Managed Care e-News
Dec. 31, 2013

Hospitals threaten Obamacare savings by exiting program
From July 2: Almost a third of 32 hospitals and health systems involved in an experiment aimed at changing the way medical providers are paid may exit the program, a potential threat to the Affordable Care Act's ambitious cost-saving goals. Medicare's "Pioneer" program is designed to save money by more efficiently managing care for patients with chronic diseases, such as diabetes and dementia.More

The most efficient healthcare systems in the world
The Huffington Post
From Sept. 3: As supporters and opponents of the Affordable Care Act debate the best way to overhaul a clearly broken healthcare system, it's perhaps helpful to put American medicine in a global perspective. This infographic is based on a recent Bloomberg ranking of the most efficient countries for healthcare, and highlights enormous gap between the soaring cost of treatment in the U.S. and its quality and effectiveness.More

The Affordable Care Act: They gave it the wrong name
By Dr. Jonathan Kaplan
From Oct. 15: Most Americans are thinking this major new piece of healthcare legislation, the Affordable Care Act, is going to make health insurance more affordable. Why? Picture me with my hands cupped on both sides of my mouth screaming, "because it's got the word 'affordable' in it!" And the word affordable suggests that current health insurance premiums will be less expensive, but this is not the case. Clearly, unarguably, they will be more expensive.More

Is this the end of health insurers?
The Washington Post
From July 9: In 2012, MedStar Health, like many large employers, struggled to keep up with rapidly rising healthcare costs. For three years, the company held down premiums for its 19,000 employees by absorbing the increases itself. Most employers would have had no choice but to raise premiums — in this case, by about $550 for a family — and cope with frustrated employees. MedStar, one of the Washington area's largest health systems, saw another option.More

How big is the penalty if you don't get health insurance?
From Nov. 12: Stories about the Affordable Care Act often tell readers that they'll have to pay a $95 penalty if they don't get adequate health insurance coverage. But, like a lot of other things I read about the health law, that's not quite correct. The penalty (which the Supreme Court said is actually a tax) could be less or, more likely, a lot more. It's a complicated story.More

Why should have been a mobile app
By Alex Bratton
Of all the problems with the site, perhaps the most baffling is why it was created as a website in the first place. The main target of the website is young, healthy millennials, those aged 18-29 years old. More

Obamacare Medicare Part D works, but critics call plan wasteful
U.S. News & World Report
It seems everyday there are reports on the latest glitch associated with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act. But word from a government agency is that seniors enrolled in the Medicare Part D portion of Obamacare are saving billions.More

Health insurance exchanges: What you need to know before you buy
Scott Kraft, a 40-year-old marathon enthusiast, spent more than a decade covering healthcare policy in the Washington, D.C., area as a reporter before transplanting to Portland, Ore., a few months ago. More

Budget request denied, HHS turns to health executives to finance Obamacare
The Washington Post
May 14: Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has gone, hat in hand, to health industry officials, asking them to make large financial donations to help with the effort to implement President Obama’s landmark healthcare law, two people familiar with the outreach said.More

The culprit behind high US healthcare prices
The New York Times
Elizabeth Rosenthal's eye-opening article about healthcare costs in The New York Times was a reminder of how much more Americans pay for given procedures than citizens in health systems abroad. What was probably more surprising to most readers was the huge price differentials for identical procedures &mdahs; not only across the United States, but even within American cities, where prices for a given procedure can vary tenfold.More

The coming liberation: Healthcare for all without Obamacare
From Aug. 20: Obamacare was pushed through on the promise of universal health coverage for everyone. But the CBO now scores Obamacare as leaving 30 million uninsured even 10 years after implementation. In fact, Obamacare will increase the uninsured rather than reduce them. Former CBO Chief Douglas Holtz-Eakin published a study in 2011 arguing that more than 40 million workers will lose their employer provided health insurance under the incentives of Obamacare.More

Some families will be ineligible for insurance subsidies under final rule
Kaiser Health News
From Feb. 5: Some families with costly job-based health coverage may be ineligible for federal subsidies to help them buy less expensive coverage through new online insurance markets, under final rules released by the IRS. The two rules, published by the Treasury Department, uphold earlier proposals outlining what is considered affordable, employer-sponsored coverage.More

FDA warns of rare acetaminophen risk
Medscape via WebMD
From Aug. 6: Anyone who develops a rash, blister or some other skin reaction while taking acetaminophen should stop using the drug and seek medical care immediately. The painkiller poses the risk for three rare but potentially fatal skin disorders, the FDA announced. The three serious, bad reactions that patients and doctors should watch out for are Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis and acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis.More