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17 Aug

Navigators, Take Your Marks!

We all know that actions speak louder than words and, despite the fact that HHS has repeatedly announced that the health-reform law is on track, the various delay announcements have left many of us skeptical.

National Associates of Health Underwriters - NAHU On Thursday, however, right on schedule, HHS released the navigator grant award recipients for the federally facilitated exchanges. One hundred and five groups — including community groups, healthcare providers, business groups and a handful of Planned Parenthood affiliates — will split $67 million, a monetary amount larger than the originally proposed $54 million, to serve as navigators....

9 Aug

Women leaders promote paid sick days for all N.J. workers

TRENTON — A group of women lawmakers, union officials and other community leaders gathered at the Statehouse today to promote legislation that would give every worker in New Jersey at least five paid sick days a year — a benefit they say 1.2 million N

By Susan K. Livio/The Star-Ledger  The female leaders said they were promoting the issue because women are most often the caregivers for children and sick relatives, as well as the sole breadwinners. Not having the flexibility of taking a day off with pay when they or their family members are sick makes them choose between money and health. “Earned sick days provide the...

7 Aug

Aging baby boomers may find long-term care elusive

Chuck Meadows moved in with his mother, Nancy, when the 82-year old widow could no longer care for herself because of dementia. It has made him think a lot about his own long-term care needs in retirement.

By: Bertha Coombs | CNBC Reporter "Quite frankly it concerns me very deeply, not only for myself but for a lot of people in my peer group," said the 56-year-old Meadows of Laguna Niguel, Calif. "My age group," he said, "They aren't really thinking long-term here. I think this is going to be a crisis in this country and it is not going...

5 Aug

IOM: Target inefficient Medicare doctors, not regions

An Institute of Medicine panel finds that geography itself is not responsible for high cost growth in certain areas.

By CHARLES FIEGL amednews staff Washington Congress should not adopt a Medicare value index that would adjust physicians' payments based on whether they practice in high- or low-spending areas, an Institute of Medicine committee concluded after studying Medicare, Medicaid and private insurer cost variations for patient services across the nation. A study on the factors leading to differences in consumption of health services in the...

1 Aug

SMALL-BUSINESS FORUM LOOKS TO EASE JITTERS ABOUT AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

Lack of public outreach in New Jersey makes it tough for business owners to grasp the details -- and implications -- of the ACA.

ANDREW KITCHENMAN A forum in Newark led by U.S. Rep. Donald M. Payne Jr. didn’t settle all of the concerns New Jersey small-business owners harbor about the Affordable Care Act, but it made progress. The 2010 federal law was written to spare small businesses from some of those worries, including penalties that employers with more than 50 employees must pay. Those penalties...

30 Jul

HHS Inspector General Scrutinizes Medicare Observation Care Policy

Medicare patients\' chances of being admitted to the hospital or kept for observation depend on what hospital they go to -- even when their symptoms are the same,...

By Susan Jaffe Medicare patients' chances of being admitted to the hospital or kept for observation depend on what hospital they go to -- even when their symptoms are the same, notes a federal watchdog agency in a report to be released today, which also urges Medicare officials to count those observation visits toward the three-inpatient-day minimum required for nursing home coverage. The investigation,...

29 Jul

Medicare pioneer ACOs save money but lose physicians

The accountable care organizations generate nearly $33 million in savings, but long-term viability of the pioneer program is questioned as groups seek lower-risk models.

By CHARLES FIEGL amednews staff Washington Physicians in nine large groups have dropped out of Medicare's pioneer accountable care organization initiative after just one year of participation, but health policy officials and doctors leading ACO groups said they are not turning their backs on coordinating care for beneficiaries. The 32 pioneer ACOs cut costs for Medicare by 0.3% in 2012 while similar patient populations outside...

29 Jul

NEW TOOL SHOWS HIDDEN MEDICAL COSTS CAUSED BY HOSPITAL ERRORS

Employers can use calculator to steer workers toward more efficient, less expensive healthcare facilities

ANDREW KITCHENMAN  A new tool released last week enables employers that self-fund employee health insurance to estimate how much hospital errors cost them. The premise is that hospitals making fewer mistakes require patients to undergo fewer additional procedures or treatments, which lowers costs. The hope is that laying out those costs in the context of safety records will help steer employees to those...

24 Jul

Horizon says patient-centered care model improving both costs, outcomes

By Beth Fitzgerald Fewer hospital admissions and trips to the ER, and better and less costly diabetes care, are among the 2012 results of the patient-centered medical home program of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, the insurer announced today. Horizon said it plans increase enrollment in medical homes, which seek to coordinate medical care in order to improve quality while...

22 Jul

AMA: Drug company gift reports need physician comments

Pharma sunshine reporting starts Aug. 1 Physicians won\'t see their public reports on the payments and gifts they receive from drug and device manufacturers until September 2014, but companies start collecting data now.

By CHARLES FIEGL amednews staff The American Medical Association suggests changes to how federal officials collect and report data on financial ties between physicians and manufacturers. Washington The collection and reporting of drug and device industry payments and transfers of value to physicians could be improved by giving doctors the option to provide context to data associated with them that will be made public under...

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