Public Policy Weekly Clips: March 7, 2016

March 7, 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.



HHS reached its goal of tying 30% of Medicare payments to quality ahead of schedule.

The Supreme Court ruled against mandatory self-insured employer all-payer claims database reporting.

Large EHR vendors & provider groups pledged to improve consumer access & stop blocking data sharing.

CMS wants to give states a 90% match to foster EHRs & data exchange for behavioral & LTSS providers.

Medicaid & CHIP enrollment is up 25% with 14.5M new enrollees since ACA coverage expansion.

Cancer drugs sold only in large vials that most patients don’t need may cause $3B in waste each year.

ASCO endorsed active surveillance guidelines for localized prostate cancer patients.

Low vitamin D levels may be associated with more aggressive prostate cancers and racial disparities.

Hospital admissions for uncontrolled diabetes without complications fell from 28-17% from 2001-12.

Hospital-acquired infections dropped in 2014, especially for central lines, but 1 in 4 were drug resistant.

COPD patients treated by NPs or PAs had fewer ED visits & higher pulmonologist follow-up rates.

Medical assistant care management improved quality of life but not hospitalizations in high-risk patients

Overweight & obese people without metabolic abnormalities still have higher risk of kidney disease.

Drugs & cognitive behavioral therapy are similar for major depression. ACP updated its guidelines to recommend either after shared decision making with patients.

Unintended pregnancies dropped 18% from 2008-11 but remain high for those below the poverty level.

The administration recouped $2.4B in health care anti-fraud efforts, for a more than 6-1 ROI.


Alaska’s Medicaid expansion without a legislative OK was upheld by a state judge, legislators will appeal.

California wants to tax all insurers, not just Medicaid plans, to cover Medicaid costs.

Massachusetts’s governor wants to implement Medicaid ACOs and greater LTSS oversight.

Pennsylvania issued an RFP for managed LTSS for elderly, disabled and duals.


Price transparency & direct incentives to consumer behavior have minimal effect on health spending.

Telemedicine continues to grow with a 50% increase from the previous year

52% of organizations with >1K employees offer an HDHP, but, only 6% have “full replacement.”

93% of millennials don’t do preventative doctor visits, but 60% get vision care for fashion statements.

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