Confession of a Liberal
By MARGALIT GUR-ARIE TRIGGER WARNING: Long read, Trump Reason #1: Feeling the Bust. I am a woman and I am an immigrant to this country. I am Jewish by birth and atheist by faith. I am fairly well educated, borderline socialist and straight Democratic ticket voter. I have no use for guns, I despise hunting, and I believe the death penalty is state sponsored murder. I think abortions are perfectly fine and I think everybody should be free to choose how they use their own body for their own happiness and joy. I have no respect for authority, strength, power or large wads of cash. Come to think of it, I have no respect f...
Source: The Health Care Blog - June 15, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Fight Aging! Newsletter, June 13th 2016
FIGHT AGING! NEWSLETTER June 13th 2016 Fight Aging! provides a weekly digest of news and commentary for thousands of subscribers interested in the latest longevity science: progress towards the medical control of aging in order to prevent age-related frailty, suffering, and disease, as well as improvements in the present understanding of what works and what doesn't work when it comes to extending healthy life. Expect to see summaries of recent advances in medical research, news from the scientific community, advocacy and fundraising initiatives to help speed work on the repair and reversal of aging, links to on...
Source: Fight Aging! - June 12, 2016 Category: Research Authors: Reason Tags: Newsletters Source Type: blogs

The Black List: Features Which Should Be In Most EMRs/EHRs (But For Some Reason Aren’t)
By HAYWARD ZWERLING, MD I have been in the health information technology field since 1990 when I began creating ComChart EMR. It was a labor of love which ultimately evolved into a small business. From 2004 until 2012, ComChart EMR had amongst the highest KLAS rating of all EMRs in the small ambulatory care group. From 2011 until 2015, ComChart EMR was certified by the ONC for Meaningful Use Stage I. Unfortunately, the technical requirements arising from Meaningful Use mandates and changes in market conditions required that I stop selling ComChart EMR in 2015. As a result of the 2.5 decades I spent creating ComChart EMR, I...
Source: The Health Care Blog - June 9, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Futuring the EHR: Features Which Should Be In Most EMRs/EHRs (But For Some Reason Aren’t)
By HAYWARD ZWERLING, MD I have been in the health information technology field since 1990 when I began creating ComChart EMR. It was a labor of love which ultimately evolved into a small business. From 2004 until 2012, ComChart EMR had amongst the highest KLAS rating of all EMRs in the small ambulatory care group. From 2011 until 2015, ComChart EMR was certified by the ONC for Meaningful Use Stage I. Unfortunately, the technical requirements arising from Meaningful Use mandates and changes in market conditions required that I stop selling ComChart EMR in 2015. As a result of the 2.5 decades I spent creating ComChart EMR, I...
Source: The Health Care Blog - June 9, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Tech Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

The Roles that Investors Play in the Development of Rejuvenation Therapies
I notice that later this month there is a networking event for investors interested in longevity science and the opportunities to invest in the field, with Aubrey de Grey, Sonia Arrison, and some of the other folk who move in Thiel Capital circles. It is taking place in Menlo Park in the California Bay Area on the 21st: Launching Longevity: Funding the Fountain of Youth Can technology make human longevity a reality? As the pace of discovery accelerates, scientists and entrepreneurs are closing in on the Fountain of Youth. Disrupting the aging process by hacking the code of life, promises better health and l...
Source: Fight Aging! - June 9, 2016 Category: Research Authors: Reason Tags: Healthy Life Extension Community Source Type: blogs

Parity ‘Warning Signs’ And An Employer Shared Responsibilty Estimator
The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA), as amended by the Affordable Care Act, requires that group health plans and insurers in the group and individual markets ensure that financial requirements and treatment limitations on mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) benefits are no more restrictive than requirements and limitations imposed on medical and surgical benefits. This prohibition applies both to quantitative (numerical) limitations, like visit limits, and to non-quantitative (NQTL-non-numerical), limitations such as pre-authorization requirements. Under the MHPAEA regulations, ...
Source: Health Affairs Blog - June 8, 2016 Category: Health Management Authors: Timothy Jost Tags: Equity and Disparities Following the ACA Insurance and Coverage employer coverage mental health and substance use disorder parity Source Type: blogs

