What We're Reading: Patchwork Health Insurance; Transforming Medicaid; EpiPen Shortage

August 23, 2018

Facing ever-increasing costs, some families are forgoing traditional medical insurance in favor of patching together an alternative using multiple sources; a new initiative led by former CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt is looking to transform Medicaid with actionable solutions to address the health and social determinants of vulnerable populations; before kids go back to school, sales of the EpiPen usually spike, but this year parents are scrambling to find the injector.

Consumers Patch Together Health Insurance

Facing ever-increasing costs, some families are forgoing traditional medical insurance in favor of patching together an alternative using multiple sources. Bloomberg News is outlining the lengths people will go to as they struggle to afford healthcare. The article highlights the decisions one family made that included joining a primary care clinic that charged a monthly fee and a healthcare sharing ministry, a religion-based cost-sharing plan. The number of people with traditional insurance is expected to decrease now that the Trump administration has dismantled certain aspects of the Affordable Care Act, such as the individual mandate.

Health Systems Join Forces to Transform Medicaid

A new initiative led by former CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt is looking to transform Medicaid with actionable solutions to address the health and social determinants of vulnerable populations. A total of 17 health systems, representing 5% of the nation’s hospitals, have joined the Medicaid Transformation Project. The project will focus on behavioral health, care for women and infants, substance use disorder, and avoidable emergency department visits. A core team at each health system will implement solutions, and all participants will share best practices across the network.

Parents Search for EpiPens Before School Starts

Before kids go back to school, sales of the EpiPen usually spike, but this year parents are scrambling to find the injector. Manufacturing issues and supply disruptions have caused a shortage of EpiPens, but there may still be ways to find the EpiPen, according to USA Today. Parents can call Mylan’s customers relations, which has extended hours to help locate pharmacies with the EpiPen. The FDA is also trying to alleviate the situation by extending expiration dates of certain lots by 4 months. In the future, shortages may not be as much of an issue now that the FDA has approved a generic version.