ACHP Media Monitoring Report: May 10, 2017

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ACHP in the News: Insurers who do not verify the number of severely ill patients enrolled through the exchanges will not be penalized. The ACA mandated that health plans that receive risk-adjustment payments prove they enroll sicker patients. According to ACHP President and CEO Ceci Connolly, companies do not yet have federal data on the accuracy of their claims, so it is too soon to report on lessons learned.

Medicaid expansion to play a role in Senate debate
A critical choice Senate Republicans are facing is between cutting taxes or preserving health coverage. The House avoided the competing demands by cutting both, but many Senators do want to see as extensive of coverage losses as included in the House bill.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters that all 52 Senate Republicans are engaged in the health care debate, not just the all-male, staunchly conservative working group. However, the 20 Senate Republicans representing states that expanded Medicaid will be a driving force in shaping the Senate’s bill. Constituents in these members’ states have benefited from the expansion, and several lawmakers are working to craft a way for them to keep their coverage.

Finance Committee to hold hearing on CHRONIC Care Act
The Senate Finance Committee has scheduled a hearing on the CHRONIC Care Act and ways to improve health outcomes for patients living with chronic illnesses. The hearing will take place Tuesday, May 16.

Knoxville, Tennessee has one insurer for 2018
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee plans to offer ACA marketplace plans in the Knoxville, Tennessee region in 2018. The move alleviates concerns that the area might be left without an insurer following Aetna’s decision to withdraw from all exchanges. Increased financial strain and uncertainty in the marketplace have caused many insurers to withdraw from the marketplace, and other regions are at risk of losing their only insurer.

Senate approves Gotlieb for FDA commissioner
The Senate confirmed Dr. Scott Gotlieb as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration yesterday. Gotlieb’s nomination has come under criticism due to his close ties to drug companies, who he will regulate as commissioner. In an attempt to address those concerns, Gotlieb plans to divest himself from health care related companies and recuse himself from cases involving those companies for one year.

Nsaids raise heart risks immediately
Heart risks associated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs arise within a week of starting treatment, according to an analysis published in The BMJ. The analysis also found the risk increased with higher doses.