ACHP Media Monitoring Report: May 18, 2017

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ACHP News: A Perspective piece in the New England Journal of Medicine, co-authored by Ceci Connolly, ACHP President and CEO, and Thomas H. Lee, M.D., CMO for Press Ganey Associates, Inc. and member of Geisinger Health System’s Board of Directors, outlines core policy principles for the future of health care and demonstrates what makes nonprofit, community-based health plans unique. Read the article here.

Consumers can skip and buy directly from insurers in 2018
CMS has announced individual consumers will be allowed to purchase ACA-approved plans directly from brokers or insurers in 2018, bypassing The news comes just two days after small businesses were given permission to skip the federal marketplace to sign their employees up for SHOP coverage. The administration says the rule change will ease the enrollment process for consumers, leading to higher enrollment that helps stabilize the market. Critics argue the change is chipping away at the influence of the ACA.

Governors join health care conversation
A dozen Republican governors, led by Governor John Kasich of Ohio, are proposing recommendations to the ACA replacement bill, including maintaining Medicaid expansion, but limiting federal spending for certain groups. Some of the governors are looking to form a bipartisan group to weigh in on changes to the individual insurance market.

Health care costs continue growing
According to the 2017 Milliman Medical Index, health care costs for employer sponsored plans rose again in 2017, although the rate of increase was the lowest since the report was created in 2001. Prescription drug costs continue to be a major driver in rising health costs, jumping 8 percent over the last year. Employees took on more of the costs in 2017, as employer contributions continued to drop.

Q&A with Memorial Hermann COO
Memorial Hermann Health System COO Charles Stokes was recently named Chair of the American College of Healthcare Executives, a leadership society dedicated to improving health outcomes. In a Q&A with Modern Healthcare, Stokes lays out his vision for a more effective health care system, driven by transparency and a commitment to safe outcomes. Stokes discusses how honest discussions about poor outcomes can help fix broke processes and how proper incentives can boost patient safety.