ACHP Media Monitoring Report – June 29, 2017

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ACHP in the News: Becker’s Hospital Review compiled reactions to the Senate health care bill, including ACHP’s.

Bipartisan approach to Senate bill, individual market participation expected to drop
The delay of the Senate health care bill has led Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to consider working with Democrats to draft a health law that can pass the Senate. Several changes to the bill are being considered. Senate Republicans and the White House have agreed to allot $45 billion in an updated bill to address the opioid crisis. Senate leadership has also discussed allowing the use of Health Savings Accounts to pay for premiums. Experts say that these additions may garner more support from both sides. McConnell continues to hold a tight timeline for the bill and aims to send a revised draft to the CBO by Friday.

According to analysts, as written, the bill will eventually cause a dip in enrollment in the individual market due to the elimination of the individual mandate. Experts say the six-month waiting period is not likely to keep people enrolled in coverage.

State spending on Medicaid could increase, Ohio votes to freeze enrollment
The Senate health care bill would increase state spending on Medicaid by $565 million in 2022. Experts say that the bill would put pressure on states’ credit ratings and negatively impact state finances due to changes in Medicaid funding and the rollback of the expansion. An Urban Institute report released yesterday finds that federal funding for Medicaid would be $102.2 billion lower in 2022 under the Better Care Reconciliation Act.

In Ohio, state lawmakers voted to freeze enrollment in Medicaid. According to conservatives in the state legislature, the freeze is needed as a way to cope with costs. The freeze is part of a two-year budget plan that would block new enrollees in the program and re-enrollment of those who let coverage lapse.

Areas that expanded Medicaid show lower rates of cardiac arrest
A recent study found that after Medicaid coverage was expanded in Oregon, rates of cardiac arrest in one Oregon county dropped by 17 percent. Increased insurance coverage leads to more opportunities for preventive care; these results are consistent with other studies that found a relationship between Medicaid expansion and a decline in mortality.

High-deductible plans cause financial troubles for hospitals
The rise of high-deductible plans is causing problems for providers. The amount patients are required to pay for a hospital stay is higher under these plans, and hospitals are having difficulty collecting patients’ share of the bill. About five years ago, insurers paid around 90 percent of a hospital claim, leaving patients to cover just 10 percent. Today, patients are paying about 30 percent out-of-pocket. When hospitals pursue collection from patients who can’t pay, it can hurt the facility’s patient-satisfaction scores or public perception.

Seniors underrepresented in clinical trials
Data from the FDA show that although they are disproportionately affected by cancer, older adults are not appropriately represented in clinical trials. This disparity in representation makes it difficult to assess how treatments affect older adults. Over 60 percent of cancer patients are elderly, but only 25 percent of cancer trial participants were age 65 or older.