ACHP Media Monitoring Report: March 9, 2017

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Replacement legislation could lead to loss of health coverage
Millions of Americans who purchased health insurance through the Affordable Care Act may lose coverage under the Republican plan, according to analysts. Tax credits included in the Republican plan to offset the cost of insurance are not as extensive as the current premium subsidies. Younger adults will benefit the most under the new system, as they can purchase less comprehensive and less expensive plans. Abby Goodnough and Reed Abelson at The New York Times have the story.

Senators request Orphan Drug Act investigation
Three Senators are asking the Government Accountability Office to look into misuse of the Orphan Drug Act, which provides incentives for pharmaceutical companies to make drugs that treat rare diseases. Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Tom Cotton (R-AK) are suggesting changes may be necessary to safeguard the purpose of the law. Sarah Jane Tribble and Sydney Lupkin of Kaiser Health News report.

GOP health plan would significantly alter Medicaid
House Republicans have proposed a fundamental shift to how Medicaid would be financed in their health care reform bill. A core component of the bill would shift Medicaid to a per capita funding structure with spending caps based on 2016 levels. Experts worry the change could prevent states from adapting to escalating health care costs. Haeyoun Park of The New York Times explores how a per capita system might affect each state and the long-term implications of the cuts.

Assessing the ACA repeal bill
Republican’s replacement bill for the Affordable Care Act introduces sweeping changes to the health care system, including an overhaul of Medicaid and changes to health care subsidies. In a column for Forbes, political commentator Avik Roy weighs the potential pros and cons of the reform bill, paying particular attention to Medicaid and the individual tax credit.


Studies of Note

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

 Health and the Economy

Cancer Rates Dropped During the Recession. That’s Not Necessarily a Good Thing
Kaiser Health News
March 7, 2017
As the economy plunged into a recession from 2008 to 2012, the rates of new cancer cases decreased. Using data from the California Cancer Registry, researchers from the Cancer Prevention Institute of California find that people who lost their incomes or health insurance during the recession were less likely to get crucial cancer screenings or visit their doctor.


Affordable Care Act

Study Points to the Importance of Subsidy Structure in Affordable Care Act
UChicago News
February 27, 2017
A new study by economists at the University of Chicago and Harvard University finds that the structure of subsidies affects both incentives for insurers and market competition. These approaches buffer consumers against potential shifts or shocks to the market, but can reduce competition and lead to higher government spending.

Patient Outcomes

Synthesis of Research on Patient-Centered Medical Homes Brings Systematic Differences Into Relief
Health Affairs
March 2017
Through a meta-analysis of evaluations of patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs), Anna Sinaiko, a research scientist in Health Policy at Harvard University and her colleagues find that PCMH initiatives do not lead to changes in primary care, emergency department and inpatient visits. These initiatives are associated with a reduction in the use of specialty visits and an increase in specific cancer screenings.