Health Law Implementation: What’s Ahead In 2012?
Fox Business reports on what it sees as the five major health law elements in the pipeline this year. Meanwhile, other coverage focuses on the final round of health plan waivers issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, more about accountable care organizations, explanations of why private exchanges might catch on and details of the health law's contraception policies.
Fox Business: Health Care Reform You Can Expect In 2012
There's a busy year ahead for health care reform as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as the Affordable Care Act, continues to reshape America's health care system. It became law in 2010. ... While this year's five major reforms lay the groundwork for a more efficient and sustainable health care system, "from the patient perspective, a lot of this is behind the scenes," says Dr. Glen Stream, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. One change some consumers will welcome: a rebate check from those health insurers that failed to spend a sufficient portion of premiums directly on patient care last year (MacDonald, 1/6).
Modern Healthcare: CMS Issues Final Round Of Health Plan Waivers
Health insurance policies covering about 3.3 million people may temporarily continue under the final round of CMS waivers for employer-sponsored plans that do not meet provisions of the 2010 healthcare law. The waivers, announced Friday on a CMS website, apply to health insurance policies—mostly for mini-med plans—offered to the workers of 1,231 employers (Daly, 1/8).
Boston Globe: Understanding Accountable Health Care Organizations
More than 150,000 seniors in Eastern Massachusetts who are enrolled in traditional Medicare plans have received a letter in the mail -- or will soon -- informing them that their doctors are part of a newfangled health care system. Each accountable care organization, or ACO, is aimed at making sure patients get "the right care, in the right place, at the right time,"’ the letter says (Conaboy, 1/9).
Denver Post: Colorado Partnership On Medicare Reform Rewards Doctors For Better, Cheaper Care
For hundreds of doctors in Colorado treating nearly 30,000 Medicare patients, saving the federal government money now means earning a bonus. One of the touted platforms for health-care reform is now launched in Colorado, with U.S. approval of Physician Health Partners' "accountable care organization" potentially transforming treatment for seniors on Medicare. Backers of the new partnerships — Colorado has one of 32 given the nod last month — say they will improve coordination of care while saving money for the largest health spender, Medicare (Booth, 1/9).
CQ HealthBeat: Private Exchanges May Be Poised To Spread — With Uncertain Impact On Health Law
Insurers and employers may be on the verge of spurring the formation of private insurance exchanges around the United States — a move that could make government exchanges less attractive to consumers. Exchanges — a centerpiece of the health care law's insurance market overhaul — are places consumers can compare health plans and sign up for the one they like best (Reichard, 1/6).
NPR: Has Obama Waged A War On Religion?
If you're looking for evidence that the Obama administration is hostile to faith, conservatives say, the new health care law is Exhibit A. The law requires employers to offer health care plans that cover contraceptives. Churches don't have to, but religiously affiliated charities, hospitals and colleges do (Bradley Hagerty, 1/8).