CDC issues new guidance for doctors treating vaping-related illnesses

October 11, 2019, The Hill, Jessie Hellmann -  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidance Friday for clinicians whose patients might have lung illnesses related to vaping. Because the illness is new, there had been no guidelines for how clinicians should treat patients suspected of having the illness. Having official guidance from the CDC becomes more important as the U.S. enters the flu season, officials said Friday. Several symptoms of the flu and other viral infections overlap with those associated with the vaping illness. As such, all patients with apparent respiratory infections, like the flu, should be asked about their vaping history.

Dems Hold Hearing About Expanding Medicaid Ahead Of Nov. 5

October 9, 2019, MPB, Desare Fraizer - Mississippi has a crisis in the rate of women dying due to child birth according to Georgetown University Professor Adam Searing. He says rates are rising nationwide. But Searing says states that expanded Medicaid have a lower average rate of 9 percent as opposed to Mississippi which is at 18 percent. “So this is a huge difference. So when states have expanded Medicaid, there’s an immediate impact on getting healthcare to women who are going to be in this demographic,” said Searing.

Legislative Democrats host Medicaid expansion hearing

October 8, 2019, WLBT, Courtney Ann Jackson - Some Mississippi lawmakers are trying to get a head-start on the legislative session, and their focus is on Medicaid expansion. “Part of the reason that we’re here today is because there’s an election next month and the issue of Medicaid expansion is going to be on the ballot,” said Rep. Jarvis Dortch Tuesday. The hearing is the first of two Medicaid expansion hearings being hosted this month by the Mississippi Legislative Democrats. “It’s been six years since Medicaid expansion’s been an option,” added Dortch. “State’s that have expanded Medicaid have seen dramatic improvements in healthcare outcomes, whether it’s maternal care, better obesity rates, diabetes rates, a whole host of things.” But they’re asking that the politics be removed from the decision making moving forward.

Health insurance rebates could be coming to mailbox near you

October 7, 2019, Daily Journal, Michaela Gibson Morris - Depending on how you get your health insurance, the check may be in the mail.Under a provision of the Affordable Health Care Act, insurers are required to pay out a percentage of premiums to cover medical claims or rebate the excess premiums. This medical loss ratio provisions applies not only to plans sold on in the federal marketplace. It also covers commercial plans sold to individuals, small groups and large groups. It does not include self-funded plans favored by many employers.In Mississippi, the $31.8 million in rebates for 62,563 policy holders will come primarily from three companies, said Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney.“The amount varies significantly from person to person,” Chaney said.
Kaiser Health News estimated rebates of $1.3 billion nationally for 2019 based on its own analysis.

Readmission initiative pushes hospitals to improve

October 6, 2019, Daily Journal, Michaela Gibson Morris -  Baptist Memorial Health Care and North Mississippi Health Services had hospitals hit by Medicare readmission penalties for the coming fiscal year. No one wants to be penalized, but physician leaders with both systems said the Medicare initiative has spotlighted the needs of patients as they leave hospital care. “This tells me where I need to be focused,” said Dr. Henry Sullivant, Baptist Memorial Health Care vice president and chief medical officer. “We really had to think about (readmission) in its entirety.” It’s better for patients and their families who benefit from clearer instructions as they leave the hospital and more support when they get home, White said. It’s better financially for individuals, and taxpayers because inpatient care is among the most expensive in the health system. It’s better for communities, because hospitals are having to think beyond their walls.

Trump moves to suspend visas for uninsured immigrants

October 4, 2019, Politico, Ted Hesson and Dan Diamond -  President Donald Trump issued a proclamation Friday that will require immigrants to prove they can obtain health insurance before they are issued a visa. The proclamation - the latest in a series of moves that would restrict immigration - says immigrants must demonstrate they will have health insurance within 30 days of entering the country or that they can afford to cover any medical expenses. The White House touted the proclamation as “protecting health care benefits for American citizens,” arguing that uninsured immigrants create a financial burden for hospitals and doctors, forcing them to charge higher fees for Americans to cover the cost.