The Value of Having Core Values
The airline passenger was upset with the flight crew. So she wrote a letter to the CEO to inform him she did not approve of how the crew was making jokes while doing the pre-flight safety checks. In her letter to the CEO, she made clear that security announcements ought to be taken serious because of how important they were.   As it turns out, the passenger that wrote the letter was a frequent flyer of the airline. Surely a customer the airline wants to keep. Right? So how did the CEO respond? “We’ll miss you” and added, “Rest assured that this company, like all good airlines, take safety very,...
Source: Pediatric Inc - May 25, 2016 Category: Pediatrics Authors: pediatricinc Tags: Leadership Patient Experience Patient Interactions Airlines Announcements Communications core values customer experience customers Flyer Frequent Flyer Southwest Airlines Source Type: blogs

The Value of Having Core Values
The airline passenger was upset with the flight crew. So she wrote a letter to the CEO to inform him she did not approve of how the crew was making jokes while doing the pre-flight safety checks. In her letter to the CEO, she made clear that security announcements ought to be taken serious because of how important they were.   As it turns out, the passenger that wrote the letter was a frequent flyer of the airline. Surely a customer the airline wants to keep. Right? So how did the CEO respond? “We’ll miss you” and added, “Rest assured that this company, like all good airlines, take safety very,...
Source: Pediatric Inc - May 25, 2016 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Brandon Tags: Leadership Patient Experience Patient Interactions Airlines Announcements Communications core values customer experience customers Flyer Frequent Flyer Southwest Airlines Source Type: blogs

The High Cost of Obama's Overtime Edict
The Obama administration this week announced final regulations doubling the salary threshold (from $23,660 to $47,476) at which most employers must pay time-and-a-half overtime to white-collar workers, and indexing future thresholds to advances in the wage level. Employees 25-34 and those with a bachelor’s degree are expected to be the most heavily affected groups; among sectors expected to be hard hit are not only retail chains, restaurants, and small businesses that hire on-site managers, but also colleges and even food co-ops. As colleague Jeffrey Miron observ...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - May 20, 2016 Category: American Health Authors: Walter Olson Source Type: blogs

FDA is Defending Deeming Regulations from Well-Placed Criticism By ... ... Lying
Last week on The Source, a Texas Public Radio news show, a spokesperson for the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) was confronted with a very solid and well-placed criticism of the agency's e-cigarette deeming regulations. The host asked her how she could defend these regulations in the face of uniform statements by vaping companies that "this is so onerous that this is going to drive them out of the business."In response, the CTP spokesperson defended the regulations by stating: "It's important to remember that we're talking about products that kill people."The Rest of the StoryLet's get the facts...
Source: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary - May 16, 2016 Category: Addiction Source Type: blogs

First Lawsuit Filed Challenging FDA Deeming Regulations
Yesterday, the first lawsuit was filed which challenges the legality of the FDA’s electronic cigarette deeming regulations. The suit was filed in the D.C. District Court by Nicopure Labs, a maker of vaping devices and e-liquids. The complaint alleges that the FDA deeming regulations are in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and the First Amendment. There are three claims under the APA:1. The FDA has interpreted the term “tobacco products” way too broadly and in a way which is inconsistent with the Tobacco Act. Nicopure points out that the FDA has construed the term “tobacco product&...
Source: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary - May 11, 2016 Category: Addiction Source Type: blogs

Winners and Losers from the FDA's Vaping and Cigar Crackdown
In the Food and Drug Administration’s crackdown on what is now a thriving market for vaping products (nicotine and flavorings delivered without tobacco through a vaporizing device), Trevor Burrus has identified one group that is likely to emerge as winners from the regulations, namely large tobacco companies, which have lost many smoking customers to the vaping market without being notably successful at playing in it themselves. Another set of winners? Governments whose treasuries are enriched by conventional cigarette sales. Under the 1998 tobacco settlement, which I and others at ...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - May 10, 2016 Category: American Health Authors: Walter Olson Source Type: blogs

Health Affairs Forum: The Future Of The Individual And Small Group Markets
The Affordable Care Act included provisions for online health insurance exchanges where individuals and small employers can shop for health insurance coverage and determine if they are eligible for tax credits and other subsidies. State and federal marketplaces for individual enrollees are up and running, but they face ongoing challenges maintaining affordable and attractive products. Meanwhile, implementation of the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) exchanges has been delayed and has not provided small businesses with the new coverage options the law’s architects envisioned. Please join us on Wednesday, M...
Source: Health Affairs Blog - May 9, 2016 Category: Health Management Authors: Lucy Larner Tags: Elsewhere@ Health Affairs Health Affairs events SHOP enrollment SHOP marketplace Source Type: blogs

