ACHP Media Monitoring Report: February 23, 2017

ACHP in the news: ACHP President and CEO Ceci Connolly contributed a column to HFMA about integrating behavioral health and primary care.

ACA rule leads to fewer Medicaid providers
An Affordable Care Act provision that says providers must recertify their eligibility for Medicaid reimbursement has resulted in 65,000 providers being dropped from the program. Providers were required to submit revalidation notices to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services before the end of September 2016 as part of larger efforts to target improper Medicaid payments across the system. According to Virgil Dickson at Modern Healthcare, many providers dropped out voluntarily while other states are still in the process of evaluating their rolls.

Trump’s rhetoric and appointments diverge on entitlements
Throughout his campaign, President Trump promised to protect entitlement programs like social security and Medicare. Now, advocates worry the president may not keep his promise. Key advisors like HHS Secretary Tom Price and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney have been strong supporters of converting Medicare in the past and could shape the administration’s policy. Yamiche Alcindor of The New York Times has the story.

Benefits of geriatricians
Aging patients with multiple chronic conditions can benefit from the expertise of geriatricians, yet these doctors are often underutilized. Judith Graham at Kaiser Health News discusses how geriatricians differ from other specialties and why older individuals should seek their care.

Stabilization rule receives hundreds of comments
In less than one week, the ACA stabilization rule has brought in more than 420 public comments. Bob Herman at Axios shares comments from the health insurance industry about the rule. Some note the reduced enrollment period could create a challenge, and others support the rule’s goal to encourage healthy individuals to sign up for plans. The deadline for comments is March 7.

Cuomo’s budget cuts has NY health advocates worried
Some New York health advocates are pushing back against a budget proposal from Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) that would cut $25 million from programs aimed at fighting cancer, diabetes and other public health concerns. The Associated Press reports opponents of the cut argue it will lead to a reduction in essential services. The governor asserts the cut is necessary to combat inefficiency, and notes he has left it up to state health officials to decide how funding for the programs is distributed to ensure important programs remain fully funded.

Lack of diversity a hurdle for the health care industry
The health care industry is struggling with recruitment and training of more minority health care professionals. The underrepresentation of minority populations in health professions can have a downside for patients. Studies have shown patients are more receptive to doctors who look like them, and that underserved populations benefit from a more diverse work force. Programs have been established to offer solutions, writes Karen Weintraub of STAT News.

Studies of Note

In this feature, the Media Monitoring Report shares a selection of notable research studies within the health care industry.

Health Care Use And Spending Patterns Vary by Wage Level in Employer-Sponsored Plans
Health Affairs
February 2017
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine Assistant Clinical Professor Bruce W. Sherman and colleagues explore the relationship between health care use and wage. The researchers find individuals with lower wages were admitted to the hospital twice as often as high-wage earners and utilized preventive care significantly less.

How Medicaid Helps Your State
The Commonwealth Fund
February 17, 2017
Republican alternatives to the Affordable Care Act include changes to Medicaid funding that may result in fewer federal dollars for states to spend on the program. The Commonwealth Fund has an interactive map that breaks down facts about Medicaid by state.

The Doctor You See in The ER May Put You on a Path Toward Long-Term Opioid Use
The Washington Post
February 15, 2017
The prescribing patterns of doctors have an effect on a patient’s likelihood of taking opioids for a long period of time, according to a study by Harvard researchers. If an emergency room physician frequently prescribes opioids, the patient is 30 percent more likely to take opioids for six months or more.