Lower Health Care Costs Act Of 2019 Amended Through Updates

The U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee leaders released an amendment today to the Lower Health Care Costs Act of 2019 (S.1895), making several updates to bipartisan legislation focused on reducing health care costs. 

The amendment can be obtained at https://www.help.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/S.1895%20Manager's%20Amendment.pdf.

Patient-Driven Payment Model Web Series

RehabCare will be hosting three webcasts called “The PDPM Project!” for you to learn about the Patient-Driven Payment Model and how it will impact the health care industry. The first session on Monday, July 1 at 2pm EST (11AM PST) will focus on “PDPM 101 Overview of the Patient-Driven Payment Model.”

To register or get more info, email Annie Roden at RehabCare: annie.roden@rehabcare.com

U.S. Women Approach Milestone In The College-Educated Labor Force

According to a new Pew Research Center analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women are approaching a milestone in gender parity since 2019 likely will be the first year in which they are a majority of the college-educated labor force. As of the first quarter of 2019, 29.5 million women in the labor force had at least a bachelor’s degree, effectively matching the number of college-educated men in the workforce (29.3 million). 

More information can be obtained at https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/06/20/u-s-women-near-milestone-in-the-college-educated-labor-force/?utm_source=AdaptiveMailer&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=19-06-20%20women%20in%20labor%20force%20FT&org=982&lvl=100&ite=4253&lea=983166&ctr=0&par=1&trk=&utm_source=AdaptiveMailer&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=19-06-20%20women%20in%20labor%20force%20FT&org=982&lvl=100&ite=4253&lea=983166&ctr=0&par=1&trk=.

ACA Repeal And The Likelihood That Individuals With Different Characteristics Would Be Uninsured

In Texas v. United States, the plaintiffs argue that the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA) should be invalidated due to the elimination of the individual mandate penalties under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. An analysis from the Urban Institute provides details on how individuals with different characteristics would be affected under such a finding.  

The analysis can be obtained at https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication/100409/qs_txvus_repeal_of_aca_03a_-_near_final_0.pdf.

House Ways & Means Announces Bills for HPOG Program

13 bills were announced by Democrats to improve the Health Profession Opportunity Grant (HPOG) program. Democrats plan to introduce legislation that will reauthorize the HPOG program before its current authorization expires on September 30, 2019. HPOG provides opportunities for individuals to gain experience or education in healthcare fields that expect to see a high demand or face workforce shortages.

Read more here.

Spousal Caregivers In The Last Years Of Life

An article appearing in the June 2019 issue of the journal Health Affairs discusses how caregiving in the last years of life is associated with increased depression and negative health outcomes for surviving spouses, many of whom are themselves in poor health. Yet, it is unclear how often spouses are caregiving alone, how they differ from supported spouses, and whether lack of support affects post-bereavement outcomes. 

The article can be obtained at https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/pdf/10.1377/hlthaff.2019.00087.

Report To Congress On Medicaid And CHIP

The Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) issued its June report to Congress. It includes a recommendation approved at its recent meeting that Congress change the definition of Medicaid shortfall to exclude costs and payments for all Medicaid-eligible patients for whom Medicaid is not the primary payer. 

The report can be obtained at https://www.macpac.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/June-2019-Report-to-Congress-on-Medicaid-and-CHIP.pdf.


Making Health Insurance Auto-Enrollment Work

A new report from the USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy discusses how to build on the Affordable Care Act and achieve coverage gains using a tool known as “auto-enrollment,” i.e., policies that enroll individuals in coverage without requiring them to seek out or submit an initial application. 

The report can be obtained at https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Young_Autoenrollment_6.13.19.pdf.


US Dept of Ed Request for Comments on State Authorization & Student Notifications

The Department of Education is requesting public comment on their proposed regulations from their Negotiated Rulemaking sessions focusing on accreditation and state authorization. Topics include accreditation for distance education, reciprocity agreements, disclosures for educational programs, and licensure notifications for students. All comments must be received by July 12, 2019.

For more information or to submit a comment, click here.

Webcast: The Secretary's Advisory Committee For Healthy People 2030

Profile Of Recently Arrived U.S. Immigrants

Recently arrived U.S. immigrants represent a growing part of the nation’s foreign-born population, which reached a record 44.4 million in 2017. According to a report from the Pew Research Center, their profile differs from immigrants who have been in the country longer

The report can be obtained at https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/06/03/recently-arrived-u-s-immigrants-growing-in-number-differ-from-long-term-residents/.

The Health Plan Of Tomorrow

According to a report by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, as the health care industry transforms, health plans also will need to broaden their focus beyond enrollment and risk to managing health and well-being for members and collaborating across traditional and nontraditional players. A relevant question is whether health plans are ready to flip current business models on their heads?  

The report can be obtained at https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/insights/us/articles/4920_Health-plans-of-the-future/DI_Health-plan-of-tomorrow.pdf.

Reducing Administrative Burdens For Providers And Patients

Yesterday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requested new and innovative ideas for reducing administrative burdens for health care providers and patients as part of its Patients over Paperwork initiative. CMS will publish a request for information in the June 11, 2019 issue of the Federal Register. Comments will be due by August 12.  

The contents of the request can be viewed at https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2019-12215.pdf.

New Rules On Health Information Technology Interoperability

New federal rules have the potential to help consumers access their personal health data more easily and improve the interoperability of health information technology, according to six key individuals who had the task of implementing the latest advances in health IT and electronic information exchange nationwide. They signed a letter to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in support of the new regulations. 

The letter can be obtained at https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20190604.428654/full/.


Persistent Digital Gap Between Rural And Non-Rural America

According to the Pew Research Center, despite improved broadband availability over the past decade, rural Americans continue to lag behind urban and suburban adults in tech adoption. 

Additional information can be obtained at https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/05/31/digital-gap-between-rural-and-nonrural-america-persists/?utm_campaign=2019-06-05+Rundown+(subject+line+first)&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Pew.

Use Of Home Visits By Accountable Care Organizations

In a study reported in the journal Health Affairs, researchers describe how many accountable care organizations (ACOs) are employing home visits as a strategy to improve care management, identify patients’ needs, and reduce hospital use. They found that 80% of ACOs use home visits within 72 hours of hospital discharge for at least some of their patients. 

The study can be obtained at https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/pdf/10.1377/hlthaff.2019.00003.