at the Health Care Economist. Join Jason Shafrin for a whirlwind tour of the best of the health policy blogs – and, it’s even more compelling than that game down in Arid-zona!
Thanks to Jennifer Salopek at Wing of Zock (love that name) – we have the first read of what may happen in DC come January. See the posts from Louise Norris and Jason Shafrin for insight on the subsidy calculation and the impact of the Cadillac plan tax - which will hit about 15% of us in 2018…
Thanks to Louise Norris, Colorado’s leading expert on all things health insurance related, for hosting this biweek edition of Health Wonk Review.
Among the submissions are several on Ebola, including a very good piece on CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden. I’ve been a bit shocked at the piling-on suffered by the good doctor; everyone from Bill Maher to Mitch McConnell has had nasty things to say about him and his agency – most of which is ignorant blather.
There’s also a great synopsis of a post on health reform’s human side. Something we forget far too often.
here’s a sample –
The ACA reduces the burden of health premiums on our family. By reducing this monthly expense, we have a little extra to purchase products, use services, save for vacation, and invest in the market. We have a little less anxiety and stress month to month.
This biweekly edition of Health Wonk Review brings the best writing about health care, policy, and the impacts thereof direct to your eyeballs – with NO effort on your part!
Apologies to Hank Stern – somehow I missed his contribution for this edition. The ever-prolific Mr Stern asks why coverage for some autism treatment ends at 21. Good question.
Roy Poses leads us off with his intel on the rollout of the Sunshine Act - the part of PPACA requiring much more disclosure of financial relationships between doctors and suppliers. Dr Poses opines that the beginning has been anything but smooth – but far better to have a rocky rollout than continued ignorance.
Our friends at Wing of Zock have a great post from Steve Lipstein, CEO of BJC Healthcare. Steve has a much-needed outsider’s perspective on the Wilensky-Berwick committee’s recommendations on graduate medical education. His take is that re-vamping higher ed is going to be affected far more by operating models and the economic models in each physician specialty area than by pronouncements on high.
The problem in the diagnosis of Thomas Duncan, the Dallas Ebola patient, reflects the promises and pitfalls inherent in electronic health records, and Peggy Salvatore’s synopsis of the situation and lessons learned is a very high-value read.
From Health Insurance Colorado we get intel on how things are looking in Colorado – the state Exchange is doing very well; the uninsurance rate dropped by six points and enrollment in private plans via the Exchange has almost hit the 150,000 mark. That said, improvements can still be made.
If are ever going to get better quality and lower costs, it will happen because payers and providers work together to tie value much closer to payment. Health Affairs brings us an update on progress to date – which is considerable – while warning that continued progress is not assured. Here’s the Holy Smoke! headline – 40% of commercial insurers’ payments to doctors and hospitals now “flow thru value-based payment methods”, up from 11% in 2013. See Suzane DelBanco’s take on value-based purchasing here…
A great companion piece is Jason Shafrin’s review of the recent national survey of ACOs, noting that there’s a lot of variation amongst and betweenst (my new word) ACOs – which is all to the good as the variability means we’ll learn a lot about what models work and what doesn’t.
There’s good news for those who like their current non-ACA compliant health plans; many will be “grand mothered”. Louise Norris tells us “Grandmothered – or transitional – plans are those that are not grandfathered but were effective prior to 2014.” Simply put, grand mothered plans must have some aspects of ACA-compliant plans while grandfathered plans don’t – unless they are changed significantly.
Pharmacists are one of the more-often-taken-for-granted clinical professions, and Brad Flansbaum is here to update us on the state of the profession. In a phrase; “over-staffed”. There are far more graduates of PharmD programs that jobs, with one pundit predicting 20% of graduates will not find jobs in 2018…
David Williams gets us up to speed on Apple’s health application plans and prognosticates on its market position – think “one of” and not “THE” health apps. As always, David’s knowledge and experience make his view well worth consideration.
Starting in January, employers’ OSHA reporting requirements will change – while this may seem esoteric, it would behoove risk managers and their colleagues to make sure they are complying – Julie Ferguson gives us the skinny at WorkCompInsider...
Good friend and colleague Sandy Blunt reminds us that a lot of what drives success is the simple stuff – blocking and tackling. While fancy moves and tricky plays are entertaining, they don’t deliver like the basics do…
Richard Krasner contributes his piece on poor actors and poor actions in work comp with a focus on an employer in Florida where over a hundred undocumented workers were accused of work comp fraud. Richard details other transgressions wherein workers were penalized/ due to transgressions that sure look to be endorsed, if not authorized by employers. Hat tip to David DePaolo for his original work on the FL case…noting that Florida CFO Jeff Atwater busted the FL workers for fraud, even though only a handful had filed work comp claims…as David said; 105 workers get arrested for immigration and documentation fraud under a workers’ compensation statute, even though most did not file any injury claims…”
I round out the work comp section with my take on the current non-sale of Aetna’s Coventry Workers’ Comp Services unit to APAX; while it may not be a dead duck, it looks to be on life support.
Thanks to all – see you in two weeks.
Thanks to Julie Ferguson, the World Cup Edition of Health Wonk Review is up. Julie scores big, with great posts ranging from Red Hot Lover Physician Tricks (Hank, you wild man you!) to news that David Williams has a new TV channel, to Roy Poses expose of Medtronic.
Who knew that the brightest star (sorry, Kevin Durant) in the NBA is such an avid reader of Health Wonk Review?
Perhaps LeBron will want to host his very-own edition of HWR; alas we’re booked for a few months so – unlike his NBA career – he’ll have to wait his turn…
As the March 31 “deadline” for enrollment in insurance approaches, the good folks at Health Affairs have put together the best health policy blog posts of the last two weeks and present them to you for your edification.
And managed to do this while keeping up on March Madness too – Christopher Fleming is one impressive guy…
In these days of less and less insight from the mass media, we’re fortunate indeed to have very smart – and very good writers – working for you - and for cheap, too!
Thanks David – an excellent review of PPACA implementation, transparency, drug formularies in exchange plans, and all things health policy related is waiting at your fingertips – literally!
The good folk at health insurance.org are hosting this biweek’s edition of Health Wonk Review.
There’s so much going on these days in wonk-ville that it is tough to keep up; thank goodness HWR does it for you!
Now you have more time to shop for your sweetie.
We know! What would you do without us!
Is the subject of David Williams’ excellent edition of Health Wonk Review.
It’s an excellent summary of key issues with just enough detail to keep us informed and not overwhelmed.