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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

CMS: 45% of provider locations in Medicare Advantage directories are inaccurate

A CMS review of provider directories set up by Medicare Advantage plans found many listed the wrong phone numbers or locations for physicians or incorrectly labeled physicians as accepting new patients.

Long-term uninsured made up most of ACA’s initial coverage gains

People who had gone three years or more without having health insurance made up more than half of the gains in coverage in 2014, the first year of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s insurance marketplace and Medicaid expansion. 

Half of ICU patients didn’t need intensive care in single-center study

More than half of intensive-care unit (ICU) patients (53 percent) at one large teaching hospital would have received more appropriate care in a different, less intensive setting. 

WellCare acquires Arizona health plans, names new leadership

Medical insurance company WellCare Health Plans has acquired two Arizona health plans and named a new executive to oversee the transition.

Pennsylvania medical college integrates with Geisinger Health System

The new year has brought the final approvals to legally integrate Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Medical College into Geisinger Health System, creating the new Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine.

Healthcare.gov sign-up deadline pushed back

HHS pushed back the deadline for customers to buy coverage on the Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s federally run insurance exchange, giving buyers until Dec. 19 to pick a health plan which will go into effect in the new year.

New ACO model for dual-eligible beneficiaries announced by CMS

CMS has announced the creation of the Medicare-Medicaid Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model, aiming to improve care coordination for beneficiaries who are enrolled in both programs.

Mississippi ranked last in annual state health report

High levels of smoking and poverty contributed to Mississippi being ranked 50th in the 2016 edition of America’s Health Rankings from the United Health Foundation, which also identified some national trends which could reverse recent gains made in other categories of health.

ACA exchange sign-ups outpacing last year

The number of enrollees in plans offered on health insurance exchanges has increased slightly compared to the last open enrollment period, with sign-ups accelerating before the deadline to get coverage starting Jan. 1, 2017.

Flu vaccine coverage well below CDC targets

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported only 40 percent of Americans have received this season’s flu vaccine. It’s about the same coverage as the prior season—but well behind the agency’s target of 70 percent.

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