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What We're Reading: Opioid Addiction Bill Receives Near Unanimous Senate Vote


What We’re Reading, July 14, 2016: Inaccurate provider directories in California health plans; atehnahealth survey identifies low physician engagement; and opioid addiction bill will soon be law.

Inaccurate provider directories under the California Marketplace plans and commercial plans might be responsible for a major mess in the healthcare market in the state, according to a new Kaiser study published in Health Affairs. Using pseudo shoppers, the authors tried to contact 743 doctors, listed as primary care physicians, in 5 of the 19 insurance Marketplaces in California, but were able to make appointments less than 30% of the time, due to reasons including bad numbers and lack of response to messages. The study also found confusion about whether a provider was in-network or out-of-network.

Data from athenahealth: physician engagement is low across the board, and particularly in primary care. The company released results from its 2016 Physician Leadership and Engagement Index, which found that only 20% of physicians are engaged with the institutions they work for. The report was based on a survey conducted in January 2016 among 2011 practicing physicians. Overall, the survey found better engagement among male physicians and that the engagement level was higher when the practice was physician-owned or was an independent medical group or practice.

The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act has passed the Senate by a margin of 90-2, following its approval in the House last week by a vote of 407-5. The Senate voted late last night to advance the bill that aims to treat those suffering from addiction to prescription painkillers and heroin. The bill, however, may not receive the $1.1 billion requested by the Obama administration. Funding authorization is expected in September once Congress is back from summer recess.

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