What We're Reading: Bracing for CBO Analysis; Observation Care; and Workplace Wellness


CBO Analysis of GOP Health Bill Coming

Almost a week after Republicans unveiled their healthcare reform bill, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is expected to reveal its analysis. According to AP, the expectation is that the CBO will show a reduction in coverage in contradiction to President Donald Trump’s promise that everyone will have insurance. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) tried to head off Democrat attacks on this point by saying he expects the report to show fewer Americans will have coverage since the plan eliminates the individual mandate.

Informing Medicare Patients of Observation Care

Even when Medicare patients stay overnight in a hospital, they may be admitted under observation care, which results in patients paying more. A new federal law would require that hospitals inform Medicare patients when they are getting observation care, reported Kaiser Health News. Some states had already required that hospitals notify observation patients. Now, hospitals must notify patients if they want to get paid for treating Medicare beneficiaries.

Providing Employers Insight Into Personal Medical, Genetic Information

Republicans have proposed legislation that would let employers get easier access to workers’ personal medical and genetic information. The New York Times reported that the bill in the House would also increase financial penalties for people who opt out of workplace wellness programs. Advocates, such as AARP and the American Diabetes Association, oppose the legislation, as do House Democrats. The bill has yet to be considered by the Senate.

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