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Public Health

Obamacare Subsidies Continue, Court Rules. Now Let’s Get to Work.

June 30, 2015 by Jeanne Pinder

The Affordable Care Act’s health insurance subsidies to low-income people will continue, the Supreme Court ruled. Now that we have that behind us, let’s focus on the important questions of costs — or charges, or prices, or all three — and effectiveness.The Supreme Court ruling marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another one. There’s work to do to fix the system. Transparent markets benefit consumers. It’s time.[read more]

King v. Burwell: A Frivolous Lawsuit

June 29, 2015 by David E Williams

Some are surprised that Chief Justice John Roberts came out so strongly for the government in King v. Burwell, the lawsuit that aimed to bar insurance subsidies from Obamacare exchanges run by the federal government.I’m not a lawyer or Supreme Court scholar but to me Roberts’ stance isn’t surprising at all. King v. Burwell was a joke –an exemplar of the type of “frivolous lawsuit” some on the right are so fond of citing.[read more]

Hospital Selfies and Stars: Patients Look Deeper Than HCAHPS

June 9, 2015 by Lonnie Hirsch

There’s a New Consumer in your service area. No longer “merely a patient,” healthcare reform and societal dynamics have empowered a new breed of high-expectation consumers and value-aware shoppers. Before they select a hospital or provider—for themselves or family members—they are increasingly informed about outcomes, reputation, safety scores, patient experience and the cost of care.[read more]

Frank Discussions About Oral Cancer Therapies

June 8, 2015 by Andrew Schorr

Oral cancer therapies seem poised to revolutionize cancer care for many cancer types. More convenient, more effective, and often less toxic. But they are quite expensive—in many cases, more than $100,000 a year per patient. And some experts have been discussing combining two drugs. We must talk more about cost and not just echo the mantra of researchers who are “excited” about trial results.[read more]

Temporary Health Plans With Low Benefits Continue to Grow

June 8, 2015 by David E Williams

The Affordable Care Act has increased awareness that everyone needs to have health insurance, so more people who would have otherwise had a gap in coverage are purchasing temporary plans instead. Are they worthwhile?[read more]

Disruptions on the Yellow Brick Road II

June 5, 2015 by Christine Kapsa, NP, DNP

Disruptors and “creative” destroyers blew through American health care like EF5 tornadoes blow through the prairies, starting about a decade ago. Electronic health records are the Winged Monkeys of Medicine. They’ve taken the stuffing out of physicians, dented trust patients had in providers and hijacked the pleasures of caregiving.[read more]

Where the US Lags Italy in Healthcare

June 1, 2015 by David E Williams

It’s often been said that there is no US healthcare “system.” The lack of a system is very expensive in terms of administrative burden, uncoordinated care, and poor outcomes. This drug pricing issue is just one more example of how we’re kidding ourselves if we think US healthcare is so superior to others’. In fact it helps explain why we pay so much more and yet get less.[read more]

Call to Action: America's Health Rankings Senior Report

May 20, 2015 by David E Williams

Rankings reports are a great way to spur the public and policymakers to pay attention to important issues. The 2015 America’s Health Rankings Senior Report from the United Health Foundation, released today, is a case in point. I had an opportunity to interview Dr. Reed Tuckson, senior medical advisor to the Foundation, about the report.[read more]

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Democracy Comes to Healthcare

May 12, 2015 by Paul Tunnah

The recent General Election in the UK gave everyone the chance to make their voice heard. The patient, who most acutely feels the impact of healthcare decisions, should likewise be able to exercise their democratic right to have their say – and what better place to do so than at a health-related conference?[read more]

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BioPharma Beat: mHealth Apps - to Regulate or Not to Regulate

May 12, 2015 by David Davidovic

We are witnessing exuberance about all things digital, especially in the health space. As healthcare apps for mobile devices continue to proliferate, soon to be in the thousands, there is a lingering question as to whether or not they will be regulated, by whom, and to what extent.[read more]

Five Facts about ICD-10 from CMS

May 10, 2015 by Phil C. Solomon

ICD-10 facts

To help dispel some of the myths surrounding ICD-10, the CMS recently talked with providers to identify common misperceptions about the transition to ICD-10. These five facts address some of the common questions and concerns CMS has heard about ICD-10.[read more]

Life Expectancies and Lethal Injections

May 6, 2015 by Christine Kapsa, NP, DNP

Two stories converged unexpectedly in yesterday’s news. The first was an article in the New York Times discussing income inequality and shortened life expectancies. The other story came from the US Supreme Court. The Court heard arguments in Glossip v. Gross, a case from Oklahoma about the drugs used for lethal injection executions.[read more]