Small Business Opportunity to Develop Cell Line Identification Tools
Misidentified and contaminated cell lines are believed to be a significant cause of irreproducible and non-generalizable research results. Although this issue has been widely discussed, including on this blog, surveys have shown that many researchers find the costs, time and effort of cell line authentication to be barriers to using it as a routine quality-control measure. There’s a new trans-NIH Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) initiative that aims to reduce these barriers and make cell line authentication affordable and routine. Along with other parts of NIH, we’re participating in a fundin...
Source: NIGMS Feedback Loop Blog - National Institute of General Medical Sciences - May 9, 2016 Category: Biomedical Science Authors: Dr. Kristine Willis Tags: Funding Opportunities Rigor and Reproducibility Source Type: blogs

Why Big Tobacco Loves the New FDA E-Cig Regulations
Today the FDA issued new rules regarding the sale and production of e-cigarettes and e-cigarette “juice” (the nicotine solution that e-cigs vaporize). The regulations will severely hamper a thriving and highly competitive market, and “big tobacco” is jumping for joy. It is often difficult to explain to non-free-market types how and why big business loves big government. The song is always the same: we need big government to stop and control big business. Today’s rule offers a great lesson in why that isn’t always the case. Like most big companies, big tobacco is stuck in a rut–name...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - May 5, 2016 Category: American Health Authors: Trevor Burrus Source Type: blogs

Ted Cruz Finally Criticizes Trump’s Tariff Proposal
In his push to stop Donald Trump in Indiana, Ted Cruz has finally taken a principled stand against Trump’s economy-crushing proposal to impose a 45% tariff on all imports from China.  This comes after months of Cruz equivocating on trade policy and even adopting Trump’s own rhetoric (“we’re getting killed at international trade”) at a debate less than two months ago.  Here’s what Cruz said on last Sunday’s Meet the Press: Donald’s only economic agenda is imposing massive taxes on the American people with a 40 percent tax hike of a giant tariff.  That would send...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - May 4, 2016 Category: American Health Authors: K. William Watson Source Type: blogs

DNC Chair Mistakenly Claims that Cole Amendment Will Make it Harder to Regulate E-Cigarettes
Last week, during the mark-up of the FY17 Agriculture appropriations bill, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)--who is Chair of the Democratic National Committee--argued that passage of an amendment (the Cole amendment) that would prohibit the FDA from requiring pre-market applications for e-cigarettes that are currently on the market would "make it harder to regulate this product."The proposed FDA deeming regulations would require every electronic cigarette product on the market to submit a pre-market application in order to remain on the market. Such an application, which would take an estimated 5000...
Source: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary - April 25, 2016 Category: Addiction Source Type: blogs

Arguing for Cryonics Providers to Integrate with the Funerary Industry to Spur Growth
Cryonics is the low-temperature vitrified storage of at least the brain on clinical death, with good evidence for it to preserve the fine structures that store the data of the mind. For so long as the mind is maintained, there is a chance that future technologies and societies will become capable of restoration. A small non-profit industry offers cryopreservation services for the few people who choose to avoid the certain oblivion of the grave, but growth into a sizable competitive market has proven elusive. This is important because growth is largely agreed to be necessary for longer-term survival of cryonics organization...
Source: Fight Aging! - April 22, 2016 Category: Research Authors: Reason Tags: Daily News Source Type: blogs

New Guidance On SHOP Online Enrollment Requirements
Implementing Health Reform. Although the Affordable Care Act’s individual health insurance marketplaces have received far more attention, the ACA also created Small Business Health Options (SHOP) marketplaces, where small businesses and their employees can purchase insurance coverage. The SHOP marketplaces were intended to be operated through an online portal like the individual marketplaces. Small employers would go online and identify a qualified health plan or set plans in which their employees could then enroll in online for coverage. Although the SHOP program was launched in 2014, during the first year the ...
Source: Health Affairs Blog - April 19, 2016 Category: Health Management Authors: Timothy Jost Tags: Following the ACA Insurance and Coverage 1332 waivers SHOP enrollment SHOP exchanges SHOP marketplace Source Type: blogs

