April 19, 2019




 

 

In This Issue
Fast Facts
CMS Finalizes 2020 Payment Parameters Rule and Letter to Issuers
Congress is Back in District – Time to Meet Your Member!
Join the Conversation as a Member of a NAHU Legislative Council Working Group
State Spotlight: Comprehensive Surprise Billing Legislation Makes Its Way through Texas
Healthcare Happy Hour: Now Available on Spotify!
Register for Next Week’s Webinar on the State of the Long-Term Care Insurance Industry
Did You Miss Yesterday’s Webinar on Compliance Questions?
Register for the Catalyst for Payment Reform’s Virtual Event on May 17
HUPAC Roundup: Swinging in the Midwest
What We're Reading
Tools
E-mail the Editor
Visit the NAHU Website
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What We're Reading
It wouldn’t be a holiday weekend without some holiday regulatory reading. For those looking for a reprieve from thumbing through the 2020 payment parameters rule, we recommend these reads:
  • High-deductible insurance plans are linked to delayed diagnosis and treatment. The study, which focuses on breast cancer in women shows that though the delays were longer for lower income women with high deductibles though higher income women with high deductibles still experienced delays in care. There were also delays whether the individual lived in a metropolitan or rural area, or whether they lived in predominately white or non-white neighborhoods.
  • Many Americans are delaying their healthcare until their tax refunds arrive. Out-of-pocket healthcare spending jumps 60% the week after people get their refunds.
  • The current medical system is set up for disease, not for preventing disease. This article talks with a doctor on his experiences with the medical system.
  • Sixty doctors, pharmacists, medical professionals and others are being charged in connection with alleged opioid pushing and healthcare fraud. Approximately 130 Americans die each day from an opioid-related overdose, and law enforcement officials are trying to stop the flow of the drugs.
  • Gene therapy has cured 10 newborns with “bubble boy” disease, in which a baby is born essentially without a functioning immune system.
  • Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) is leading 16 senators in introducing a resolution that would designate April 11-17 as Black Maternal Health Week. Black mothers are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications and are twice as likely to get pregnancy-related illnesses than white mothers. Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC) introduced the resolution in the House of Representatives and co-founded the Black Maternal Health Caucus.
  • There have now been over 555 cases of measles in 20 states. In response, many Democrats have tried to implement laws that prevent parents from not vaccinating their children. However, Republicans have mostly rejected these proposals.
  • In Madagascar, many parents would like to vaccinate their children but there are issues with lack of resources. Only 58% of individuals living on Madagascar’s main island have been vaccinated against measles. Herd immunity only kicks in at around 90-95%. There have been more than 1,200 deaths in over 115,000 cases in this outbreak.
  • Time’s list of 100 Most Influential People of 2019 came out this week. Of particular note in the Leaders section are Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, President Donald Trump, Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
  • After the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was partially destroyed by fire this week, French President Emmanuel Macron has expressed his desire to have the cathedral rebuilt in five years, though it may take 10 to 20 years, according to a heritage expert. There have already been discussions about what France must consider in the rebuilding process.
  • Reigning WNBA MVP Breanna Stewart of the Seattle Storm suffered from a torn Achilles when she landed on the foot of fellow WNBA star Brittney Griner. Recovery from a torn Achilles typically ranges from six months to a year, and the WNBA regular season starts May 24. The WNBA is about to renegotiate a collective bargaining agreement for its players, and Stewart’s injury may impact the agreement. Players playing in the WNBA and overseas, in addition to international competitions, has been an issue since the league's inception, and may finally be addressed.
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