What We're Reading: Public Housing Smoking Ban

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What we're reading, November 12, 2015: nationwide ban on smoking in public houses could have a huge economic impact; CMS barrier to sharing patient records on drug and alcohol abuse; an urgent care—ED hybrid model could save unnecessary costs.

Would Public Housing Smoking Ban Improve Population Health?

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has proposed a ban on smoking in public housing homes as well as on common property in these facilities, nationwide. While tenants are already objecting, there could be broader health implications of the rule. A CDC study estimates that such a ruling throughout the nation could save $153 million, $94 million being healthcare savings.

Read more in The New York Times.

CMS Policy on Patient Privacy Is Creating Havoc


New rules from CMS eliminate hospital and physician records on drug or alcohol abuse. Analyzing morbidity and mortality trends is impossible in the absence of this data, especially in some states in New England that have been marred by the heroin epidemic.

Read more in The Incidental Economist.

Urgent/Emergency Care Hybrid Model to Test Health Saving

Centura Health, a healthcare network in Colorado, has developed a new hybrid model aimed to reduce healthcare costs. Four centers within Colorado will provide emergency as well as urgent care services under the same roof, but billing will be based on the actual services rendered. For patients needing services for non-life threatening conditions, urgent care physicians—whose services cost less than emergency care—will be in charge.

Read more in Healthcare Finance.