Little Shop of Wonders
Something has been missing for a while. Ever since we've been living here in Yonkers, I've been longing for a gift shop that made me feel that magical "A-ha" factor. I usually shop discount and Marshalls for myself, but when I want to find a special gift I turn to a shop with a little bit of magic and charisma I need small, local and inviting. Yesterday I found that shop.A gaze in this store's window LA DENTELLIERE brought me insideOn a beautiful sunny spring day I ventured out into the town of Scarsdale - set to explore the delightful storybook town. I fed some quarters into the meter and took off...
Source: Life is like a sandwich...enjoy the big bites. - April 17, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: French friendly gift shop local business Scarsdale NY welcoming Source Type: blogs

Congress Is Getting a Special Exemption from ObamaCare--and No, It's Not Legal
The Heritage Foundation’s John Malcolm and I have a new oped where we draw from newly uncovered to documents to show that the officials who bestowed upon Congress its own special exemption from ObamaCare likely violated numerous federal laws. Malcolm is a former assistant U.S. attorney, a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, and the current chairman of the Criminal Law Practice Group of the Federalist Society. First, a little background. The Affordable Care Act threw members and staff out of the Federal Employees Healt...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - April 15, 2016 Category: American Health Authors: Michael F. Cannon Source Type: blogs

Tax Reform at Ways and Means
A number of House Republicans have testified to the Ways and Means Committee about their ideas for overhauling the tax code. Rep. Roger Williams testified about his plan this week. And Reps. Michael Burgess, Devin Nunes, and Robert Woodall presented their plans a couple weeks ago. Here are a few notes: Michael Burgess Flat Tax. Rep. Burgess testified in favor of a classic Hall-Rabushka flat tax, which is the plan that has been supported by Steve Forbes and Dick Armey. The tax is named after economists Robert Hall and Alvin Rabushka, who is an adjunct scholar at Cato. The Burgess plan would have a 19 percent rate (dropping ...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - April 15, 2016 Category: American Health Authors: Chris Edwards Source Type: blogs

CMS Releases Final Summary Of Benefits And Coverage Template, Accompanying Materials (Update)
Implementing Health Reform (April 11 Update on Vertical Choice). In the 2017 Benefit and Payment Parameters rule the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) created a new option for employer choice in the federally facilitated Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) exchanges and in state-based exchanges that use the federal enrollment platform (SBE-FP states): vertical choice. In the first year of operation of the FF-SHOP, 2014, employers could only choose a single plan to offer their employees. In the second year, 2015, a second option became available in states that permitted it: “horizontal cho...
Source: Health Affairs Blog - April 7, 2016 Category: Health Management Authors: Timothy Jost Tags: Following the ACA Insurance and Coverage advanced premium tax credits SHOP exchanges States Summary of Benefits And Coverage Source Type: blogs

The Continuing Anti-Trade Adventures of Ted Cruz
Ted Cruz’s campaign has produced a new ad targeting Wisconsin voters in the lead up to that state’s primary election tomorrow. As images switch back and forth between farms and factories, Cruz lists off a number of generic demographics and blue collar occupations that his campaign “is for.” He also complains about international trade. Here’s the substantive part of the ad: We will repeal Obamacare, peel back the EPA and all the burdensome regulations that are killing small businesses and manufacturing.  I’m going to stand up for fair trade and bring our jobs back from China.&nb...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - April 4, 2016 Category: American Health Authors: K. William Watson Source Type: blogs

Nurse Keith's April Fools' Day Instagram Roundup
Hello, friends! In honor of April Fools' Day and the end of an intense week of nursing, coaching, writing, and running a small business as a nurse entrepreneur, I thought I'd share some fun images that are up on my Instagram feed. I've been having loads of fun on Instagram, checking out what nurses are up to on that image-driven platform; I wanted to share some of the fun here on Digital Doorway with those of you who may not yet be playing over there on IG. Enjoy, and happy April Fools' Day!The above image is a photo of me being nibbled on by Teal, my friendly Arabian neighbor. He's a hoot and a holler, and there's nothing...
Source: Digital Doorway - April 2, 2016 Category: Nursing Tags: nurse nurses nursing Source Type: blogs

