The “Young Invincibles” are back in the news.
The Obama administration expected – and needed – large numbers of younger and healthier people to sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act to have a sustainable risk pool. However, it hasn’t happened, at least not in the numbers needed. Continue reading
Bad debt? Or charity care? Sean Hamill of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently wrote an interesting story about how hospitals increasingly are re-categorizing the health care bills of low-income patients in a fashion that may be helping the hospital more than the patient.
Some angles in this story are especially timely as the 2017 Affordable Care Act enrollment season is about to begin. Continue reading
The fourth open enrollment season of the Affordable Care Act – for coverage in 2017 – begins on Nov. 1.
Here are four key dates to remember: Continue reading
Local pharmacies have limited hours? Turns out that this is way more than an inconvenience. It may also be a factor in hospital readmissions. Patients who can’t easily get their medications from an accessible, nearby – and open! – pharmacy are more likely to end up back in the hospital.
Experts have been exploring possible reasons why so many patients bounce in and out of the hospital, and why it’s been hard to bring down the 30-day readmission rates, even with new financial incentives under the Affordable Care Act. Continue reading
High deductibles and out of pocket costs – which are increasing in both Affordable Care Act exchange plans and employer-sponsored coverage – have given new urgency to helping patients (or “consumers” as they’re called nowadays) learn about the cost and quality of care.
If you know both cost and quality, you know more about the value of care. (Assuming the treatment actually is the right and necessary course of care, but that’s a whole other conversation.)
Many programs and experiments are underway to figure out which tools are helpful to patients, how patients are using them, and what are their impact on health spending and utilization. The findings so far can perhaps be summed up as “meh.” Continue reading