5 ways Trump is undermining Obamacare without the courts

July 7, 2019, CNN, Tami Luhby - Obamacare is facing its next big court challenge this week, but regardless of what the judges decide, President Donald Trump has already succeeded in hobbling the landmark health reform law. Trump has been trying to dismantle Obamacare from the first day he took office. Hours after his inauguration, he signed an executive order directing agencies to interpret regulations as loosely as possible and to minimize the financial burden of the law through waivers, exemptions or delays. But after the Republican-controlled Congress failed to repeal Obamacare in 2017, Trump unleashed a series of executive changes to further undermine the law. Trump has repeatedly said his administration would unveil a plan to replace Obamacare, though Republican senators have distanced themselves from that promise. He told ABC News in June that he’ll release a plan in the next two months.

‘Sometimes, there’s no do-over’: Pool safety campaign aims to reduce child drownings

July 6, 2019,The Washington Post, Erin Blakemore - With summer in full swing, pools beckon children who are eager to jump in, cool off and have fun. Brain injury or death are far from the minds of most families who own or use pools. But they shouldn’t be. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional deaths among children between 1 and 4 years old. For every child who drowns, another five visit the emergency department for a nonfatal injury associated with submersion. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has a national public education campaign aimed to reduce child drownings and swimming pool entrapments. Pool Safely was designed to educate parents and children about pool risks - and how to sidestep them without giving up the pursuit of summer fun.

What Would Giving Health Care to Undocumented Immigrants Mean?

June 3, 2019, The New York Times, Jan Hoffman - Providing comprehensive health coverage to undocumented immigrants has long been nothing more than a wouldn’t-it-be-nice item on the far left’s wish list. But in the crowded field of candidates vying for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, nearly everyone supports it. Almost all of the 19 candidates who responded to a recent New York Times survey on health care positions said “yes” to a question about whether undocumented immigrants should be covered under a “Medicare for all” system, a public option or other government health programs. And during the second night of the Democratic debates last week, the idea received a unanimous show of hands in support.

Why the flight to the hospital is more costly than ever

July 1, 2019, The Washington Post, Christopher Rowland - Air ambulance rates in the United States are soaring. The cost of a medical ride in a helicopter or airplane climbed about 60 percent from 2012 to 2016, to a median of $39,000, according to a study of federal data released Monday. The list charges rose to as much as 10 times what Medicare pays for the service, despite a surge of air ambulance carriers entering the market, the study said. Because many air ambulance companies are not part of insurance networks, patients often get hit with the huge bills, according to the findings by Johns Hopkins University researchers, whose study was published in the journal Health Affairs.

Democratic voters cite health care, gun violence as top ‘important’ issues: poll

July 3, 2019, The Hill, Rachel Frozen - A new poll showed that health care and gun violence are top issues for Democrats.The Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 89 percent of respondents who are Democrats or who lean Democrat said that health care is either one of the single most important issues or a very important issue, followed by 85 percent who said of gun violence. These issues were trailed by issues of special concern to women, immigration and climate change, which were labeled as a single most important or very important issue by 83 percent, 82 percent and 80 percent of respondents respectively.

Social determinants of health data can be difficult to collect and share, but it’s imperative to suc

July 1, 2019, Healthcare Finance, Jeff Lagasse -  Data plays a huge role in conducting the business of healthcare, and data surrounding social determinants of health is increasingly important. With reimbursement tied to outcomes, providers need to ensure that patients are receiving the best possible care, and certain social factors can make that a challenge, from lack of housing to inadequate transportation. The challenge now facing healthcare organizations is that, traditionally, SDOH data hasn’t been captured. Most of the data that’s recorded during a visit is directly related to the patient’s health and doesn’t incorporate ancillary factors that can impact well-being. Some SDOH data is captured, but not in a lot of detail.