Public Policy Weekly Clips: April 26, 2016

April 26, 2016 · Paul Cotton

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.

public policy clips


CMS released extensive Medicare Advantage HEDIS & CAHPS data stratified by race/ethnicity.

CMS is postponing until July public release of its hospital star ratings after strong pushback.

MedPAC wants to cut Part D payments & cap enrollee drug costs to push harder drug price negotiations.

93% of 50+ Americans say the federal government should negotiate Medicare drug prices.

NASHP released a summary of state efforts to curb drug costs & launched a workgroup to address them.

Switching to the newest HPV vaccine could decrease death rates & save $2.7B over the next 35 years.

People who got ACA Medicaid coverage decreased their annual medical debts by up to $1,000.

UnitedHealth plan to exit most ACA markets will have minimal impact overall but more in some markets.

Suicide rates rose 24% from 1999-2014 with the rate for women up 45%, narrowing the gap with men.

A meta-analysis suggests loneliness & social isolation raise heart disease risk 29% & stroke risk 32%

A VA study found just 5% of carotid artery scans clearly appropriate, 83% uncertain, 11% inappropriate.

The most aggressive care after mini-strokes greatly lowers recurrent stroke or cardiovascular event risk.

Knee replacement surgery may increase risk of hip & spine fractures.

The term “palliative care” triggers negative feelings in many cancer patients 7 may need rebranding.

Fast food consumption is linked to much higher blood levels of potentially harmful phthalates.

AHRQ is looking to fund innovative research projects on ways to improve primary care delivery.

The AMA’s Kathleen Blake will replace Karen DeSalvo as co-chair of the HIT Policy Committee.

Daryl Kade is SAMHSA’s new Center for Behavioral Health Statistics & Quality Director.


Medicaid expansion states saw more physician visits, hospital stays & chronic condition diagnoses.

Alaska passed a bill to increase prevention & primary care via primary care case management.

Arkansas’s governor used a “novel” line-item veto to continue the state’s Medicaid expansion

Florida will have a private vendor develop consumer-friendly, web-based cost & quality comparisons.

Louisiana plans to begin Medicaid expansion enrollment June 1.

Maine now limits opioid prescription amounts & requires prescribers to check a state database.


Employer-based insurance in 2016, will cover 155M people or 57% of the population under age 65.

87% of large employers offer HDHPs with HSAs in 2016 requiring automated consumer tools.

Up to 890% of employers are projected to offer telemedicine by 2018.

63% of all covered workers & 83% in 200+ worker firms are in self-funded plans but most don’t know it.

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