FOCUS OF THE WEEK
Hospitals Press GOP in Another State for Medicaid Expansion: This Time, It’s Kansas
Hospital leaders express the same concerns heard in Florida, Alabama, and elsewhere since the midterms: refusing to expand Medicaid to the working poor leaves thousands without coverage, and they still come to emergency rooms for routine care. The problem is, the Affordable Care Act assumed that expansion would be universal, and funds to care for the uninsured have dried up.
Budget to Offer Details of Personalized Medicine Initiative, While CMS Moves to Pay for Key Tests
As the personalized medicine initiative takes shape, word comes that CMS will pay for key genetic tests in lung cancer. This policy shift is a sea change after a long period of frustration for test makers in seeking reimbursement.
Iowa’s Branstad to Hire Managed Care Firms for Medicaid Program
Iowa's unique brand of Medicaid expansion and its efforts to improve mental health delivery gained notice in 2014. The announcement this week had few details except that it seeks to save $51.3 million in first half of 2016.
ASCO Announces Partner for Groundbreaking CancerLinQ Platform
A major technical partner is announced for the long-awaited HIT initiative that will give oncologists a data-derived "second opinion" right from their desktops, with the earliest versions scheduled to come online this year.
A Look at the Unhealthiness of Sitting, and a Call for More Research on Its Effects
The meta-analysis published today and an accompanying editorial should serve as a wake-up call for healthcare organizations about the costs of caring for aging populations that have spent much of their lives behind desks and watching TV.
Weekend Contract Agreement Averts Kaiser Permanente Nurses’ Strike
The tentative agreement, which must be ratified by 18,000 RNs, calls for a 14% raise over 3 years and retirement protections, as well as safety steps including training to prevent nurses from being harmed by infectious diseases such as Ebola.
Is California’s Move to Limit UnitedHealth Access Fair to Consumers?
Covered California's leader says its decision is only fair to those insurers who took on the risk of a brand new marketplace in 2014. But the state's insurance commissioner says limiting choices is unfair to consumers.
Kaiser Study Suggests Need for Managed Care Solutions as Medicare Beneficiaries Age
The aging US population means that Medicare is taking care of more older, sicker people for longer periods of time. Population trends suggest this phenomenon will only increase, unless drastic management and healthcare delivery solutions are found.
Are Cigarette Taxes a Way to Help Alabama Ease the Transition to Medicaid Managed Care?
Hospitals have endorsed the movement toward Regional Care Organizations (RCOs), which would guide the transition away from fee-for-service. But a looming budget gap is an immediate concern, while Alabama's Medicaid costs keep climbing.
Retail Clinics Addressing Physician Shortages, Cost Concerns Among Consumers
The increasing popularity of retail clinics to provide basic care is bring driven by many factors, including consumer interest in transparency, cost, and convenience. Malls are beneficiaries of the shift.