Public Policy Weekly Clips: April 12, 2016

April 12, 2016 · Paul Cotton

Today, NCQA gives a rundown of the best national, state and private sector health care articles from the week. Here are our picks for today’s Public Policy Weekly Clips.



PCMHs appear to be associated with better mental health care access & coordination for adults.

CMS’ will up Medicare Advantage base payments 0.85% in 2018 & pay more for duals for a net 3% gain.

CMS Hospital Compare data show a link between patient experience ratings & clinical outcomes.

The rate of hospital-acquired conditions declined 17% from 2010-14, with pressure ulcers down 40%.

Health Affairs’ April issue focuses on consumers’ use of evidence, with articles on how PROMs can help engage them, how Yelp reviews offer broader information that hospital CAHPS ratings and how most people now do not believe health care cost & quality are necessarily linked.

Urban says the IRS could help ID the 49% of the uninsured eligible for Medicaid, CHIP or ACA subsidies.

The rate of uninsured children is down to 11%, the lowest in 8 years.

Georgetown/Urban issued a report on how telemedicine can address network adequacy requirements.

NAS says teaming with community groups is key to delivering value to disadvantaged populations.

FTC, FDA, ONC & OCR issued an interactive guide for digital health app developers.

Leapfrog found that medication-ordering software systems are often do not catch errors.

The 10 top-selling drugs’ prices rose by 54% to100% since 2011 but prescriptions for them dropped 22%.

U.S. insulin costs rose nearly doubled from 2002-13 & annual per-patient costs rose from $231 to $736.

WHO issued a “call for action” on worldwide diabetes rates that have quadrupled since 1980 to 422M.

The White House says US diabetes rates are beginning to slow & complications are down substantially.

Pfizer & Allergan ended their merger after new rules for companies moving to lower-tax countries.

Refined carbohydrates & sugary drinks are associated with higher breast & prostate cancer risks

Older doctors are more likely to do non-recommended prostate cancer screening in older men.

Half of medical students in a study had biased beliefs that African American have less pain perception.

Medical Health Plans of America elected Horizon NJ Health President Erhardt Preitauer as board chair.

CMMI announced a new 5 year multi-payer medical home demonstration built up from CPCI.


Michigan set up a workgroup to develop strategies for improving its behavioral health system

New Jersey issued a report on legal & regulatory barriers to integrating behavioral & physical care.

Ohio is seeking a waiver to charge monthly premiums to over 1M Medicaid enrollees

Tennessee’s Darin Gordon, the country’s longest serving Medicaid director, will step down June 30.

UnitedHealth is exiting the Georgia and Arkansas exchanges, citing difficulties achieving profit.


More employers investing in “total well-being” programs addressing financial and emotional health.

HSAs are growing as a part of individual’s financial planning.

Despite fears, ACA has not uprooted employer coverage.

Effective wellness programs lower costs $1,600 per employee & reduce hypertension & obesity rates.

Much of employers’ planned design changes will focus on creating & maintaining healthier employees.

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