Health Law Implementation Progress, Issues Continue To Draw Attention
For starters, reports say the proposed rule for the measure's health exchanges is due out July 7. In addition, indications are that many public health provisions remain unfunded and movement toward electronic health records is still slow. And consumer advocates are reacting negatively to a scaled back Health and Human Services rule on consumer appeals. All the while, politics continue to be in play surrounding how both parties are pursing their health care agendas.
CQ HealthBeat: Proposed Exchange Regulation Due Out July 7
HealthBeat has learned the Obama administration plans to release its proposed regulation on state health insurance exchanges July 7. The rules governing the establishment of the exchanges, which under the health care overhaul law begin operating in 2014, are much anticipated by state lawmakers, insurers, employers and consumers. Under the law, states have until Jan. 1, 2013 to show Health and Human Services Department officials that they have a viable exchange in the works that can be operational by Jan. 1, 2014 (Reichard, 6/23).
The Associated Press: Report: Public Health Provisions Still Unfunded
A new report says many public health provisions in the nation's year-old health care law have not received funding, and other funded efforts are under political attack. The American Public Health Association is releasing the report Friday at a meeting in Chicago (6/24).
Modern Healthcare: APHA: Lack Of Funding Jeopardizes Reform-Law Goals
Just 11 of 19 public-health-related provisions of last year's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have received funding, keeping public health-worker positions from being created and jeopardizing the goals of the reform law, according to a report from the American Public Health Association, Washington (Barr, 6/24).
Politico: Health Care's Move From Paper To Pixels Slow
Electronic health records are at the center of some of the key reforms of the Affordable Care Act, because having reliable data to track patients, trends and possible fraud is one of the ways reformers think they will eventually be able to bend the cost curve (Dobias, 6/23).
The Hill: Consumers Slam New HHS Rules On Appeals
Consumer advocates aren't happy with revised regulations on the process for filing appeals when insurers deny claims. The advocacy group Consumer Watchdog accused the Health and Human Services Department of bowing to the insurance industry by relaxing some of the standards for review. HHS had initially proposed giving consumers 120 days after a denial to request an external review. The department shortened that window to 60 days in a final rule released Wednesday. The new draft also gave insurers more time to review urgent claims - 72 hours, compared with 24 hours in the earlier version (Baker, 6/23).
The Hill: Democrats Turn Routine Review Into Assault On GOP's Health Care Agenda
Energy and Commerce Democrats on Thursday sought to turn a routine review of the committee's accomplishments into an indictment of Republicans' health care agenda. While largely agreeing with the nonpartisan contents of the semi-annual activities report, Democrats introduced a slew of amendments requiring the committee to examine the effects of the Republican budget on Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries. The goal, they acknowledged, is to widen the panel's focus beyond efforts to repeal Democrats' health care reform law (Pecquet, 6/23).