Nurse Keith's April Fools' Day Instagram Roundup
Hello, friends! In honor of April Fools' Day and the end of an intense week of nursing, coaching, writing, and running a small business as a nurse entrepreneur, I thought I'd share some fun images that are up on my Instagram feed . I've been having loads of fun on Instagram, checking out what nurses are up to on that image-driven platform; I wanted to share some of the fun here on Digital Doorway with those of you who may not yet be playing over there on IG. Enjoy, and happy April Fools' Day! The above image is a photo of me being nibbled on by Teal, my friendly Arabian neighbor. He's a hoot and a holler, and there's ...
Source: Digital Doorway - April 2, 2016 Category: Nursing Tags: nurse nurses nursing Source Type: blogs

Zubik v. Burwell Oral Arguments: Under Contraceptive Coverage Accommodation, Conscientious Objectors Or Collaborators?
In conclusion, General Verrilli argued that the case was about two alternatives: the government’s serious attempt to accommodate the religious beliefs of the petitioners by creating a system that allows them to exempt themselves from providing contraceptives while protecting their employees, versus an approach that would extinguish the rights of the petitioners’ employees who do not share their religious beliefs until Congress set up a separate program—which would still not provide the seamless coverage the ACA envisioned. He reminded the Court that eight appellate courts had come down on the side of the ...
Source: Health Affairs Blog - March 24, 2016 Category: Health Management Authors: Timothy Jost Tags: Equity and Disparities Following the ACA Insurance and Coverage Medicaid and CHIP contraceptives preventive services Religious Freedom Restoration Act Zubik v. Burwell Source Type: blogs

HHS Marks Sixth Anniversary Of Affordable Care Act (Update)
Implementing Health Reform (March 23 update). Two and a quarter years into the implementation of the health insurance marketplaces we are nearing, but have not yet reached, the fully electronic systems envisioned when the ACA was signed into law six years ago. This is evidenced by two guidances which the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released on March 22, 2016. In the first guidance, CMS announced that it is delaying for one more month the full transition to a “policy-based payment system” for paying insurers advance premium tax credit and cost-sharing reduction payments. Through the end...
Source: Health Affairs Blog - March 22, 2016 Category: Health Management Authors: Timothy Jost Tags: Costs and Spending Drugs and Medical Technology Following the ACA Insurance and Coverage Medicaid and CHIP Medicare Quality ACA gains ASPE GAO Medicare Part D Prescription Drugs small employer Source Type: blogs

Repeal of Small-Business Provision of the ACA Creates Natural Experiment in States
A recent, rare act of bipartisan unity has led to a change in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that could impact the affordability and availability of health plans for small and midsize employers. As originally enacted, the ACA expanded the definition of small employer from one with 50 or fewer employees to one with 100 or fewer, starting in 2016. However, state regulators, as well as insurer and business interests, raised various concerns about the expanded definition and Congress passed the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act (PACE Act) in the fall of 2015.         (Source: ...
Source: The Commonwealth Fund: Blog - March 22, 2016 Category: Global & Universal Source Type: blogs

Government-Directed Lending Comes to America
In perhaps the greatest example of wishful thinking we’ve seen in recent times, the Consumer Financial Protection Board Administrator Richard Cordray testified before Congress last month that banks and credit unions should step up their loans to low-income workers with poor credit by creating new products that compete with payday loans. It is a notion that’s completely at odds with the actions of the CFPB as well as the capabilities of banks and credit unions. Since its inception the CFPB has all but declared war on payday and title loan companies, the two entities that do the most lending to people with poor o...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - March 16, 2016 Category: American Health Authors: Ike Brannon Source Type: blogs

CMS Posts Slides From 2016 Qualified Health Plan Issuer Conference
Implementing Health Reform. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regularly publish at the REGTAP.info website (free registration required) presentation slides from CMS conferences and webinars. For the past several days they have been posting slides from sessions at the 2016 Qualified Health Plan (QHP) issuer conference which was held in Baltimore from March 2 through 4, 2016. CMS has posted more than 20 slide sets so far, covering the full range of topics covered by the 2017 Letter to Issuers, including network adequacy, changes in the Small Business Health Options (SHOP) program, and machine readabil...
Source: Health Affairs Blog - March 11, 2016 Category: Health Management Authors: Timothy Jost Tags: Following the ACA Insurance and Coverage Federally Facilitated Marketplace Maintenance 834s qualified health plans Source Type: blogs

