Public Policy Weekly Clips: March 29, 2016

March 29, 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.


CMMI’s Diabetes Prevention Program improved cost & quality and will be expanded.

CBO raised its ACA cost estimate by 11% from last year & lowered its enrollment projections by 1M.

AHIP unveiled a new initiative to improve provider directory accuracy & reporting efficiency.

Medicare meaningful use participation dropped slightly in 2015 for both hospital & clinicians.

AAFP urged CMS to push hospitals to more freely share discharge data with primary care doctors.

Health systems, hospital chains & insurance companies are increasingly buying urgent-care centers.

Physicians in low-SES areas are less patient centered, empathetic & prone to shared decision-making.

GAO says repelled 300+ attempted hacks but still should strengthen security controls.

The Office of Civil Rights is expanding HIPAA audits to business associates.

Anthem is suing Express Scripts for allegedly not doing enough to negotiate better drug prices.

99% of US doctors prescribe more than the recommended 3-day limit on addictive pain drugs.

FDA will require stronger safety warnings on the risks of all opioids.

A Lancet review of the war on drugs says it cause violence, disease, and undermines the right to health.

Mindfulness, stress reduction & cognitive behavioral therapy both best standard low back pain care.

Heart disease deaths dropped 61% overall since the 1970’s but county rates ranged from 9% to 83%.

Less than 3% of Americans have healthy diets, BMI, exercise & non-smoking habits.

Both maternal & paternal caffeine intake is linked to higher miscarriage rates.

Genetic tests showing higher disease risk do not induce healthier behaviors to reduce those risks.

Black & low-income women get less genetic testing after early-stage breast cancer diagnoses.

Alliance for Health Reform VPs Sarah Dash & Marilyn Serafini will jointly replace Ed Howard as president.


California is posting duals demo updates on HRA, utilization, care team contact & appeal rates.

California’s approval of Centene’s acquisition of Health Net includes a condition to improve quality.

Connecticut says moving from Medicaid managed care to “managed FFS” cut PMPM costs nearly 7%.

Florida passed legislation allowing nurse practitioners & PAs to prescribe drugs.

Massachusetts has 95.7% coverage but 43% of insured adults still have problems with affordability.

New York updated its value-based purchasing roadmap after getting broad stakeholder input.

West Virginia passed a bill to let nurse practitioners practice independently.


Hospital patient safety lags, adding to employer healthcare costs, says GAO.

Employer CFOs can choose the areas they want covered and reduce health care costs yet retain talent.

An estimated 30% of employers now operate clinics for their employees as medical homes.

A new app connecting people to continuous, connected & collaborative care drives better care & cost.

Two-thirds of Americans say competitive healthcare benefits are more important than other “perks.”

Northeast Business Group on Health releases Employer Guide to Digital Diabetes Tools.

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