Tag Archives: waivers

New innovation waiver guidance provides more – and less – flexibility for states

Photo: Visit Lakeland via Flickr

The Trump administration has released new guidance that revamps the Affordable Care Act (ACA) state innovation waivers – also known as 1332 waivers – to give states more flexibility to expand access to less expensive non-ACA plans.

One of the biggest changes would be allowing people to use their ACA subsidies to buy insurance outside of ACA markets, including short-term plans or association health plans that don’t meet ACA coverage and patient protection rules. Continue reading

Another bid at ACA stabilization – and likely another failure

Photo by Sean Stayte via flickr

Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray are circulating a new “ACA stabilization” plan that in some ways is more ambitious than past efforts and takes into account the repeal of the individual mandate penalty. The senators are trying to get it into the omnibus spending bill Congress wants to pass by March 23.

But success is not very likely at this point. It’s not impossible given all the horse-trading that has to happen to get a huge omnibus spending bill passed, and Alexander, in particular, is persisting. But it definitely is a long shot. Continue reading

Doctors rebel against online patient reviews

Associated Press Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner reports that almost 2,000 doctors have signed up for a service providing waivers barring patients who sign them from posting on online doctor-rating sites like Angie’s List and RateMDs.com.

North Carolina neurosurgeon Dr. Jeffrey Segal’s firm, Medical Justice, gives paying doctors waiver forms to give patients and alerts them when a review appears online. Medical Justice allows doctors to use signed waiver forms to then have the offending comments removed, which he said had been done in “several instances.”

Some sites “are little more than tabloid journalism without much interest in constructively improving practices,” and their sniping comments can unfairly ruin a doctor’s reputation, Segal said.
Segal said such postings say nothing about what should really matter to patients — a doctor’s medical skills — and privacy laws and medical ethics prevent leave doctors powerless to do anything it.

According to Tanner, the co-founder of RateMDs.com said he refuses to take comments down when confronted with a signed waiver. Northwestern University Internet law specialist and attorney Jim Speta questioned the effectiveness of such waivers, Tanner said.

“Courts might say the balance of power between doctors and patients is very uneven” and that patients should be able to give feedback on their doctors’ performance, Speta said.