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Blue Cross’s payment program gives doctors a fixed amount of money to take care of their patients. When doctors stay on budget and improve care, they can earn bonuses. If not, they can be penalized. “This contributes to a growing sense that smarter ways of paying for health care are going be to an important part of the solution to rising health care costs,” said Katherine Baicker, dean of the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.
The Department of Veterans Affairs sent out one rejection letter to each of the 208,272 applicants in 2016 before purging them from the backlog, despite requests that the agency send an additional letter.
The American Hospital Association spoke out in support of CMS’ decision to hold off on releasing the ratings, which have long provoked push back from the industry over the methodology the agency uses.
The legislation, which passed the House by a 402-12 vote, would fund all current and future medical claims from 9/11 survivors through 2090.
The Health Subcommittee sent the bill, which includes an additional $12 billion over four years for Puerto Rico, to the full House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Lawmakers said that there was no time to address the recent corruption scandal over a government employee allegedly stealing Medicaid dollars in the current bill, but that members will work to add oversight to the funding.
President Donald Trump’s drug pricing strategy received its second major blow this week on the announcement that the proposal to eliminate drug rebates in Medicare and Medicaid plans will be withdrawn. In January, HHS Secretary Alex Azar said that the proposal had “the potential to be the most significant change in how Americans’ drugs are priced at the pharmacy counter, ever.” But the changes met significant pushback from insurers and hospitals who worried the proposal wouldn’t force drugmakers to lower prices and would likely see higher profit margins from it. Looking forward, Trump will be left considering ideas that are more popular with progressives than his party.
Two decades ago Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) took a similar trip with Americans on the hunt for lower drug prices. The trip is scheduled to leave from Detroit two days before the next Democratic presidential primary debates which will be held in that the city on July 30 and 31.
2020 hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said she would spend $1 billion to encourage states to clear rape kit backlogs and invest in reforms, including requiring rape kits to be tested within narrow time frames, counting and reporting untested kits, and giving victims information about the status of their testing. The issue received national attention in recent years after it came to light how many states and counties have crushing backlogs of kits.
Physicians who trained before the 2003 limits on work hours typically logged about 100 hours a week. When that was capped at 80 hours a week, some worried it wouldn’t be enough to properly train the doctors. But a new study finds that there were no difference in hospital deaths, readmissions or costs from the change.
The three-year program, dubbed the Connected Care Pilot, would support a limited number of projects, focusing on pilots that help providers “defray” the broadband costs of bringing telemedicine to low-income Americans and veterans.
The wide-ranging executive order includes proposals to increase accessibility for at-home treatments, encourage kidney donations to address shortages, launch a public awareness campaign, develop artificial kidneys and more. President Donald Trump touted the plan as a “a first, second and third step” toward improving kidney care for Americans.
During closely watched oral arguments over the constitutionality of the health law, a federal appeals court voiced skepticism that a central feature of the Affordable Care Act is constitutional, though it appeared to struggle with whether that meant the legislation should be struck down in its entirety. Media outlets take readers inside the courtroom for the play-by-play. Meanwhile, what will happen if the law is struck down? The potential headaches go beyond the big headlines about loss of coverage to calorie information on menus, lactation rooms, and more.
News outlets report on stories related to pharmaceutical pricing.
Opinion writers focus on these health care topics and others.
Recent decisions in court cases come as concerns mount over the growing consolidation of hospitals and physician practices and the impact on prices and total health spending. In other health industry news: jobs, blood pressure devices, and artificial intelligence.
HHS will announce an agency-wide initiative to encourage home dialysis and also to ramp up better prevention and screening for kidney disease, Politico reports. The plan could upend the kidney care market, and face serious pushback from big dialysis chains that are eager to protect $24 billion a year in revenue.
Countries with government-run, universal health care often still place tough restrictions on providing that care for immigrants in the country illegally. Yet the idea is a popular one among the 2020 Democratic candidates. The New York Times looks at what would be involved in implementing the policy. In other news from the campaign trail: former Vice President Joe Biden promises to bring back the individual mandate if he’s elected, the complexities of “Medicare for All” continue to divide candidates and more.
In a strongly worded report, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General said the prolonged detention of migrants without proper food, hygiene or laundry facilities — some for more than a month — requires “immediate attention and action.” Photos in the report show how extensive the problems at the facilities are.
More than half of the facilities analyzed in a new report met the expected staffing level less than 20% of the time. In other news on nursing homes, a look at the poorest performing of Tennessee’s facilities.
EPA released a rule restricting but not banning asbestos. “We won’t pull any punches,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said. “There’s too much at stake to let the EPA ignore the danger that deadly asbestos poses to our communities.”