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Ethics questions surround required coverage for preventive treatments
Three former chairmen of the U.S. Preventive Task Force (USPTF) believe the current link between coverage requirements and preventive treatment ratings should be eliminated from the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA requires insurers to pay for any preventive services receiving one of USPSTF’s top two ratings, explains Alison Kodjak of NPR. The doctors advocating for the change argue the rule encourages organizations to lobby the USPTF to classify some treatments, inaccurately, as preventive.
Employees feel burden of rising health costs
Workers may see greater out-of-pocket costs for their health care plans during open enrollment. As employers compensate for an increase in health care costs, many are offering plans with high deductibles. More than half of consumers receiving insurance through an employer will have a deductible in excess of $1,000 for coverage for one person. Rachel Emma Silverman at The Wall Street Journal reports (subscriber’s content).
Hospitals affected by rising drug costs
Hospitals are joining consumer groups and insurers in the call to curb rising drug costs. In a study for the American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals, researchers find drug spending on inpatients increased more than 20 percent between 2013 and 2015, and a rise in cost, not quantity, of medication is responsible. According to Associated Press, hospital leaders say they do not want a scenario where the government controls drug prices directly, but a debate on the issue is necessary.
Online dashboard provides Californians with health plan data
The California Department of Managed Health Care launched an interactive dashboard on its website last week with data on the plans it regulates, including enrollment numbers, premium rates and quality surveys. The data provide insights to consumers, many of whom are not aware of all the information and tools available. The health plan information dashboard aims to help customers become more informed about their options writes Ana B. Ibarra of Kaiser Health News.