What we're reading, November 2, 2015: third open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act kicks off; common medical tests are being done inaccurately; and hospitals and the government settle over cardiac device implants.
Open Enrollment Goes Off Without a Hitch
Over the weekend, the third open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act opened without a hitch. The Washington Post reported that 40,000 applications were submitted through HealthCare.gov during the first 6 hours of operation. But it wasn’t all good news for the president’s healthcare reform: while HealthCare.gov and the state sites opened shop without incident, just days before open enrollment kicked off, yet another co-op—nonprofit, consumer-focused health plans—closed up shop.
Common Medical Tests Sometimes Inaccurate
A growing number of medical tests are being waived from oversight because they are considered so simple and accurate, but they are often being done incorrectly, reports Journal Sentinel. A spot check of facilities doing these tests found less than half were in compliance with policies in place to ensure safe, quality care.
Hospitals, Government Reach $250 Million Settlement Over Cardiac Device
The Justice Department has reached settlements totaling more than $250 million with 457 hospitals that implanted cardioverter defibrillators in violation of Medicare coverage requirements, according to Chicago Tribune. Medicare sets a waiting period up to 90 days before implanting the cardiac device, which costs $25,000, because trials have shown the heart often recovers its own rhythm without the intervention of the pricey device. The hospitals in question all implanted the device too soon.