Oregon Legislature Repeals Laws of Supply & Demand
Like the apocryphal story of the state legislature that passed a law dictating that pi equals 3, the Oregon state legislature has passed two laws that pretend the laws of supply & demand don’t exist. The difference is that, in reality, no state legislature ever did pass a law saying that pi equals 3, but Oregon’s legislature is totally ignoring basic economic principles. First, earlier this week, the legislature passed a new minimum wage law increasing the minimum to as high as 14.75 per hour in the Portland area by 2022 (with lower minima for other parts of the state). This will supposedly be the highest i...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - March 4, 2016 Category: American Health Authors: Randal O'Toole Source Type: blogs

CMS Releases Final 2017 Letter To Issuers In The Federally Facilitated Marketplaces (Updated)
Implementing Health Reform (March 3 update). On March 3, 2016, the Office of the HHS Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) announced that the ACA has resulted in gains in health insurance coverage of 20 million adults through February 22, 2016. This includes 2.3 million young adults who gained coverage under the ACA provision allowing young adults to remain on their parents’ coverage through age 26, and 17.7 million non-elderly adults who have gained coverage between the beginning of open enrollment in October 2013 and the present. The report shows continued progress since ASPE released its last...
Source: Health Affairs Blog - March 3, 2016 Category: Health Management Authors: Timothy Jost Tags: Following the ACA Insurance and Coverage Alaska Medicaid expansion QHPs Supreme Court Source Type: blogs

IN MY VIEW: FDA Bears Responsibility for Increasing Number of Severe E-Cigarette-Related Injuries; Wasting Time with Product Applications was a Doomed Approach
The FDA bears responsibility for the growing number of severe injuries occurring as a result of exploding e-cigarette batteries because rather than acting quickly to regulate e-cigarette safety, the agency dragged its feet, wasting its time in creating a bureaucratic nightmare based on prohibitively expensive product applications that do nothing to directly protect the public's health.The problem of exploding e-cigarette batteries appears to be a growing one, and these explosions are resulting in severe, often debilitating injuries. While most of the explosions have occurred while the batteries were charging, some have occ...
Source: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary - March 1, 2016 Category: Addiction Source Type: blogs

New Section 1332 Guidance A Mixed Bag For States
In December, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of the Treasury released new guidance on how the agencies will evaluate state applications for the ACA’s Section 1332 State Innovation Waivers. Prior to this release, the only guidance on 1332 waivers was a regulation on the waiver application process. A substantive attempt to define the contours of the waiver—which would allow a state to waive major provisions of the ACA to experiment with different coverage models, so long as it offers comparably comprehensive and affordable coverage—was eagerly awaited by states and inter...
Source: Health Affairs Blog - February 29, 2016 Category: Health Management Authors: Heather Howard and Dan Meuse Tags: Costs and Spending Featured Insurance and Coverage Payment Policy culture of health Hawaii healthcare.gov Massachusetts Minnesota Section 1332 waivers SHOP marketplace States Vermont Source Type: blogs

Fix high-deductible health insurance. But it won’t be easy.
May I whine for a few sentences, please? My staff and I have a high-deductible medical insurance plan. As the costs of coverage increased each year, we had to find a product that we could afford for our small private practice. As any small business owner knows, margins are tight, revenue is declining and expenses inexorably rise. And physicians, unlike other retailers, cannot raise our fees. Would you want to invest in a company with this business model? If so, then contact me directly. High-deductibles health plans are painful for consumers. The first several thousand dollars are borne by the individual. While we have an ...
Source: Kevin, M.D. - Medical Weblog - February 26, 2016 Category: Journals (General) Authors: Tags: Physician Health reform Source Type: blogs

Where the rubber meets the road: Small businesses and Alzheimer’s research
If we hope to translate what we are learning about Alzheimer’s disease into health, safety, and emotional well-being benefits for Alzheimer’s patients and their families, then small businesses have a vital role in making that happen. The NIA recently published two funding opportunity announcements for small businesses focused on Alzheimer’s disease. One targets the Small Business Innovative Research program and the other the Small Business Technology Transfer program. Both have an initial submission date approaching rapidly—April 5. And if peer reviewers smile upon your application, you can eve...
Source: Inside NIA: A Blog for Researchers - February 17, 2016 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Mack Mackiewicz, Program Director, Division of Neuroscience Source Type: blogs

