KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Several Health Law Provisions Take Effect In New Year

While health exchanges and the Medicaid expansion grab most of the headlines, media outlets explore other, lesser-known provisions soon to take effect.

CQ HealthBeat: Health Law In The New Year: It's Not Just Exchanges And Medicaid
There's a lot happening in coming weeks to implement the health care law that has nothing to do with what everyone has been talking about in recent days — standing up health insurance exchanges, expanding Medicaid and establishing a new regulatory structure for the insurance market. Just consider the changes that occur starting Jan. 1. That day marks the start of the Medicare bundled payment pilot. It's a form of reimbursement that policy analysts hope will help bend down the upward curve in health care spending, together with other strategies. Hospitals, doctors and nursing facilities taking part in the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Initiative will get one payment for multiple services a patient receives during an episode of care (Reichard, 11/28).

Politico: ACA Boosts 'Shared Decision-Making'
What can they do when everyone seems to be trying to push aggressive, expensive treatments on them? One solution — or a partial solution — is known as shared decision making, in which patients are given specific tools, such as easy-to-understand videos laying out the pros and cons of treatment choices, to help them make decisions along with their doctors (Kenen, 11/29).

Bloomberg: Unaffordable Costs Seen For Some Under Affordable Care Act
To Megan Hildebrandt, President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act means she can no longer be denied health insurance because of her lymphatic cancer. There's a big catch: Coverage for the 28-year-old artist and many other Americans without insurance will come at a potentially unaffordable cost. ... The landmark health-care law, which survived the threats of repeal and a Supreme Court review, now confronts another hurdle: living up to expectations. As the administration spells out the details, many uninsured will be surprised at how much they will have to pay (Faler, 11/28).

Bloomberg: Insurers Join Former Adversaries To Publicize Health Law
Aetna Inc. and other insurers that initially fought President Barack Obama's health-care overhaul are reversing course and supporting the effort by funding a group planning to spend $100 million to help the uninsured get coverage. Enroll America, a nonprofit created two years ago, has gathered support from the insurers that opposed the law and consumer organizations such as Washington-based Families USA that supported it. The new organization plans a broad-based educational campaign to make uninsured people aware of the health-care law's benefits and help them sign up, said Ron Pollack, Enroll America's chairman (Wayne, 11/29).

Meanwhile, a Gallup survey measures public thoughts on the government and health coverage -

Politico: Poll: Health Coverage Not Federal Government's Job
For the first time in 12 years, a majority say it is not the federal government’s responsibility to ensure that health care coverage is provided to all Americans, according to a poll on Wednesday. Only 44 percent believe the government should guarantee health care coverage, and 54 percent believe it has no such responsibility, according to a Gallup survey (Robillard, 11/28).

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