Feds Propose Major Shakeup of ER Billing; New research on Cadillac Tax; Virtual Health Care Expanding; $3.6 million in Life Sciences Grants; Deaths from Drug Resistant Germs; Showdown over ACA and Economy; Even Forbes Thinks ACA Will Help Small Businesses; Most States Expand Medicaid After All; and The Brain and Pain

In a major turnaround of allowed charges, the Feds want to change how hospitals are paid for ER and related care:  http://www.publicintegrity.org/2013/09/13/13420/feds-propose-shakeup-emergency-room-billing?utm_source=email&utm_campaign=watchdog&utm_medium=publici-email

A first research study on the impact of the upcoming ACA Cadillac Tax coming in 2018:   http://www.healthaffairs.org/healthpolicybriefs/brief.php?brief_id=99

Franciscans expand virtual health care.  We are just beginning to see the potential future impact of digital health care and all the apps that may be on a phone.   This could potentiall have a major impact on how we get certain aspects of care, how we monitor our health and how we pay for some services.   http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/blog/health-care-inc/2013/09/the-doctor-is-in-my-smartphone.html?ana=e_ptl_hc

Washington State’s Life Sciences Discovery Fund (money from the tobacco settlement) awards $3.6 million in grants for life sciences research from Alzheimer’s research to tooth decay:  http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/blog/health-care-inc/2013/09/36m-in-state-grants-to-support.html?ana=e_ptl_hc&page=all

Watch out for drug resistant germs: 23,000 deaths annually from bugs gone bad:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/17/health/cdc-report-finds-23000-deaths-a-year-from-antibiotic-resistant-infections.html nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130917&_r=0

The looming showdown over the ACA act and the economy.  Will Congress really do anything to halt the ACA?http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal_government/obama-gop-focus-on-budget-tightening-could-widen-income-gap-as-economy-emerges-from-recession/2013/09/15/6cd20c12-1e63-11e3-9ad0-96244100e647_story.html?wpisrc=nl_wonk

But even Forbes magazine thinks much of the ACA is a good idea, especially for small employers: 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/carolynmcclanahan/2013/09/14/why-every-small-employer-should-sign-up-for-obamacares-shop-exchange/

Meanwhile, most states (26) are expanding Medicaid after all. Florida was going to but the state legislature moved against their governor who is from the same party. States not expanding Medicaid have some of the poorest of the poor.  Some states are still duking it out:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2013/09/17/most-states-with-few-insured-citizens-arent-expanding-medicaid-under-obamacare/

Last but not least, the brain is hard wired to deal with chronic pain which leads to potential new ways to treat chronic pain:  http://www.nih.gov/news/health/sep2013/ninds-17.htm

Kathleen O’Connor (c) September 2013

 

About Kathleen

Kathleen O’Connor: 30+ year health care consumer advocate, non-profit executive and author. For more information about Kathleen, please see "About" on the main content bar above.
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