Where the rubber meets the road: Small businesses and Alzheimer ’s research
If we hope to translate what we are learning about Alzheimer & rsquo;s disease into health, safety, and emotional well-being benefits for Alzheimer & rsquo;s patients and their families, then small businesses have a vital role in making that happen. The NIA recently published two funding opportunity announcements for small businesses focused on Alzheimer & rsquo;s disease. One targets the Small Business Innovative Research program and the other the  Small Business Technology Transfer program. Both have an initial submission date approaching rapidly & mdash;April 5. And if peer reviewers smile upon ...
Source: Inside NIA: A Blog for Researchers - February 17, 2016 Category: Geriatrics Authors: Mack Mackiewicz, Program Director, Division of Neuroscience Source Type: blogs

CMS Releases Form And Rate Filing Instructions For Five States, Quality Rating System Guidance
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides that if a state lacks the authority or is otherwise substantially unable to enforce the ACA’s health insurance reform provisions, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) shall itself enforce those provisions directly. Currently CMS directly enforces the ACA’s insurance market reform provisions in Alabama, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming. On February 5, 2016, CMS released 2017 form and rate filing instructions for insurers in those five states. Insurers providing individual or group health insurance products (other than excepted benefits and grandfathere...
Source: Health Affairs Blog - February 9, 2016 Category: Health Management Authors: Timothy Jost Tags: Following the ACA Insurance and Coverage Quality Alabama Essential Health Benefits Health Insurance Oversight System Missouri Oklahoma QHPs qualified health plans Texas Wyoming Source Type: blogs

For Cam Newton, Adding Super Tax Insult to Super Bowl Injury
When I give speeches in favor of tax reform, I argue for policies such as the flat tax on the basis of both ethics and economics. The ethical argument is about the desire for a fair system that neither punishes people for being productive nor rewards them for being politically powerful. As is etched above the entrance to the Supreme Court, the law should treat everyone equally. The economic argument is about lowering tax rates, eliminating double taxation, and getting rid of distorting tax preferences. Today, let’s focus on the importance of low tax rates and Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers is going to be our pos...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 8, 2016 Category: American Health Authors: Daniel J. Mitchell Source Type: blogs

Can the Exchanges Be Saved?
By MICHAEL TURPIN “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” —William Arthur Ward Looking confidently past the skeletons of drowned state and federal healthcare experiments, America’s health insurance exchanges set sail in January 2014. Disregarding the rough seas ahead, healthcare reform pundits and legislators applauded the Affordable Care Act’s signature public expansion vehicle as an impenetrable solution for achieving affordable coverage and competition. Less than two years later, the exchanges are taking on water. In Novemb...
Source: The Health Care Blog - February 7, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Simon Nath Tags: Featured THCB Michael Turpin Source Type: blogs

Lyndon McLellan Finally Beats the IRS
Last year I referred readers to the abuse of civil asset forfeiture laws by the IRS in its attempt to take more than $107,000 from North Carolina small business owner Lyndon McLellan without charging him with any crime. The IRS cleaned out Mr. McLellan’s business account because it suspected him of “structuring,” an offense whereby a person avoids legally-mandated financial reporting requirements by keeping their deposits and withdrawals under $10,000.  Because there are many perfectly legitimate reasons a business owner may deposit less than $10,000 at a time (for instance, if their insurance policy...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - February 4, 2016 Category: American Health Authors: Adam Bates Source Type: blogs

Adjusting the Sails | Leader’s Edge Magazine
By MICHAEL TURPIN “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” —William Arthur Ward Looking confidently past the skeletons of drowned state and federal healthcare experiments, America’s health insurance exchanges set sail in January 2014. Disregarding the rough seas ahead, healthcare reform pundits and legislators applauded the Affordable Care Act’s signature public expansion vehicle as an impenetrable solution for achieving affordable coverage and competition. Less than two years later, the exchanges are taking on water. In Novemb...
Source: The Health Care Blog - February 3, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Simon Nath Tags: THCB Michael Turpin Source Type: blogs

