News

At This Medical School, Students Mix Science And Health Policy

June 9, 2016, Kaiser Health News, Julie Rovner- Medical students cram a lot of basic science and medicine into their first two years of training. But most learn next to nothing about the intricacies of the health care system they are soon to enter. That’s something the medical school at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., is trying to remedy. “Clinicians today have to graduate being great providers of individual care,” said Dr. Lawrence Deyton, the senior associate dean who’s spearheading this effort.


Arkansas state Medicaid rolls up 25,000

June 9, 2016, Arkansas Online, Andy Davis- The number of Arkansans approved for coverage under the state’s expanded Medicaid program increased by almost 25,000 from February through April, reaching more than 290,000, the director of the state Department of Human Services told legislators Wednesday. Director Cindy Gillespie also told members of the Health Reform Legislative Task Force that she plans to seek legislative approval to hire a “surge” of about 250 temporary caseworkers to help clear a backlog of work related to 100,000 Medicaid cases, including more than 34,000 applications for coverage that have been pending for more than 45 days.


HHS Announces Plans To Curtail Consumers’ Use Of Short-Term Insurance Policies

June 8, 2016, Kaiser Health News, Jordan Rau- The Obama administration on Wednesday moved to sharply limit short-term health insurance plans, which a growing number of consumers have been buying even though they offer less coverage than what the Affordable Care Act decreed all people should have. The plans, designed for people in between jobs or in need of temporary insurance until they secure a regular policy, are cheaper than regular insurance plans. But they also can lack features that the health law requires for other policies, such as coverage for preexisting medical conditions, maternity care and prescription drugs.


Majority of counties to have only one insurer in exchange

June 6, 2016, Daily Journal, Jack Weatherly- Sixty-six of Mississippi’s 82 counties will have only one health insurer participating in the Federal Insurance Exchange next year because of the pullout of UnitedHealthcare, according to the Mississippi Insurance Department. UnitedHealthcare made a bold commitment for 2016 with coverage offered in all 82 counties, giving all residents at least two choices of insurers, and residents in 32 counties with three to choose from. “The fortunate thing is that all 82 counties will have a carrier that they can go to and get coverage” in 2017, said Bob Williams, director of the Life and Health Actuarial Division of the Mississippi Insurance Department.


U.S. States That Embraced Healthcare Reform Are Seeing Less Debt Sent to Collection Agencies

June 7, 2016, Bloomberg, Luke Kawa- Early evidence suggests that the Affordable Care Act is working - at least in one important respect, according to researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Analysts Nicole Dussault, Maxim Pinkovskiy, and Basit Zafar state that the primary purpose of this law “is not to protect our health per se, but to protect our finances.” And they’ve found a big difference between indebtedness trends in states that embraced the Medicaid expansion versus the ones that did not.


John Oliver hosts largest one-time TV giveaway - by forgiving $15 million in medical debt

June 6, 2016, VOX, German Lopez- Debt collectors make up one of the most reviled industries in America. The Federal Trade Commission says it gets more complaints about them than any other industry. Collectors often go after the debts of dead people or people who are in debt after getting lifesaving medical care. And often collectors use incredibly sleazy, horrifying tactics - like calling people’s homes and literally threatening to kill their dogs. On Last Week Tonight on Sunday, John Oliver demonstrated that anyone can be a debt collector - in a stunt that proved just how easy it is to start a debt collection agency and start harassing people for their money.