ACHP Media Monitoring Report: May 2, 2017

ACHP in the News: ACHP President and CEO Ceci Connolly led the opening panel session at the World Health Care Congress on May 1. The discussion included how incentives could lower costs and improve outcomes. Dr. Robert Pearl of the Permanente Federation and Dr. Charles Sorenson of Intermountain Healthcare joined Connolly as panel members.

GOP health bill status
House leaders are focused on passing a bill that repeals the ACA, even if it can’t clear the Senate. A major sticking point is the provision around pre-existing conditions. Some moderate Republicans are willing to pass the bill in the House in hopes the Senate will change some of the provisions. Former House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton has said he will oppose the Obamacare repeal bill, citing concerns with the pre-existing conditions protections. A no vote from Upton could spell disaster for the GOP repeal effort.

Health care bill falls short on Trump’s campaign pledges
The Republican replacement plan for the ACA falls short of many promises the president made during the campaign, according to an analysis by Politico’s Dan Diamond. While running for office, the president promised no one would lose coverage, that he would preserve protections for pre-existing conditions, provide universal coverage, maintain Medicaid and allow insurers to sell across state lines. Diamond explores how the current bill measures up to these promises.

Drug prices not a partisan issue
A Kaiser Family Foundation poll finds that 60 percent of Americans believe lowering prescription drug prices should be a top priority. An overwhelming number of respondents—around 90 percent—also indicated they favor allowing the government to lower prices, making it easier to bring generics to the market and forcing drug companies to disclose how they reach their pricing. The poll found the issue was bipartisan, with almost no partisan split.

Uncertainty and rising costs drive hospital layoffs
Across the country, hospitals have announced staff layoffs and budget cuts. Many providers cite an increasing number of Medicare and Medicaid patients combined with lower reimbursement rates from those programs as a driving force. Hospitals are also concerned Republican efforts to repeal the ACA may lead to a higher rate of uninsured patients, exacerbating the issue.

NIH funding to support key medical science research
The $2 billion boost to the NIH budget increases funding to treat diseases and supports research on emerging threats, like infections resistant to antibiotics. Five important areas of research included in the budget are: Alzheimer’s, cancer, precision medicine, superbugs and a neuroscience initiative to map the human brain.