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ACHP in the News: ACHP President and CEO Ceci Connolly discussed the future of the Affordable Care Act on The Diane Rehm Show.
RealClearHealth featured an op-ed by Connolly advocating for restoration of quality incentive payments. in Medicare Advantage.
Presidential Transition Brief
– Ben Carson has turned down serving any formal role within the Trump administration.
– Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) is making a real play for Ways and Means Health Subcommittee ranking member to replace outgoing Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA). Doggett is a leading member on out-of-control drug prices, but also in the minority.
Insurers prepare for industry changes
Insurers are bracing themselves for possible changes to the industry, including less emphasis on the shift to value-based care and an increase in consolidation among hospitals, doctors and health plans. Health insurers have spent the past several years and millions of dollars to comply with the provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). A Trump administration coupled with a Republican Congress could lead to the repeal of many of President Obama’s health care policies, and insurers are preparing for this upheaval. Some health care executives are concerned subsidies that help individuals pay for coverage will not be adequately funded and note cutting funding for the ACA will have the same effect as repealing the health law. Reed Abelson at The New York Times has the story.
McCarthy: Congress will not fully repeal ACA at once
The entirety of the Affordable Care Act will not be repealed in one sweep at the start of the next Congress, according to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Jon Reid from Morning Consult shares Rep. McCarthy (R-CA) has stated Republicans in Congress will work with the new administration to develop a plan to adjust the health law without resulting in coverage loss or higher premiums.
President Obama outlines challenges to repealing ACA
During a White House press conference on Monday, President Obama explained why Republicans will face difficulties overturning his signature health care law. The Affordable Care Act has many popular benefits, including prescription drug discounts for seniors, free mammograms and an end to lifetime limits. Republicans do not have the 60-vote majority needed to avoid a Democratic filibuster, making it challenging to repeal parts of the law. Changes to the ACA will come through reconciliation bills, which mostly apply to budget measures and do not include the provisions pertaining to pre-existing conditions and children under the age of 26. Bob Bryan at Business Insider reports.
Role of device representatives leads to ethical concerns
Medical-device salespeople are often in the operating room, raising ethical questions. The presence of medical device representatives is not always disclosed to patients; critics worry the influence of the representative may negatively affect patient experience. Sandra G. Boodman of Kaiser Health News shares some experts note device representatives can benefit consumers and doctors, as their familiarity with products can lead to faster, more-efficient surgeries.
Hospitals ask lame-duck Congress for changes to readmission penalties
Hospital lobbyists are urging the lame-duck Congress to pass a bill adjusting penalties for hospitals with high readmission rates. Virgil Dickson of Modern Healthcare reports hospitals serving low-income patients have expressed the Medicare rules fail to account for factors outside a hospital’s control, including a patient population that is more likely to experience financial and social hardships. The standards were enacted as part of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) focus on paying for quality of care instead of fee-for-service.
HHS continues ACA push following Trump win
Obama administration officials are continuing their push to enroll individuals in exchange health care plans. Health and Human Services (HHS) officials note the Affordable Care Act (ACA) remains in effect, and HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell continues to defend the law. President-elect Trump vowed to repeal the ACA while campaigning for president, leading to uncertainty about the law’s future, writes Sarah Ferris of The Hill.