ACHP Media Monitoring Report: April 5, 2017

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Trump’s first 100 days: Confirmation hearings for Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Trump’s pick for FDA Commissioner open today. Topics will likely include the 21st Century Cures bill, generic drug backlog, FDA user fee agreements and drug reimportation. Watch here.

Some lawmakers skeptical about changes to GOP health bill
Health care reform discussions have started up again, though House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has lowered expectations for a deal to happen quickly as consensus on the GOP health care bill still remains a challenge. In an effort to win votes, protections for those with pre-existing conditions could be on the chopping block. One of the most controversial proposed changes to the legislation would allow states to do away with the community rating, which requires insurers charge individuals who are the same age the same price.

Young Americans favor government paying for health coverage
Young people feel the government should be responsible for making sure Americans have health insurance and largely like the ACA (63 percent approve of it), according to a poll from GenForward. The most popular element of the law is allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26, which is favored by 75 percent of 18-30 year olds. However, they disliked the ACA requirement to purchase coverage or pay a fine. The poll suggests that young people would like to see health care policy that goes beyond offering access to helping people afford coverage.

Role of doctors in ACO success
Physicians play a role in the success of accountable care organizations (ACO), according to a study in Health Affairs that questions the structure of ACOs. Researchers found a trend of physician churn and an uneven distribution of patients among doctors. Because the sickest patients were clustered among a few physicians, ACOs were able to manipulate the risk pool by cherry picking doctors with healthier patients.

Hospitals turn to vendors to enroll patients in Medicaid
Hospitals have begun to hire outside vendors to help enroll eligible patients in Medicaid. The hospitals are hoping to defray costs by collecting payments for treatment from patients who previously lacked coverage.

Avian flu cases reported in Wisconsin and Tennessee
Reports of avian flu in Wisconsin and Tennessee have prompted four countries to ban the import of poultry from both states temporarily. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported both cases in early March. The USDA has quarantined the affected premises and is in the process of destroying the affected fowl (subscriber’s content).