July

Privacy Rule Change Could Improve SUD Care Coordination

July 27, 2020

Stakeholders across the health care industry praised recently finalized revisions to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s 42 CFR Part 2 rule. The changes loosen disclosure and privacy requirements about a patient’s history of substance use disorder (SUD) treatment. Experts say the rule should improve care coordination for people with SUD challenges, though some expressed concerns about limited care resources and patient privacy.

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New Research Highlights Need for More Education About HSAs

July 27, 2020

In recent years, high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) — now common in both employer-sponsored and individual markets — have faced increasing scrutiny as evidence emerges that they may not actually cause people to be savvier health care consumers. Now, a new study adds another layer to the debate by finding that access to and uptake of health savings accounts (HSAs) is low among people enrolled in HDHPs. Experts have varied opinions on the study’s implications, but they agree that the findings underscore the need for better consumer education about the benefits of HSAs.

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Insurers Launch Management Programs for Chronic Conditions

July 27, 2020

Both UnitedHealthcare and Humana Inc. are rolling out new disease-specific care management programs aimed at providing patients with the tools they need to help control their chronic conditions.

The programs — UnitedHealth’s focusing on type 2 diabetes and Humana’s on chronic kidney disease — highlight both new digital and time-tested interpersonal ways of managing chronic conditions, observers say.

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D.C. Appeals Court Upholds Short-Term Plan Rule

July 27, 2020

A Trump administration rule expanding the availability of short-term, limited duration (STLD) health insurance plans will continue after an appeals court panel ruled 2-1 against a suit brought by the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP). A July 17 statement by ACAP CEO Margaret Murray suggests the trade group for safety net health plans is likely to continue pursuing the case.

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ACA Risk Adjustment Transfers Total More Than $10B

July 27, 2020

by Jinghong Chen Risk adjustment transfers reached $10.8 billion in the Affordable Care Act program for the 2019 benefit year, with the individual market accounting for about $7.98 billion, according to CMS. Among the 561 issuers that participated in the program, a handful were slated to receive significant payments. Blue Shield of California was due […]

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News Briefs

July 27, 2020

✦ As of March 15, 10.7 million people had effectuated coverage in the Affordable Care Act exchanges, according to new data released by CMS on July 23. Total effectuated enrollment — encompassing people who selected a plan, paid their first month’s premium, if applicable, and had coverage in February 2020 — increased by about 1% compared with total effectuated enrollment for February 2019.

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