Category Archives: Health care reform

Verma defends cuts to navigators and halting risk adjustment payments

Virgil Dickson

About Virgil Dickson

Virgil Dickson reports for Modern Healthcare from Washington, D.C., on the federal regulatory agencies. Before joining Modern Healthcare in 2013, he was the Washington-based correspondent for PRWeek and an editor/reporter for FDA News.

Photo: Jeff Porter/AHCJSeema Verma, administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, spoke at a briefing on public health emergencies at the CDC in December.

Seema Verma, administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, was on defense on Thursday during a meeting with reporters who pushed her to explain a series of controversial decisions made by her agency in recent weeks.

The agency has faced accusations of sabotage by health advocates after the agency’s decisions to end risk payments to insurance companies offering plans on the individual market and to dramatically cut funding for navigators who help consumers sign up for coverage.  Continue reading

Reporter finds causes of infant mortality in Indiana are complex

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. Follow her on Facebook.

Giles Bruce, who covers health for the Times of Northwest Indiana, did deep reporting into infant mortality in Indiana, work that was recognized in AHCJ’s Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism this year. He started with a disturbing number – 623 babies died before their first birthday in Indiana last year.

In a new “How I Did It” essay, he explains more about his series. He looked at factors ranging from air pollution to ignorance about safe sleep practices for infants, and examined some of the potential solutions, including the role of expanded health insurance coverage, often under Medicaid expansion. Continue reading

AHCJ releases recording of today’s CMS announcement

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

Photo: Jeff Porter/AHCJSeema Verma, administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, speaks at a past briefing.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced initiatives today intended to improve oversight and the integrity of Medicaid.

CMS will implement “stronger audit functions, enhanced oversight of state contracts with private insurance companies, increased beneficiary eligibility oversight, and stricter enforcement of state compliance with federal rules,” according to a press release. Continue reading

States continue to expand Medicaid, with others possibly voting on the issue

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. Follow her on Facebook.

Image: The Kaiser Family Foundation’s State Health Facts

There’s been a spurt of Medicaid expansion activity in several states. Thirty-three states plus the District of Columbia have approved expansion (including Maine – more on that below.)

Virginia is the most recent state to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam ran last fall on a Medicaid pledge – and the balance of power in his state’s legislature shifted too, with the GOP still in control but now with narrow majorities in both chambers. Continue reading

What to know about the DOJ’s latest whack at the ACA

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. Follow her on Facebook.

Photo: Phil Roeder via Flickr

The Obamacare wars have re-ignited, thanks to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the U.S. Department of Justice, and a surprising assault on the most popular part of the Affordable Care Act: the protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

A group of GOP state attorney generals, with Texas and Wisconsin in the lead, had filed in federal court what was generally regarded as a long-shot lawsuit to have the entire ACA scrapped. Continue reading