Author Archives: Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns

About Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance. He welcomes questions and suggestions on insurance resources and tip sheets at joseph@healthjournalism.org.

Opposition forces GOP senators to delay ACA repeal-and-replace vote

Photo by Sean Stayte via flickr.

Senate GOP leaders today scrapped this week’s planned vote on their version of Obamacare repeal-and-replace legislation, with plans for a quick turnaround on the bill faltering in the face of fierce opposition from voters and a wide variety of interest groups.

After the Congressional Budget Office reported Monday that the Better Care Reconciliation Act would cause 22 million Americans to lose their health insurance, organizations representing physicians, hospitals, small businesses and Medicare patients and other interest groups said the BRCA would have a devastating effect on the health insurance system. Continue reading

Health plan execs fear Senate version of AHCA would gut Medicaid

Photo: Tax Credits via Flickr

The Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), the Senate Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill unveiled Thursday, would do little to promote better care via Medicaid, the federal-state partnership program that insures 75 million primarily low-income Americans that include children, the disabled and certain seniors, according to some insurers that specialize in Medicaid coverage. Continue reading

Hospitals, health systems struggle to define population health

Population health was a term that became popular as Congress was passing the Affordable Care Act in 2010. In the seven years since then, hospitals and health systems have struggled to define the term consistently.

For example, you see from this article by Tamara Rosin for Becker’s Hospital Review that health system administrators use the terms “population health” and its twin “population health management” to describe what they do to keep patients healthy and out of the hospital. The problem is that settling on one definition is a challenge, Rosin wrote. Continue reading

Writing about new subjects, pursuing fellowships help freelancers keep careers fresh

Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJBara Vaida (speaking) moderated a panel full of advice for freelancers on how to keep their careers rewarding. Lynette Clemetson, director of the Wallace House for Knight-Wallace fellowships, talked about the value of a mid-career fellowship to reposition a journalist’s career.

Journalists desiring to keep their freelance career fresh might consider writing new types of stories for different publications, says Laura Beil.

Beil is a Dallas-based independent journalist who typically doesn’t write about sports but decided to change it up a bit recently by successfully pitching and writing an article about obesity among high school football players. Continue reading

#AHCJ17 panelists wrestle with the unintended consequences of complying with MACRA  

Photo: Pia ChristensenRandi Terry (left), of Munson Healthcare in Traverse City, Mich., explains some of the difficulties of complying with MACRA and getting clarification from CMS on the rules.

Any legislation is bound to have unforeseen outcomes, and the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 is no exception, according to two members of a panel discussion on MACRA at Health Journalism 2017.

Anders Gilberg, senior vice president of government affairs for the Medical Group Management Association, and Randi Terry, director of information services for Munson Healthcare in Traverse City, Mich., described some of those unintended consequences. Continue reading