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Care Delivery

 

Group market insurance plans had premiums increase by an average of 3 percent this year, the sixth consecutive year of a single-digit hike and well below the 20 percent jump in non-group market premiums, while employers continue to search for ways to cut costs through different sites of care and wellness programs.

Just a month earlier, Anthem had announced it wouldn’t offer ACA exchange coverage in the state, blaming “continued uncertainty” surrounding the law.

Sixty-three cities and counties and more than 70,000 enrollees in Virginia are now at risk of having no insurer participating in their Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange for 2018, a problem which had appeared to be solved in other parts of the country just two weeks prior.

Ground has been broken on a $270 million medical campus in Frisco, Texas, that will be jointly operated by Texas Health Resources and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

In the first three months of this year, 8.8 percent of the U.S. population lacked health insurance, a slight decrease from the final 2016 numbers as the big gains in coverage from the Affordable Care Act appear to have ended.

 

Recent Headlines

5 northeast Missouri health systems form collaborative network

The goal of creating better care coordination is pushing traditional competitors into more collaborative agreements. The latest example comes from Missouri, where 5 health systems announced the formation of a new health network encompassing more than 9,300 employees and approximately 1,000 employed and affiliated physicians.

Large consumer survey finds that patients link billing experience to perception of care quality

In a national online survey of healthcare consumers, two thirds reported consistently being surprised by medical bills despite the fact that nearly all desired upfront cost estimates and valued these nearly as much as other clinical factors in their decision making, including outstanding bedside manner, prompt test results and accurate diagnoses.

Consumer advocacy group launches campaign to shame 20 health systems into ending bus screenings for heart conditions

Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group that claims more than 300,000 members and supporters, on Thursday shared 20 letters it had sent to 20 hospitals and health systems in eight states asking them to end their relationships with HealthFair, a Winter Park, Florida-based company that provides cardiovascular health screenings on buses.

MedPAC June report proposes per-beneficiary payment for primary care

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has a new idea for what should replace the primary care bonus that is set to expire in 2015: Pay primary care physicians a set fee for every Medicare patient that is part of their panel.

Will healthcare providers become social safety net providers, too?

A new report from the Commonwealth Fund lays out the economic incentive the Affordable Care Act (ACA) creates for healthcare providers to address social disparities along with medical needs.

Surgeons largely left out of ACO efforts

Although surgical procedures are among the most expensive of claims, Accountable Care Organization (ACO) cost reduction efforts don’t pay much attention to surgery as an area where possible waste in healthcare delivery may occur finds a new study published in Health Affairs.

Anthem/HealthCare Partners ACO says it saved $4.7 Million in California healthcare cost in just six months

The analysis of healthcare spending by Anthem Blue Cross and HealthCare Partners in California offers one of the first large documented examples of how accountable care organizations (ACOs) may trim costs in the commercial PPO population.

Hospital saves $500,000 in fall prevention but sees little of savings itself

Simple low-cost changes can make a big difference in the overall cost of care is what New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, North Carolina, recently found when it crunched the number on its Lean management effort in fall prevention. However, it also found that most of those savings went to the government, insurers and patients, and not the hospital.

AHRQ publishes tool to reduce hospital readmissions

A key quality measure for many payment systems is a hospital’s rate of preventable readmissions, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) new Re-Engineered Discharge (RED) Toolkit aims to help institutions improve their numbers.

4 ideas for better integration of palliative care in medicine

Medicine as practiced today has lost its acceptance of the finite nature of human life and this is leading to negative consequences for elderly patients with multiple health problems, argues physician and nurse palliative care experts a Health Affairs commentary.

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