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Oct 20, 2017
The words "concierge medicine" can easily conjure an image of a private practice doctor in a swanky downtown office, providing care to only the most well-heeled patients able to afford an annual co-pay of tens of thousands of dollars. Perhaps a limousine picks the patient up for the appointment. Maybe the doctor's office comes equipped with a juice bar and world-class gym.

Less frequently is concierge medicine associated with the nation's hospitals, which are more known for their care for...

Oct 20, 2017

Special interests and their Washington lobbyists are undermining the campaign to combat opioid abuse, an epidemic that is now taking the lives of nearly 100 Americans a day.

Until we put the victims of this national tragedy front and center, the conflicted voices of soulless opioid manufacturers and the opaque treatment world, which is filled with sketchy rehab clinics and questionable alternative therapies, will continue to cloud the debate and prevent effective action. President...

Oct 20, 2017

After a season of healthcare policy fits and starts, now is the time for Washington to take a collective deep breath and assess what we learned and how we as a nation can do better.

I say "we" because if the objective is truly a high-performing, affordable health system for all Americans, then everyone has a role to play—patients, providers, purchasers, health plans and policymakers of every stripe.

First, what have we learned? Americans do not want to go backward. Let's...

Oct 20, 2017

Former congressman Patrick Kennedy on Friday did not mince words when talking to health insurers about the way he felt the industry has hindered efforts to combat the opioid crisis.

"The historic treatment of addiction and mental illness has been a separate and unequal process," Kennedy said during the most recent meeting of President Donald Trump's opioid commission. "All of you as insurers and payers have treated mental health and addiction as if it was something different from the...

Oct 20, 2017

Top Senate Democrats rejected White House demands Friday to add provisions weakening the Obama healthcare law to a bipartisan deal on steadying unsettled insurance markets. The compromise already faced an uphill path and this was the latest blow.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the Trump administration was involved in the negotiations that produced the accord and "should support it instead of floating other ideas that would further the sabotage both parties are...

Oct 20, 2017

Although Medicaid's future path remains uncertain, most states plan to raise their provider rates for their programs this fiscal year, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey of state directors.

In fiscal year 2018, 44 states plan to or have already implemented a rate increase for at least one provider type, such as inpatient and outpatient hospitals, primary care physicians, specialists, dentists or nursing homes.

This is the second fiscal year in a row where the...

Oct 20, 2017

The number of U.S. adults without health insurance is up nearly 3.5 million this year, as rising premiums and political turmoil over "Obamacare" undermine coverage gains that drove the nation's uninsured rate to a historic low.

That finding is based on the latest installment of a major survey, released Friday. The Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index asks a random sample of 500 people each day whether they have health insurance.

The survey found that the uninsured rate among...

Oct 20, 2017

Athenahealth on Friday reported it had a tough third quarter as providers stepped back from the electronic health record vendor's products, sparking an "organizational redesign" with nearly 400 employees laid off.

Athenahealth usually collects payments on its clients' behalf and keeps a percentage, so its revenue is directly tied to provider collections, which were down in the quarter. The EHR vendor has 106,000 providers in its network, and they had fewer patient visits overall. The...

Oct 20, 2017

A bipartisan proposal to calm churning health insurance markets gained momentum Thursday when enough lawmakers rallied behind it to give it potentially unstoppable Senate support. But its fate remained unclear as some Republicans sought changes that could threaten Democratic backing.

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington said their plan had 24 sponsors, divided evenly between both parties, for resuming federal subsidies to...

Oct 20, 2017

Opinion writers offer their thoughts on the outlook for the Obamacare fix advanced by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) as well as on President Donald Trump's recent executive order loosening some restrictions on health insurance and how Medicare prices can help advance efforts at reform.

Why There's No Compromise On Obamacare
Senators Alexander and Murray may well have tried and tried to devise a deal...