What’s New in Health Care Reform: Oct. 7

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What's New in Health Care Reform provides an overview of the past week’s news, updates, and commentary in health care reform and utilization management.


Feds Push Forward With Controversial Health Rule

The Obama administration is moving ahead with controversial new rules that require doctors to switch to electronic health records or face fees, resisting calls from both parties to delay implementation. Federal health officials said the final rules released will make “significant changes" in the "meaningful use" electronic health records program, such as lowering the number of standards each provider must meet and allowing providers to apply for hardship exemptions. Via The Hill.

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Chronically Ill Pay More In Obamacare Plans Than Employer Coverage

Chronically ill people enrolled in individual health plans sold on the Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges pay on average twice as much out-of-pocket for prescription drugs each year than people covered through their workplace, according to a study published in the Health Affairs journal. Via Kaiser Health News. 

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How Scrapping The Cadillac Tax Will Drive Up Health Care Costs

From Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side to key Republican lawmakers in Washington, including Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, there is a growing bipartisan push to repeal the so-called “Cadillac Tax” on high-cost health insurance plans that is due to kick in in 2018 under the Affordable Care Act. The problem is that people who really understand health care economics – including those who have supported and those who have opposed Obamacare – say repealing the tax is a terrible idea. Via The Fiscal Times.

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Study: Obamacare Premiums Rising 4.4 Percent in 14 Cities

While the average increase is relatively modest, some cities are seeing much larger spikes. It is also clear that premiums are increasing more than they did last year, when premiums in these 14 cities on average actually fell by 1.3 percent. Via The Hill.

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Hospitals Still Lead in Health Care Job Growth

The health care sector added 34,400 jobs in September, making up almost a quarter of new jobs in the U.S. for the month. Hospital hires led the health care sector, adding 15,500 for the month. Hospitals have created over 117,000 jobs in the first nine months of this year alone. Industry predictions earlier this year pointed to a stagnant hospital employment market. But other industries, like construction and transportation and warehousing are being left in the dust. The Affordable Care Act is boosting the strong numbers, experts say. Via Modern Healthcare.

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Health Care Reform: 3 Fixes That Could Make Obamacare Considerably More Effective

It's nearly been two years since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, ushered in a new wave of health care reform and redefined how we purchase health insurance and receive medical care. Although reviews of the health law are mixed, the early enrollment numbers would appear to suggest that Obamacare is finding the mark. Via The Motley Fool.

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Is Physician Employment Here To Stay In This Post-Reform Environment?

Anyone who has worked in the health care industry for any substantial period of time has experienced, and adapted to, a seemingly endless array of changes, trends, and developments, not the least of which is the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. One paradigm shift significantly impacting the physician workforce, as well as the physician recruiting industry, is the growth of physician employment opportunities, and the decline in private practice ownership. Via D Healthcare Daily.

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Emerging Markets are Leaving the U.S. in the Dust on Health Care

Universal health care is having a moment. In The New York Times, The Rockefeller Foundation placed a full-page ad declaring its support for 267 economists from 44 countries who have argued that universal health coverage policies are morally urgent and economically efficient. Among the most famous signatories of the declaration was former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, who in an op-ed in the Financial Times wrote that providing universal health coverage could exceed the costs of doing so by a factor of 10. Via Fortune.

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Seniors Tend To Quit Medicare Advantage When Health Declines

Senior citizens are switching from privately run insurance plans to traditional Medicare when they face serious, long-term health conditions, a study shows. Researchers at Brown University found that 17 percent of Medicare Advantage patients who entered nursing homes for long-term care chose to switch to traditional Medicare the following year. Only 3 percent of similar patients in Medicare made the decision to go to a private Medicare Advantage plan. Via NPR.

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Congress And Obama Administration Seek Ways To Limit Increase In Medicare Premiums

Congress and the Obama administration are frantically seeking ways to hold down Medicare premiums that could rise by roughly 50 percent for some beneficiaries next year, according to lawmakers and Medicare officials. The administration has criticized commercial insurance companies for seeking rate increases much smaller than that. Via NY Times.

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Kelley Schreiber

Kelley Schreiber is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Medical Laboratories. She is the principle editor and writer of Insights and leads social media and direct marketing strategy. Kelley has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2013. Outside of work, you can find Kelley running, traveling, playing with her new kitten, and exploring new foods.