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109 Sable Trace Lane
Acworth Ga, 30102-7621

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Phone/Fax: 678-574-8421

ACA update August 24, 2015

Week of August 24, 2015
A new Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll found that most Americans, across political affiliations, feel that drug costs are unreasonable (72 percent). Grabbing many of the headlines last week was the finding that drug costs have now displaced the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as the chief health care concern among Republicans, according to the poll.

Federal

Congress is now recessed until early September.

From Aetna health reform weekly

 

ACA weekly update August 17, 2015

Week of August 17, 2015
Almost 1 million people signed up for health insurance after the open enrollment season ended on February 22, helping to drive the percentage of uninsured Americans below 10 percent. One government survey found that 7 million fewer people were uninsured in the first three months of this year, compared to the average for all of 2014.

However, a report from the Urban Institute last week warned that progress could stagnate if affordability is not addressed. The report said that private coverage provided through the exchanges remains a financial stretch for many families, even with subsidies, and that disenrollment rates could increase over time.

Federal

Congress is now recessed until early September.

From Aetna health reform weekly

 

ACA update week of August 10, 2015

Week of August 10, 2015
Bipartisan mental health legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate last week, a response in part to mass shootings of the past couple of years. Similar legislation had already been filed in the House. The bill would amend privacy laws to allow family members to have more information about the health and treatment of mentally ill loved ones.
Federal

A bipartisan group of senators has introduced a bill to help reduce prescription drug abuse by locking patients with histories of Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage drug abuse into a single provider and pharmacy in order to reduce "doctor shopping."
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued final 2016 rules boosting payments to hospitals and other health care providers. Inpatient rehabilitation facilities saw their reimbursements increase by about 1.8 percent (about $135 million), while inpatient psychiatric facilities saw a similar 1.5 percent ($75 million) increase. Hospice payments also increased by about 1.1 percent (or $160 million).
President Obama signed the Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility (NOTICE) Act into law last week, requiring hospitals to inform patients if they are categorized as outpatients receiving observation services rather than inpatient admission. The notification required must occur within 36 hours of the beginning of observation services.

From Aetna health reform weekly