Employer Sponsored Insurance: Unfair and Unaffordable
By ROGER COLLIER For all those Americans faced with higher health insurance premiums or less coverage (that’s most of us), the temptation is to blame the Affordable Care Act. Maybe instead we should be blaming the one thing the ACA didn’t significantly change: employer sponsored insurance—the norm for most working Americans. Although the ACA imposed some new standards for coverage, ESI employers remain free to dictate most insurance details, the tax-exclusion of ESI benefits is largely unchanged, ESI premiums are still generally independent of income, and small employers can still offer ESI or not. Unfort...
Source: The Health Care Blog - January 29, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Simon Nath Tags: THCB Roger Collier Source Type: blogs

Are Provider-Led Health Care Networks Too Big To Fail?
Are provider-led health care networks equipped to function like insurance companies? Do they have the expertise and experience to assess population health risks and costs and to accurately price health insurance products? The answer is no, and the current effort to consolidate providers and make them into ersatz insurers is a prescription for disaster. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is driving health care providers to combine into large health systems and to take on risk — i.e., to provide care for a specific problem or comprehensive care for a period of time, with the proviso that if costs exceed predetermined paymen...
Source: Health Affairs Blog - January 12, 2016 Category: Health Management Authors: Joel Zinberg Tags: Costs and Spending Featured Hospitals Insurance and Coverage Payment Policy Population Health ACOs physician perspective Physicians Source Type: blogs

Obama Vetoes ACA Repeal, And Other Health Reform Developments
Implementing Health Reform. On January 8, 2016, President Obama to the surprise of no one vetoed HR 3762, the budget reconciliation act that sought to repeal the Affordable Care Act. In his veto message, the President laid out the potential consequences of repeal: 22 million more uninsured, 900,000 more people lacking necessary medical care, 1.2 million more struggling with medical debts, and a potential 10,000 deaths. It was clear from the outset that the legislation would be vetoed. The Republicans in the Senate, however, got a chance to vote for repeal. They also got, for future reference, an opportunity to see wha...
Source: Health Affairs Blog - January 9, 2016 Category: Health Management Authors: Timothy Jost Tags: Following the ACA Insurance and Coverage ACA repeal ACA tax provisions worlplace wellness programs Source Type: blogs

2016 Obamacare Outlook
By ROBERT LASZEWSKI One of the more Obamacare fluent reporters just emailed me a set of questions regarding the 2016 outlook for Obamacare. I thought I would share my responses with you: According to early CMS data, 38% of exchange enrollees are under age 35. Is the risk pool beginning to stabilize?  It’s too soon to know if the pool is beginning to stabilize. First, the administration’s announcement that 38% of the pool is below age 35 is disingenuous. They are counting all of the children that show up on the rolls with their families. They did not give us the far more important age 18-to-35 number. Secon...
Source: The Health Care Blog - January 7, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Simon Nath Tags: THCB The Business of Health Care Robert Laszewski Source Type: blogs

CMS Releases Draft 2017 Letter To Issuers In The Federally Facilitated Marketplaces
Implementing Health Reform. On December 23, 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released its draft 2017 Letter to Issuers in the Federally Facilitated Marketplaces (FFMs). CMS also released a draft bulletin on the timing of rate filing submissions and rate filings for January 1, 2017 non-grandfathered individual and small group plans and a table of key dates for qualified health plan (QHP) certification, rate review, risk adjustment, and reinsurance for 2017. The Draft Letter To Issuers CMS issues a draft letter to FFM insurers (the “draft letter”) late each year following the releas...
Source: Health Affairs Blog - December 24, 2015 Category: Health Management Authors: Timothy Jost Tags: Following the ACA Medicaid and CHIP Medicare Payment Policy cost-sharing reductions essential community providers Essential Health Benefits Federally Facilitated Marketplace Provider Participation Rate QHPs SHOP exchanges Source Type: blogs

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is Out of Its Mind Declaring that Appropriations Rider Would Have Been a Gift to the Tobacco Industry
Unfortunately, the budget deal reached in Congress this week fails to include a rider which would have changed the "grandfather" or predicate date for electronic cigarettes from February 15, 2007 to the effective date of the regulation. This means that every electronic cigarette and vaping product on the market will have to submit a new tobacco product application to the FDA in order to stay on the market. In contrast, when the Tobacco Act was originally enacted in 2009, almost all cigarettes on the market received a free pass, not having to do anything to stay on the market. And since that time, not a single saf...
Source: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary - December 17, 2015 Category: Addiction Source Type: blogs