Public Policy Weekly Clips: February 23, 2016

February 23, 2016 · Paul Cotton

Every Tuesday 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:



AHIP & the Core Quality Measures Collaborative announced 7 cross-payer core measure sets.

CMS proposed upping Medicare Advantage pay 1.35% overall & risk adjusting for duals & disabled.

Medicare Advantage enrollment is up >50%, contradicting critics who said ACA would kill the program.

USPSTF says there is not enough evidence to judge the value of autism screening in children.

AHRQ says there is an urgent need to improve CPOE drug allergy safety alerts to reduce overrides.

HPV rates dropped by 2/3ds in teens and 1/3 in 20-24 year old women since the vaccine’s introduction.

Over half of teenage ED patients were exposed to violence and nearly 1 in 4 show PTSD symptoms.

Hospital admissions associated with return ED visits may not capture quality problems in ED care.

Flu patients in poor neighborhoods are twice as likely as more affluent patients to be hospitalized.

Urban men are 23% more likely to get aggressive prostate cancer care than men in rural areas.

The National Health Policy Forum is winding down its 44-year-long operation due to funding shortfalls.


California’s Marketplace may require insurers to pay broker commissions to prevent cherry picking.

Connecticut blocked UnitedHealthcare’s move to zero out broker commissions for ACA plans.

Florida conditionally approved the Humana-Aetna merger that is still awaiting a federal green light.

Indiana says Urban Institute is too biased to evaluate its Medicaid waiver requiring HSA contributions.

Utah’s Intermountain Healthcare promises to hold rate hikes below 1/3 the national average.


95% of employers have <200 employees & are mostly making final choices on payment reform.

Self-insurance is a growing as a way to cut costs, particularly for smaller groups.

Telehealth in ACOs & CINs improves access, particularly to behavioral care, & delivers quality at low cost

Without the ACA, carriers would continue to sell plans that don’t cover behavioral health treatment.

Despite modifying benefits in 2015, employers expect costs to rise again in 2016, requiring more change.

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