ACHP Media Monitoring Report – June 22, 2017

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Member News: ACHP executives from Geisinger Health System, Intermountain Healthcare and the Permanente Medical Group have made Modern Healthcare’s 50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders 2017 list. The rankings recognize physicians who are leading their organizations and the health care delivery system in a challenging environment.

Bill faces challenges in Senate, lawmakers could break with tradition
The Senate health care draft bill was released this morning. It includes provisions that would end ACA mandates and most of its taxes, implement a three-year phase out of Medicaid expansion ending in 2024 and allow states to apply for waivers for insurance regulations. The Senate bill appears to include significant cuts to Medicaid, including a slower growth rate. Cost-sharing subsidy payments would be extended through 2019, in addition to $15 billion a year in market-stabilizing funds over the next two years and $10 billion a year in 2020 and 2021. Unlike the House bill, which included $45 billion over 10 years for opioid funding, the Senate bill provides just $2 billion for one year.

President Trump could find the Senate more difficult to convince than the House when it comes to passing health care legislation. Even with the President’s backing, the bill faces challenges. In an op-ed, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called for Republicans to slow down their repeal of the ACA, saying stabilizing the market and funding cost-sharing reduction payments through 2018 should be the priority.

To advance their health care legislation, GOP Senators could invoke a seldom-used rule to avoid the chamber’s parliamentarian, who decides if a measure meets the requirements for reconciliation. Going this route could set the precedence for other bills to more easily be advanced by a 51-vote threshold.

Chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson writes on LinkedIn that health care reform should focus on prevention and helping individuals live healthier lives. Tyson bases his assessment of health reform on three tests: access, affordability and outcomes.

Kaiser Health News has an interactive article detailing key stats about the GOP Senators working on the American Health Care Act.

GOP’s proposed Medicaid cuts would hit rural patients hard
The proposed $834 billion cut to Medicaid would disproportionately affect rural hospitals. Nearly 700 facilities are at risk of closing, and nearly 80 rural hospitals have closed their doors since 2010. These facilities serve an older, poorer and sicker population that relies heavily on Medicaid funding.

Filing deadline brings marketplace exits and entrances
Wednesday was the filing deadline for 2018 ACA exchange participation and premium rates. Anthem will leave exchanges in Indiana and Wisconsin, while Oscar Health will expand into Ohio, New Jersey, Texas, Tennessee, California and New York. Early plan filings indicated premium increases of more than 20 percent.

Market concerns stem from the flux of the individual mandate, an essential component of balancing risk and insurance costs, and the uncertainty of health care reform legislation. Despite the market instability, several experts remain optimistic about insurer offerings for 2018.