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Sep 13, 2018

HHS Secretary Alex Azar sidestepped questions from two Democratic senators about whether his agency and the Labor Department have investigated and taken enforcement action against Anthem and other insurers that allegedly violated consumer rights by denying coverage for emergency care.

In a letter to Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md. and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Azar said states are generally responsible for insurance regulation and enforcement, citing one investigation where federal officials...

Sep 13, 2018

Last week, Republicans in the House offered voters another glimpse of where they plan to take the nation's health insurance marketplace if the GOP maintains control of the entire government.

It will be a market where employers will not be required to offer their workers coverage. It will be a market where people will not be required to buy insurance. And it will be a market where insurers will be free to sell plans that don't cover primary and preventive care or a significant share...

Sep 13, 2018

Facing incurable breast cancer at age 55, MaryAnne DiCanto put her faith in “precision medicine” — in which doctors try to match patients with drugs that target the genetic mutations in their tumors. She underwent repeated biopsies to identify therapies that might help.

“She believed in it wholeheartedly,” said her husband, Scott Primiano of Amityville, N.Y., a flood-insurance broker. “You live on hope for so long, it’s hard to let go.”

Around this point in the...

Sep 12, 2018

Geisinger, Intermountain Healthcare and 39 other leading healthcare organizations announced Thursday they are joining forces to improve the quality of medical diagnoses.

The coalition, called ACT for Better Diagnosis and led by the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine, will focus on identifying the main causes of diagnostic errors and working toward solutions. The coalition is the largest effort to focus on the issue to date. The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine formed a...

Sep 12, 2018

Beneficiaries must report that they were either meeting the requirement or that they qualified for an exemption, such as a disability, through an online portal run by the state Department of Human Services. There is no option for reporting by phone, mail, or in person. The work and community engagement requirements will be extended in January to people from ages 19 to 29.

Thousands more Arkansans will be at risk of losing their Medicaid benefits next month if they have not complied...

Sep 12, 2018

A federal judge's recent decision to vacate a 2014 CMS rule that UnitedHealthcare said resulted in underpayment for Medicare Advantage insurers leaves the federal government with fewer tools to combat upcoding practices that cost the taxpayer-funded Medicare program billions of dollars.

U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer last week vacated the 2014 overpayment rule, which required Medicare Advantage plans to return overpayments to the government within 60 days of identifying them or...

Sep 12, 2018
Marin General Hospital and UCSF Health have formed a partnership that looks to expand their clinical operations, the organizations announced Wednesday.

The not-for-profit health systems plan to bolster their care sites with additional Marin and UCSF providers and specialists throughout Marin County. UCSF will also be able to nominate two directors to the Marin board.

"This strategic alliance with UCSF will allow us not only to remain independent, but also to be able to provide the...

Sep 12, 2018

The FDA has asked the White House for approval to launch a national study that will analyze how well clinicians understand drug advertising.

The agency requires drug companies to disclose drug's indications, how it should be administered, efficacy and clinical trial data in their advertising. But there is limited published research on the impact of those disclosures in prescription drug promotions, whether they're directed to consumers or healthcare professionals, according to the...

Sep 12, 2018

The CMS on Wednesday revealed the 39 navigators who will get a share of the $10 million in funding for the program — down from 90 organizations who were funded in 2017.

The grantees will be expected to target the remaining uninsured population and offer help to enroll in association health plans or limited duration plans. Open enrollment for the Obamacare exchanges starts in six weeks.

Earlier this summer, the CMS announced the agency had slashed the program funds from $36...

Sep 12, 2018
Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen, who has been celebrated for her innovative work in addressing the opioid crisis, has been named the next president of Planned Parenthood for America, the organization announced on Wednesday. She'll be the first physician to lead the organization in nearly 50 years.

Planned Parenthood is currently in a fight to retain Title X family planning grants. Earlier this year, the Trump administration announced it was retooling funding criteria for doling...

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