FOCUS OF THE WEEK
AJMC’s Dr Fendrick Elected to Institute of Medicine
The Institute of Medicine announced yesterday that A. Mark Fendrick, MD, co-editor-in-chief of The American Journal of Managed Care and a national leader in efforts to reform healthcare reimbursement strategies, is among 70 new members elected to the prestigious body.
How Do Today’s ACOs Differ From ’90s Managed Care?
As accountable care organizations, or ACOs, proliferate across the United States, a question arises for both veteran healthcare leaders and consumers: is the ACO something new, or just a relabeling of managed care vehicles created during the last wave of healthcare reform? A well-run ACO offers something better than the managed care of prior years, according to presenters at the gathering of the ACO and Emerging Healthcare Coalition, which took place October 16-17, 2014, in Miami, Florida.
Repeal or Replace: Healthcare on the Mind as Midterm Elections Approach
Despite continued Republican opposition to the Affordable Care Act, sentiment is shifting from repeal to replace. Still, the fact that open enrollment on HealthCare.gov begins after the midterm elections does not seem like a coincidence to the GOP.
Despite Being Satisfied with ACA Coverage, Consumers Are Expected to Shop Around During Open Enrollment
A majority of Americans covered by the Affordable Care Act are expecting to change plans for 2015, which may be a smart move, according to industry experts. People who simply re-enroll may not realize they are no longer among the lowest costing plans, which will affect how much their subsidies pay for.
Report of Second Texas Nurse With Ebola Fans Hospital Safety Fears
Health officials from CDC and the state of Texas are reeling in the wake of today’s report that a second nurse at the Texas hospital that treated Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan has tested positive for the virus. The news came while health leaders were still trying to determine how 26-year-old nurse Nina Pham contracted Ebola while caring for the first patient diagnosed with the disease on US soil. Meanwhile, the largest nurses' union says its members report that most hospitals are not ready for an Ebola patient.
Survey of Anticipated FY 2015 Medicaid Growth Finds More Expected in States that Approved Expansion
A survey by Kaiser Family Foundation projects 13.2% overall growth in Medicaid through fiscal year 2015, but the difference between states that expanded the program and those that did not will be stark. The survey of state Medicaid directors also finds 23 states plan expansion of managed care in the next year.
Transition to Managed Care Proves Rough for Ohio Dual Eligibles, Reports Say
Ohio is the latest state to experience a rough transition to managed care in its Medicaid program, according to weekend reports. Delayed payments and service disruptions to fragile patients are among the complaints. Kentucky had a similar bumpy start when it changed to Medicaid managed care in 2011, and Kansas has had many problems recently.
Less Imaging in Cardiac Stress Tests Could Add up to Managed Care Win, Study Finds
A study conducted at NYU Langone Medical Center finds that unnecessary radiation in cardiac stress tests costs $500 million a year and causes nearly 500 cases of cancer. Greater use of ultrasound or treadmill tests could save money and improve patient safety; however, earlier studies by The American Journal of Managed Care point out possible barriers to these options.
Near-Term Pressures Will Hold Healthcare Spending in Check, According to NEJM
Even though roughly 9 million Americans have gained healthcare coverage, other forces related to the “anemic recovery” will keep healthcare spending under control, at least in the short term, writes Charles Roehrig, PhD, in a commentary published online yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Amid Good News, CDC Data Show Uptick in Deaths From Suicide
Amid yesterday’s good news from the CDC that Americans are living longer than ever was a sobering fact. Rates for the top 10 causes of death all fell from 2011 to 2012, save one: suicide. The death rate increased from 12.3 to 12.6 deaths per 100,000 people.