What we're reading, February 8, 2016: 12.7 million people signed up for Affordable Care Act coverage, but 30 million remain uninsured; HHS plans to continue to encourage Medicaid expansion; and report analyzes the effect of patient-centered medical homes on cost and quality.
While the Obama administration reported it had signed up 12.7 million people for coverage under the Affordable Care Act in 2016, a small increase from last year, there are still 30 people who remain uninsured, according to The Hill. While experts expect there will still be slow and steady progress chipping away at the uninsured rate, there is unlikely to be the sharp reductions that had been seen at the beginning of the health law’s implementation.
Kaiser Health News reported that the department is already gearing up for the next enrollment period, and also continuing to encourage states to expand Medicaid programs. Eventually, HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell predicts that rising rates of hospital closures and uncompensated care will push all states toward embracing the program expansion.
A report on the effect of patient-centered medical homes on cost and quality revealed that most of these initiatives are seeing positive outcomes. Becker’s Hospital Review reported that studies reporting on utilization showed reductions in one or more utilization category, and studies tracking costs revealed demonstrated reductions in at least 1 financial category. Finally, patient-centered medical home initiatives that were more mature had stronger improvements in both cost and utilization.