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Feb 13, 2019

ORLANDO, Fla.—The CMS may use its innovation center to push early adoption of newly proposed transparency and data-blocking rules.

While there are many ways to encourage transparency, HHS Deputy Administrator Adam Boehler said the center's models could "drive that sooner" with their advanced models.

"Where you eventually want to get here is relatively simple: You want patients and their delegates to get free access to electronic, easy to use information within 24 hours,"...

Feb 13, 2019

Congressional Democrats on Wednesday revived the first of an expected slate of proposals to expand coverage through a public option, starting with the most modest: Medicare buy-in at 50.

Rep. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) were first out the door this Congress with their bill, framed by Higgins as an overdue next step for the Affordable Care Act.

The "Medicare at 50" bill would add the option of Medicare Part A and B, the Part D prescription drug...

Feb 13, 2019

Democrats and Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday signaled they could band together to slap clear consumer warnings on short-term limited-duration health plans.

The bill by Health Subcommittee Chair Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) aims to temper the Trump administration's move to let people keep short-term plans for up to three years. These plans offer limited benefits and the insurers can deny claims they deem as a symptom of a pre-existing condition.


Feb 13, 2019

Six weeks after the term of the New York State Nurses Association contract with a group of city hospitals ended, the two sides have yet to reach a deal, mostly because of their disagreement about defined nurse-to-patient ratios.

The contract dispute is with the New York City Hospital Alliance, a bargaining group that includes Montefiore, Mount Sinai and New York-Presbyterian. Nurses will hold informational pickets at 13 hospitals Wednesday, including those that are part of the...

Feb 13, 2019

This story is part of a partnership that includes KUT, NPR and Kaiser Health News.

This story can be republished for free (details).

In Texas, a growing number of patients are turning to a little-known state mediation program to deal with unexpected hospital bills.

The bills in question often arrive in patients’ mailboxes with shocking balances that run into the tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars...

Feb 12, 2019

Partnerships with health systems underpinned much of real estate investment trust Welltower's growth in 2018, including some involving big names like Providence St. Joseph Health, Ascension and Johns Hopkins Medicine.

The Toledo, Ohio-based company's executives said during their earnings call Tuesday that they have $3 billion in development currently under construction, and plan to announce more deals similar to recently announced partnerships with health systems. Welltower and not-...

Feb 12, 2019

(Updated at 8 pm)

ORLANDO, Fla.—A day after releasing two significant proposed regulations, leaders from the CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology spread out across HIMSS19 in Orlando to talk up what they say will finally put patients in the driver's seat.

"We had two big goals. One transcendent goal was to empower patients to control their healthcare," Dr. Donald Rucker, head of ONC, said during a media briefing Tuesday, adding that...

Feb 12, 2019

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has sent a warning letter to drug distributing giant McKesson Corp. for allegedly shipping pharmacies opioid products with pills missing or non-opioid replacements.

The agency documented several alleged incidents when the company shipped tampered opioid products, stemming from what it found during inspections of McKesson's corporate headquarters and a distribution center.

In its warning letter, the agency cites the company for allegedly...

Feb 12, 2019

Younger consumers in the U.S. and six other advanced countries are more dissatisfied than older people with many characteristics of traditional healthcare, such as treatment effectiveness and lack of convenience and responsiveness, a new Accenture survey found.

In addition, millennials and the generation that follows them, Gen Zers, are much less likely to have a regular primary-care physician compared with baby boomers and Gen Xers.

But cost transparency is equally important...

Feb 12, 2019

HHS Secretary Alex Azar said the agency is exploring cracking down on a practice insurance plans use to make a patient start over on step therapy if they switch plans.

Azar's comments before the American Medical Association's Advocacy Conference in Washington on Tuesday comes as the agency is proposing allowing Medicare Advantage plans to apply step therapy and prior authorization to drugs sold in Medicare Part B and Part D. The practice has opposition from some patient groups who...