Category Archives: Health care reform

Resources for tracking rural hospital closures

Joanne Kenen

About Joanne Kenen

Joanne Kenen, (@JoanneKenen) the health editor at Politico, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health reform and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on health reform resources and tip sheets at joanne@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: throgers via Flickr

The phenomenon of rural hospital closures has gotten a fair amount of attention in the last few years with all the Affordable Care Act finger-pointing. But as the University of North Carolina’s Cecil G. Sheps Center notes, the problem really emerged and caught the attention of policymakers in the late 1980s.

For a few years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published an annual report, but closures slowed down about 20 years ago, and interest waned. The pace of closures picked up again during the Great Recession of 2008-09, before the ACA’s passage. Continue reading

Hospitals, health systems struggle to define population health

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.

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

Revised HHS rules aim to shift more health plan control to states

Joanne Kenen

About Joanne Kenen

Joanne Kenen, (@JoanneKenen) the health editor at Politico, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health reform and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on health reform resources and tip sheets at joanne@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: knitsteel via Flickr

Before the Affordable Care Act, health insurance regulation in the individual market largely was managed by the states. The ACA saw a shift to a greater federal role. Now under the Trump administration, some responsibilities are going back to the states.

In a new tip sheet for AHCJ, Louise Norris, whom many AHCJ members know as a contributor to healthinsurance.org, explains the new responsibilities. One significant area is network adequacy – whether a plan has enough doctors, hospitals and other providers to meet the needs of beneficiaries. Continue reading

Aging experts assess priorities under a new administration

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in Kaiser Health News, The Atlantic.com, New America Media, AARP.com and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College in New York City, and co-produces HealthStyles for WBAI-FM/Pacifica Radio.

Photo by Boris Bartels via Flickr

From the future of delivery system reform to controlling prescription drug costs to considering how states may handle proposed Medicaid cuts, there is significant concern these days among policy experts who focus on aging and health. Several of the addressed the issue at a recent panel in New York City on the future of aging policy under the Trump administration.

Developing a national aging strategy was high on the list for participants of the session, “Aging Priorities for a New Administration,” part of the d.health Summit 2017 on May 10. Moderating was Joanne Kenen, health care executive editor at Politico and AHCJ’s topic leader on health reform. Continue reading

Harsh CBO score doesn’t ease the path of Senate Republicans writing their repeal bill

Joanne Kenen

About Joanne Kenen

Joanne Kenen, (@JoanneKenen) the health editor at Politico, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health reform and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on health reform resources and tip sheets at joanne@healthjournalism.org.

Photo by Sean Stayte via flickr.

If Senate Republicans were hoping that this week’s new CBO score of their revamped House health bill was going to make life easier for them … Not so much.

House leaders had worked hard to revise American Health Care Act when they couldn’t get the votes. But the Congressional Budget Office found that the projected impact of the amended version, which narrowly passed the House in early May, wasn’t all that different than the original.

The old bill would have led to 24 million fewer Americans having coverage in a decade. The new bill, according to CBO, would mean 23 million would not be covered. Continue reading