The Alan Katz Health Care Reform Magazine

By Alan Katz | The policies and politics surrounding health care reform in a Donald Trump world.

Government shuts down website for doctors searching for treatment guidelines

<b>(CNN) —</b> After Monday, the website for the National Guideline Clearinghouse, which provides access to guidelines for practicing medicine, will no longer be available to its users -- mostly doctors -- due to a lack of funding, according to an announcement posted on the site in April.<p>No stranger to …

Health Care

HHS Plans to Delete 20 Years of Critical Medical Guidelines Next Week

The Trump Administration is planning to eliminate a vast trove of medical guidelines that for nearly 20 years has been a critical resource for …

Health Care

Trump administration cuts grants to help people get Obamacare

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration is cutting most of the funds previously provided to groups that help people get health insurance under the Affordable Care Act and will push them to promote plans lacking the law's benefits and protections, a government agency said on Tuesday.<p>Under …

Health Care

Maryland governor signs federal all-payer health contract

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed a contract with the federal government on Monday to enact the state's unique all-payer health care model, which he said will create incentives to improve care while saving money.<p>Hogan signed the five-year contract along with the administrator …

Health Care

Paul Ryan's Budget Cuts Children's Hospitals At The Wrong Time

The nation’s children’s hospitals would see drastic reductions in funding for their patients if the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives’ proposed budget passes, hitting pediatric facilities already facing payments that are shifting away from inpatient care.<p>An alarm bell for the future …

Health Care

Trump administration freezes billions in Obamacare payments, outraging advocates

The Trump administration is freezing billions of dollars of payments to Obamacare health insurers, another blow to the fragile markets as health plans begin to set premiums and get ready for the next enrollment season.<p>The so-called risk adjustment payments are supposed to protect insurers from big …

Health Care

Read The Fine Print Before Picking An Association Plan For Your Small Business

If you own a restaurant, plumbing company or other small business, you may be intrigued by the expected expansion of association health plans under a new rule that got a stamp of approval from the Trump administration last week.<p>Will they meet your needs? Save you money?<p>Those are important questions …

Health Care

‘You Can’t Have Perfection’: Lawmakers Who Forged ACA Look Back

Former Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and former Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and George Miller (D-Calif.) and retiring Rep. …

Health Care

Atul Gawande's Aim For Health Care: 'Make It Simpler To Do The Right Thing'

Dr. Atul Gawande, the surgeon-writer-researcher chosen to lead a joint health venture by three prominent employers who hope to bring down health costs, says his biggest goal is to help professionals "make it simpler to do the right thing" in delivering care to patients.<p>Gawande elaborated a bit on …

Health Care

Sky-High Deductibles Broke the U.S. Health Insurance System

When Carla Jordan and her husband were hit with a cascade of serious medical issues, she knew that at least her family had health insurance through …

Health Care

Is Statewide Single-Payer Feasible, or Is It Just California Dreamin'?

California’s leading progressives are currently debating — amicably, for the moment — when the right time will arrive to destroy the state’s healthcare system.<p>The frontrunner in the race for the governor’s mansion, current Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, has long championed single-payer health …

Health Care

DOL Releases Final Regulation Expanding Association Health Plans

Article By Jean C. Hemphill Edward I. Leeds Ballard Spahr LLPLegal AlertsThe U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on Tuesday released final regulations …

Health Care

The Bezos-Buffett-Dimon health care venture: Eliminate the middlemen

The new health care venture formed by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase announced June 20 that Harvard professor and well-known author …

Health Care

Feds say health mergers would increase costs, threaten care

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — The U.S. government is suing to stop two major health insurance mergers, a move regulators say is needed to protect Americans from potential cost hikes and lower quality care.<p>The Department of Justice said Thursday that the combinations of Aetna and Humana and Anthem and …

Health Care

Trump administration to allow businesses, individuals to band together for health insurance

Small businesses and individual workers will be allowed to band together to provide medical coverage that will be less expensive than Obamacare …

Health Care

Insurers Not Owed Risk Corridor Payments

On June 14, 2018, a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued an opinion in <i>Moda Health Plan v. United States</i>. By a 2-1 …

Costs are rising for employer-sponsored insurance — again

If you're one of the majority of health-care consumers who purchase insurance through your employer, you know that premium increases and rising …

Pre-existing Conditions and Medical Underwriting in the Individual Insurance Market Prior to the ACA

Before private insurance market rules in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) took effect in 2014, health insurance sold in the individual market in most …

Where Does Your Health Care Dollar Go?

Your premium—how much you pay for your health insurance coverage each month—helps cover the costs of the medications and care you receive. It also …

Trump administration won’t defend ACA in case brought by GOP states

The Trump administration said Thursday night that it will not defend the Affordable Care Act against the latest legal challenge to its constitutionality — a dramatic break from the executive branch’s tradition of arguing to uphold existing statutes and a land mine for health insurance changes the …

Health Care

Price Check On Drug Ads: Would Revealing Costs Help Patients Control Spending?

President Donald Trump wants to control spending on drugs. One of his big ideas: include prices in advertisements, just like warnings about side …

CMS Launches New System to Measure State Medicaid Performance

Scorecards will initially focus heavily on metrics that states already voluntarily report<p>Federal health officials on Monday unveiled a new system to …

Trump's new insurance rules are panned by nearly every healthcare group that submitted formal comments

More than 95% of healthcare groups that have commented on President Trump’s effort to weaken Obama-era health insurance rules criticized or outright opposed the proposals, according to a Times review of thousands of official comment letters filed with federal agencies.<p>The extraordinary one-sided …

Health Care

Single-Payer Is Becoming Litmus Test For Democrats, But Reality Is Far More Complicated Than Rhetoric

California's gubernatorial race is acting as a microcosm of the larger push toward universal health care. But, experts say the issue is complicated. …

U.S. doctors call for health policies that support women

(Reuters Health) - Making it easier and more affordable for women to access care, and supporting research that includes how treatments work in both sexes, can improve the health of all Americans, not just women, U.S. doctors argue.<p>"Women and their families are adversely affected by policies that do …

Health Care

Why Your Health Insurer Doesn't Care About Your Big Bills

Michael Frank ran his finger down his medical bill, studying the charges and pausing in disbelief. The numbers didn't make sense.<p>His recovery from a partial hip replacement had been difficult. He had iced and elevated his leg for weeks. He had pushed his 49-year-old body, limping and wincing, …

Health Care

‘Time’s Up’: Covered California Takes Aim At Hospital C-Section Rates

Covered California, the state’s health insurance marketplace under the Affordable Care Act, has devised what could be a powerful new way to hold …

Anthem won’t pay for many patients to get CTs or MRIs at Colorado hospitals anymore. That’s the wave of the future for health insurance.

If you need to get a CT or an MRI scan, Anthem — the health insurer that covers nearly one out of every five Coloradans with private insurance — most …

It Costs $685 Billion a Year to Subsidize U.S. Health Insurance

It will cost the U.S. government almost $700 billion in subsidies this year help provide Americans under age 65 with health insurance through their …