Eric Whitney

Obamacare Is No Stumbling Block For Taxpayers This Year

KHN Original

If you haven’t done your taxes yet, this ad from H&R Block might make you feel even more anxious. Meg Sutton, H&R Block’s senior advisor for tax and health care services, offered some details on what the big changes are. “So the big changes are, really, just filing that return,” she explained. “And so, getting into the […]

Officials Unveil More Details Of Colo. Exchange Funding

KHN Original

A week after approving a tax on health insurance policies, Colorado officials are offering more details of their plans to fund the state’s health insurance exchange after federal backing runs out in 2014. Last week the state’s exchange board approved, with broad support,  a 1.4 percent fee on all policies sold in the exchange. This […]

Colorado Sets Its Exchange Fee

KHN Original

The price of policies in Colorado’s health insurance exchange will include a 1.4 percent fee to help fund exchange operations. The state’s exchange board voted to enact the fee Monday. Board Chairwoman Gretchen Hammer characterized it as lean compared with the 3.5 percent fee the federal government is expected to tack on to policies sold […]

Hospitals Hook Up With Drugstore Giants To Lower Readmissions

KHN Original

Patients who leave the hospital only to have to be readmitted within a few weeks cost U.S. taxpayers more than $17 billion a year.  In October, the federal government started cracking down on hospitals, penalizing them if too many of their patients bounce back. That has hospitals searching for help from the corner drug store […]

Study: Expanding Medicaid Cheaper Than Not In Colorado

KHN Original

Opponents of the Medicaid expansion called for in the Affordable Care Act say states can’t afford it, even with the federal government picking up most of the tab. But a new analysis says it would actually be more expensive for Colorado to not expand Medicaid. “While Medicaid expansion is not free, the combination of federal […]

Colorado Will Expand Medicaid, Governor Announces

KHN Original

Gov. John Hickenlooper said Colorado will expand its Medicaid program as much as the federal health care law calls for, and he said the state won’t have to spend any extra money to make it happen. The federal health overhaul law requires states to significantly expand the health care program for the poor, but when […]

School Cafeterias Join Fight Against Childhood Obesity

KHN Original

Kathy Del Tonto started cooking school food 30 years ago in the Montrose school district at the foot of Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. Back then, the cafeteria workers made everything from scratch. “My first kitchen that I managed was a little country school out south of town, and we made our own ketchup and everything,” she […]

Colorado Gov Pitches Plan To Mend Mental Health Safety Net

KHN Original

In a grim coincidence, just days after the mass killing in Newtown, Conn., Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is proposing an $18.5 million plan to strengthen the state’s mental health system. The proposal is the result of five months of work by a group of advisors convened by Hickenlooper in the wake of a mass shooting in July at an […]

The Price Is Right There In Front Of You, In Colorado At Least

KHN Original

The price of a knee MRI in Colorado varies from $350 to $2,336. It’s a huge gap, but it’s also remarkable that the prices themselves are known at all. Prices for health care aren’t public in most states, making shopping for the best deal nearly impossible. Different patients pay different prices for the same procedures […]

Denver Health: Low Readmission Rate Not Easy To Emulate

KHN Original

If Denver Health can do it, every hospital ought to be able to do it. That’s the implicit challenge of the new Medicare penalties for high hospital readmission rates that will be hitting 2,211 American hospitals come October. Denver Health, despite being a safety net hospital, won’t be paying a penalty: It has an enviably […]

Doctors Will Have To Figure Out Who Gets ‘No-Cost’ Birth Control

KHN Original

The new provision of the federal health law that waives cost sharing for women’s preventive health services may be a mandate on insurance companies, but it’s providers who are complaining about its burden. That’s because not all women are eligible for the cost sharing waiver at the same time. The rule went into effect Wednesday, […]