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Care Delivery

 

The second year of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) has proposed new option for participation, with clinicians able to join together in “virtual groups” to report on MIPS performance measures.

The average millennial—someone born between 1982 and 2000—is nearly twice as likely to become a registered nurse (RN) than a baby boomer, a “surprising surge of interest” potentially averting a large national shortage of nurses.

In 2016, there were more than 200 freestanding emergency departments (EDs) in Texas, the center of a boom in these sites of care. With far fewer restrictions on where they can be built compared to hospital-based EDs, most of these facilities have been built in areas where residents have higher household incomes.

The 626 health systems in the U.S. accounted for the majority of hospitals, beds and discharges in 2016, according to data released by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

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.

 

Recent Headlines

Physicians warn Trump immigration order will worsen doctor shortage, affect care

Two University of Pennsylvania Medical Center physicians said suspending immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries will have a negative impact on graduate medical education (GME) and the U.S. healthcare system as a whole.

Major organizations aim to change prior authorization requirements

A coalition of medical organizations led by the American Medical Association has released a 21-point plan to change when health insurers require pre-approval before patients can receive certain treatments, drugs or devices.

Illinois governor proposing new pharmacy rules after risky drug combinations go unnoticed

In response to a Chicago Tribune investigation, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is a backing of series of changes to the state’s oversight of pharmacies, including sending “mystery shoppers” to make sure pharmacists are warning customers when their prescriptions may have adverse effects when taken together. 

Anthem ending opioid treatment preauthorization nationwide

Anthem has reached a settlement with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to end its policy requiring prior authorization for medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid addiction.

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.

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