. According to a survey released Tuesday by the California HealthCare Foundation, 70 percent of Californians said they would prefer to die at home, […]

Mass. Nurse-Midwives No Longer Need Physician OK To Practice

KHN Original

Certified nurse-midwives in Massachusetts no longer need to have a physician sign on the dotted line in order to work in the state. Under a new state law, nurse-midwives do not have to practice under a physician’s supervision.  Instead, they will be required to practice within a health care system and have a clinical relationship […]

Dream Of A Medical ‘Price List’ Dies In Florida Legislature

KHN Original

Imagine if finding out the cost of a particular treatment or procedure at a doctors’ office was as easy as locating the prices of entrees at a restaurant. The menu might read: school physicals – $40; office visit for a cold – $80; diabetes screening – $200. But to the dismay of some consumer advocates, this push for […]

Do Different Birth Years Mean Different Insurance Statements For Twins?

KHN Original

By the time newborn Freya Humenny joined her twin brother Beckett this past weekend, the calendar already had turned from 2011 to 2012. That means the twins always will have their own birthdays—but will they share an insurance statement? The twin’s mother, Stephanie Peterson, gave birth to Beckett at 6:40 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2011, […]