Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Bipartisan Breakthrough Focusing On Arbitration May Kick-Start Stalled Surprise Medical Bills Negotiations

KHN Morning Briefing

Tackling surprise medical bills was touted as an issue that might actually make it through the severely divided Congress, but then talks broke down earlier in the year when it came time to choose a strategy to move forward with. Now a proposal from key House and Senate leaders, built on the idea of a dispute resolution system, could be gaining traction.

Medicare Advisory Commission Deems Payments To Ambulatory Surgical Centers As Already High Enough

KHN Morning Briefing

Eliminating the increase would produce cost savings for Medicare without hurting access to care or the willingness of ambulatory surgical centers to deliver services to Medicare beneficiaries, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission ruled. In other news, Saturday is the deadline for Medicare enrollment, but some advocates are calling for flexibility because of the difficulties some beneficiaries have encountered while trying to sign up.

Lawmakers Push For Independent Dispute Resolution Option For Dealing With Surprise Medical Bills

KHN Morning Briefing

The method that Reps. Joe Morelle, (D-N.Y.), Donna Shalala (D-Fla.) and Van Taylor (R-Texas) are trying to build support for is favored by many providers. Although many lawmakers want to address the issue of surprise medical bills, debate has raged over who gets stuck with the cost at the end of the day. Other news on health care costs focuses on: expensive emergency room visits, value-based care, hospital closures, and more.

Biden Seeks To Set Himself Up As Fiscal Moderate With $3.2T Tax Plan To Help Pay For Health Care Initiatives

KHN Morning Briefing

Former Vice President Joe Biden pitched a tax plan that includes a more moderate corporate tax increase in contrast with his progressive rivals. Biden “is committed to being transparent with the American people about the smart and effective ways he’d pay for the bold changes he’s proposing,” his campaign said. In other news, “Medicare for All” continues to be a landmine for Democrats. How did it get that way?

Government’s Decision To Cut Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments Paid Off For Rural Consumers

KHN Morning Briefing

A new study found that states that used “silver-loading” or “silver-switching” strategies to compensate for the cost-sharing reduction payment cuts offered lower premiums for subsidized enrollees. The Trump administration has solicited feedback on potentially banning silver-loading in 2021. In other insurance and costs news: bundled payments, penalties, health care sharing ministries and more.

Health Care Had Never Been A Top Priority For Warren, But Somehow It’s Become A Defining Issue Of Her Campaign

KHN Morning Briefing

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), known for having a plan for everything, started the race by signing onto Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) “Medicare for All” proposal. That decision has left her entangled with an issue that seems to be sinking her polling numbers and leaving both progressives and moderates unsatisfied, even though it wasn’t her policy to start with.

Veteran Health Care ‘Whenever, Wherever They Need It’: Use Of Telemedicine Spikes 17%

KHN Morning Briefing

Veterans Affairs has rolled out a telemedicine app, offers services online and in rural areas is opening telehealth clinics at VFWs. State restrictions were dropped for the VA, allowing VA physicians and nurses to administer care to veterans via telemedicine across state borders, regardless of state licensing. Other news on veterans is on treatment for toxic exposures and a tragic discovery.