ACHP Media Monitoring Report: March 2, 2017

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ACHP Member Recognition: President and CEO of HealthPartners Mary Brainerd has been recognized as one of the top 25 women in health care by Modern Healthcare. Also on the list is Laura Kaiser, who is the incoming CEO of SSM Health.

ACHP in the news: ACHP President and CEO Ceci Connolly discusses why health care reform needs bipartisan support in The Hill.

Trump’s First 100 Days: Ryan Zinke has been confirmed as Interior Secretary.

Brian Neale, who served as an advisor to then-Governor Mike Pence, has been named as the director for Medicaid and Chip Services.

The Senate Finance Committee will meet today to vote on Seema Verma’s nomination as administrator of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Her nomination is expected to be approved and sent to the full Senate for a final confirmation vote.

Across state lines proposal could face tough challenges
President Trump and congressional Republicans may have difficulty passing and implementing a policy that allows insurers to sell across state lines, a core component of GOP health care policy. Passing the measure requires 60 votes in the Senate for approval; Republicans currently hold 52 seats, which means they would need to gain Democratic support. Experts also warn implementing the policy could undermine states’ existing consumer protections. The Associated Press reports.

Senate Republicans hesitant to support House ACA replacement
House Republicans have been meeting with their Senate counterparts in hopes of convincing GOP senators to support House leaders’ latest ACA replacement plan. Senators are reluctant to support the bill until they get more details from House leaders, according to Jennifer Haberkorn, Burgess Everett and Adam Cancryn of Politico.

Subcommittee plans markup of ACA replacement bill
The House Energy and Commerce Committee is planning a markup of a repeal and replace bill next week. Subcommittee member Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) said lawmakers would have the opportunity to review the bill in advance to prepare for the markup even though the Congressional Budget Office has not yet scored it. Peter Sullivan of The Hill reports the bill would end additional federal funds to states that expanded Medicaid by 2020.

GAO report finds HHS could ramp up electronic data use
The Government Accountability Office released a report Monday saying the Department of Health and Human Services is not doing enough to encourage the use of electronic health records in post-acute care. The agency is recommending HHS develop a plan to further their efforts and measure effectiveness at increasing the use of electronic health records. The GAO finds five main barriers to adoption of digital information sharing: staffing, technology problems, cost, the use of standards and workflow interruptions. Rachel Arndt at Modern Healthcare has the story.

Indiana leaders worry about ACA repeal effects on HIP
Indiana Republicans are concerned a repeal of the ACA could result in cuts to the Healthy Indian Plan, the state’s version of Medicaid rolled out under Vice President Mike Pence while he was governor of the state. The Associated Press writes leading Republican state legislators warn some of the proposed changes to Medicaid funding and individual subsidies could result in loss of coverage for tens of thousands of Hoosiers.

California insurer supports ACA tune-up rather than replacement
While some large health insurers have experienced financial losses in the ACA exchanges, Molina, a small health insurer in California, profited in the first years of the health law and remains supportive of the ACA overall. Molina is advocating for a tune-up rather than repeal and replacement of the health law. April Dembosky of KQED for Kaiser Health News shares that Molina’s focus is on care for Medicaid patients, which allowed for a smooth transition to the exchanges.

Studies of Note

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

Accountable Care Organizations

Little Evidence Exists to Support The Expectation That Providers Would Consolidate to Enter New Payment Models
Health Affairs
February 2017
Researchers from Harvard Medical School explored the relationship between accountable care organizations and provider consolidation. Using data from 2008 until the present, the researchers find provider consolidation was not associated with an increase in accountable care organizations. However, the researchers concluded consolidation could be a response to new payment models.

Cost of Hip and Knee Implants
Insurers Pay Twice as Much as Hospitals For Hip and Knee Implants
STAT
February 28, 2017
Insurers are paying twice as much as hospitals for orthopedic implants, according to a study from researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital. According to the study’s authors, the higher payments from insurers can lead to a rise in premium rates for patients. Reporter Casey Ross has the story.

Treating Opioid Addiction
Many People Keep Taking Prescription Opioids During Addiction Treatment
The Washington Post
February 23, 2017
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University are looking into barriers to treating opioid addiction. The researchers find nearly half of individuals receiving the anti-addiction medication buprenorphine also filled one or more opioid prescriptions.

Tax Credits
How Affordable Care Act Repeal And Replace Plans Might Shift Health Insurance Tax Credits
Kaiser Family Foundation
March 1, 2017
An analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation finds the average tax credit on health insurance premiums would drop by at least 36 percent under current ACA replacement plans.