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Young people encouraged to sign up for health coverage
President Obama is calling on young people to sustain Affordable Care Act marketplaces. Less than 30 percent of consumers purchasing health care on the exchanges are Millennials, whose participation is necessary to offset the costs of older, sicker individuals. To encourage young people to sign up for coverage, the President is gearing up to pitch students at the University of South Florida in Tampa tomorrow. Additionally, community colleges are advertising open enrollment and Lyft, the ridesharing company, is offering discounts to customers travelling to enrollment events. Rachana Pradhan and Paul Demko at Politico have the story.
Federal government seeks to dismiss ACA lawsuits
The Obama administration is requesting the dismissal of two high-profile health care lawsuits in which insurers claim they are owed millions of dollars under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The two insurers, Moda Healthcare and BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina, have sued the federal government for more than $300 million combined. Sarah Ferris from The Hill reports the Justice Department filed motions to dismiss both lawsuits on Friday, arguing the federal government is not responsible for those payments.
Maryland co-op to become for-profit
Evergreen Health co-op in Maryland is becoming a for-profit organization in order to remain open. Federal and state officials are expected to approve the shift, leaving in operation only five of the original 23 nonprofit co-ops started three years ago under the Affordable Care Act. According to Amy Goldstein at The Washington Post, Evergreen provides health coverage to nearly 40,000 individuals, including 8,000 consumers who purchased insurance through the state exchange.
Medicare paying more for dialysis at home
Medicare is boosting payments for in-home dialysis treatment, making it easier for patients to receive the hours-long treatment. Roughly 7,000 dialysis centers are active in the United States, and more than 500,000 Americans need the treatment, writes Eric Whitney of NPR. Dialysis experts believe the change could boost the effectiveness of treatment by encouraging patients to play an active role in their own health care.
Hospitals plead guilty to Medicaid fraud
Two hospitals previously owned by Tenet Healthcare admit they violated anti-kickback laws in an attempt to defraud Medicaid. The two organizations illegally paid local clinics to refer more than 20,000 pregnant Medicaid patients in order to boost revenue, reports Erica Teichert of Modern Healthcare. Tenet has agreed to pay more than $500 million as part of a settlement.
NYT pays tribute to eradicator of smallpox
Donald A. Henderson, the medical doctor who oversaw the effort to eradicate smallpox, died in late August. Lawrence Altman of The New York Times explains how Henderson navigated international politics, bureaucratic turf wars and internal strife at the World Health Organization in order to achieve one of the greatest medical achievements of the 20th century.