Public Policy Weekly Roundup: January 29, 2016

January 29, 2016 · Paul Cotton

Public Policy Weekly Roundup: January 29, 2016

Every Friday 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 Roundup:


The MACRA Physician Focused Payment Model advisory committee holds its first meeting 2/1.

A draft Senate HELP bill would rate EHRs, set an interoperability framework & align quality measures.

CHIME is offering a $1M reward for finding a way to accurately automate record matching.

A survey of high-deductible plan enrollees finds that they are not more likely to shop for better prices.

PhRMA upped its lobbying spend last year amid growing price scrutiny to the highest level since 2009.

United Healthcare says it will lose nearly $1B on ACA Marketplace policies.

Hospitals with high nurse staffing levels tend to have similar costs but lower 30-day mortality,

US cancer patients have lower end-of-life costs & inpatient days vs. 6 other developed nations.

Researchers ID’d a biomarker that predicts which early stage colon cancer patients need chemotherapy.

ACP & CDC released new guidelines to sharply limit antibiotic use for common respiratory infections.

Under half of uninsured chronic condition patients say doctors explain things well vs. 2/3ds of insured.

Under half of diabetics are not diagnosed or treated for hypertension even when documented in EHRs.

GAO says 55% of Medicaid enrollees in managed care as of 7/13, before ACA expansions & duals demos.

GAO also says CMS should align measures and increase oversight in its duals demos.


Connecticut Medicaid’s per capita spend dropped 5.9%, due to managed care & expansion enrollees.

Maryland’s global hospital budget kept cost growth @ 1.47%, 2.1% lower than its target.


The number of people private exchange enrollees rose 35% in 2016 to about 8 million total.

71% of employers plan to give employees access to telemedicine in the next 3 years, up from 22% today.

Insurers are pushing “critical illness” coverage to help with serious illness out-of-pocket costs.

Employers may legally require employees to participate in a wellness program to get health coverage.

Employers adopt digital health solutions moves care out of doctor’s office and onto devices.

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