Healthcare IT Interoperability, EHR interoperability, Hospital Interoperability

Healthcare Policy

CMS Adjusts Medicaid 1115 State Innovation Waiver Processes

by Thomas Beaton

CMS is attempting to streamline the approval process for Medicaid 1115 state innovation waivers by implementing new policies that prioritize transparency, the agency announced in a bulletin. The agency has adjusted 1115 waiver policies in...

Why the Generic Drug Market is a Growing Payer Opportunity

by Thomas Beaton

As payers try to ease the rising costs of prescription drugs, which account for 10 percent of national healthcare spending, they may wish to turn to the generic drug market to help curb unnecessary spending and improve profitability....

Improving Price Transparency around Generic Drugs for Payers

by Thomas Beaton

Increasing pricing transparency around generic drugs could offer significant advantages to payers, including lower prices and more favorable reimbursement negotiations, according to a report from USC Brookings. Better understanding of...

Reinsurance Changes Payers Can Expect Under the ACA in 2018

by Thomas Beaton

ACA federal reinsurance policies have undergone a transformation since their introduction from four years ago. Payers should continue to prepare for larger changes of federal and state ACA reinsurance in 2018. Reinsurance programs have...

ACA Open Enrollment Rate Expected to Drop Up to 13% in 2018

by Thomas Beaton

Analysts expect up to a 13 percent drop in open enrollment on the ACA marketplace exchange in 2018,  according to Standard and Poor’s Global (S&P Global). Only 10.1 million to 11.4 million individuals are expected in enroll...

Providers Seeing Even Mix of Public, Commercially Insured Patients

by Thomas Beaton

Providers are seeing a fairly even mix of Medicare, Medicaid, and commercially insured patients with fewer uninsured individuals than before the ACA, according to the AMA’s Physician Practice Benchmark Survey. In 2016, forty-three...

Before CSR Cuts, ACA Health Plans Expected Stable Premiums

by Thomas Beaton

Had cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) under the Affordable Care Act remained in place payers would only expect modest premium increases with some continued profitability, a USC Brookings report found. However, the uncertainty...

CBO: Alexander-Murray Healthcare Bill Could Save $3.8B

by Thomas Beaton

The Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act of 2017, also known as the Alexander-Murray compromise bill, would save the federal government $3.8 billion without drastically changing the number of individuals with health insurance, the...

AMA: Payers Operate in Extremely High Concentrated Markets

by Thomas Beaton

Payers have significant control of their respective healthcare markets as 69 percent of payers offering HMO, PPO, POS, and public health exchanges operate in very high concentrated markets, AMA found in a study of national insurance...

Alexander-Murray Bill Offers ACA Market Stabilization, Flexibilities

by Thomas Beaton

A new bipartisan bill proposed by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) is an attempt to stabilize and protect provisions of the ACA while allowing for greater state flexibility to manage healthcare. The Bipartisan...

Iowa Withdraws 1332 Waiver for Insurance Market Stabilization

by Thomas Beaton

Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen has withdrawn his state’s application for a 1332 waiver to stabilize its insurance markets in 2018.   The proposed stopgap measure  included a single, standardized plan available to...

Bipartisan Senate Compromise May Reinstate CSRs, Alter 1332 Waivers

by Thomas Beaton

Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TX) and Patty Murray (D-WH)  have floated a bipartisan deal to reinstate the ACA’s cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) and boost individual enrollment outreach in exchange for alterations to the state 1332...

States Approve Premium Hikes after Loss of Cost Sharing Reductions

by Thomas Beaton

Several states have decided to either increase or maintain expected premium increases on individual and small group plans following the President’s decision to end the cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) that cover the cost of many...

Payers Express Concern Following Cost-Sharing Reduction Cuts

by Thomas Beaton

Several payer organizations have expressed deep concerns after President Trump announced plans to end the cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies for ACA individual plans. Organizations including AHIP, AMA, and AHA have previously urged...

Trump Plans to End Cost Sharing Reduction Subsidies for Payers

by Jennifer Bresnick

The White House has announced plans to scrap the Affordable Care Act cost sharing reduction subsidies for health insurers that have helped to keep premiums low and stabilize markets subject to the individual mandate. The announcement came...

Executive Order Eases ACA Rules on Association Health Plans

by Thomas Beaton

An executive order signed by President Trump will lighten rules on association health plans (AHPs), which could allow groups of businesses to provide lower cost insurance without essential health benefits (EHBs), as reported by multiple...

Medicare Fraud Schemes Bring Jail Time, Admissions, Repayments

by Thomas Beaton

Medicare fraud is always a risk for such a large program, but federal crackdowns on waste, abuse, and improper payments are serving as a stern warning to providers who may be considering taking advantage of the system.   The Office...

Senate to Vote on Funding CHIP for Five Additional Years

by Thomas Beaton

A bipartisan bill to continue CHIP funding for five more years and transition to a state-federal partnership will move to a Senate vote after being approved by the Senate Finance Committee.   The “Keep Kids’ Insurance...

HHS Nixes Proposed Rule for Health Plan Compliance Documents

by Thomas Beaton

HHS has withdrawn a proposal for a rule that would have required controlling health plans (CHPs) to submit additional information and documentation demonstrating compliance with HHS operating rules, the agency posted in the Federal...

6 Ways VA Can Improve Administrative Management of Care Delivery

by Thomas Beaton

Even though VA has taken steps to improve administration and management of its healthcare delivery systems, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found six action items that allows the VA to adjust policies that improve data sharing...

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