News

Newly insured consumers under the Affordable Care Act have turned out to be sicker than initially estimated, according to health insurance companies, who are seeking rate increases of at least 20% to 40%, reported the New York Times.
Although nearly equal amounts of people view the Affordable Care Act favorably (43%) as unfavorably (40%), a majority of Americans say they approved of the Supreme Court's decision to continue to allow Americans living in states on the federally facilitated exchange to be eligible for insurance subsidies, according to a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Nearly one-fourth of patients with an opioid prescription for use for chronic pain will end up using the drugs in the long term, according to the result of a new study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
This week GOP presidential candidate hopefuls turned their attention to the 2016 election as the next best chance to repeal Obamacare, and CMS released data revealing $6.5 billion payments to healthcare providers from drug and medical device makers in 2014.
Dana Goldman, PhD, suggests that value for breakthrough therapies is most often associated with health benefits, health economics, and outcomes research; however, there are other sources of value that have not been taken into account yet.
The deal combines Humana's 3.2 million Medicare enrollees with Aetna's 1.26 million Medicare enrollees, giving the new combined company a strong position as the baby boomer population ages.

Research

Commonly used measures of performance for assessing patient access do not reflect PCMH-encouraged strategies to improve access that may be preferentially used by part-time physicians.
Variation in private spending reflects the ability of the local population to pay for healthcare, whereas variation in Medicare is more driven by health status.
Quality of care and relative resource use for patients with diabetes are not necessarily positively related. Further, the relationship varies by year, plan type, and region.
Although patients who refuse post acute care services are relatively young, well educated, and healthy, they are twice as likely to have 30- and 60-day readmissions compared with acceptors of services.
Focusing on quality and quality measurements has the potential to reduce costs, increase quality, and deliver more value to patients, consumers, and customers.
Home healthcare transition from hospitals for diabetic Medicare home healthcare beneficiaries can be improved by identifying risk factors for 30-day readmissions due to ambulatory care–sensitive conditions.
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