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In The Spotlight

ACA Enrollment Round II: Do Consumers Have the Help they Need?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Andy Miller of Georgia Health News discusses a December 2 event hosted by the Alliance for Health Reform and the Association for Health Care Journalists (AHCJ) in Atlanta on the second round of open enrollment. Click here for the article.


   *Low demand from consumers during the first two weeks.

   *Higher tax penalty has captured consumer attention.

   *Georgia short on navigators.

A transcript from the event is available here.

What's New

December 2014
A new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers finds that Medicaid enrollment grew by 9 million people in the quarter ending September 2014, compared to 2013. The growth was entirely among enrollment in private managed care plans: the number covered by a private plan increased by 9.3 million while the number on fee for service or public managed care (like primary care case management) decreased by 300,000.   More than 66.5 million Americans, or 21.2% of the total population, received Medicaid physical health benefits in the July-September quarter this year.

November 19, 2014
A Brookings Institution guide by Mark McClellan, Farzad Mostashari and others provides accountable care implementation guidance for physician practices. 

Nov. 5, 2014
In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, President Obama asked for emergency FY2015 appropriations to fund a $6 billion strategy to “end ebola at its source in Africa, enhance domestic preparedness, speed the procurement and testing of vaccines and therapeutics and accelerate global capability to prevent the spread of future infectious diseases.”

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Recent Briefings

Adolescence is a time of physical, emotional, and cognitive transition between the worlds of childhood and adulthood. This time can include the onset of chronic conditions such as obesity, hypertension, and schizophrenia, yet teens may have difficulty accessing appropriate care for their physical and mental health needs. Emerging models around the country may be improving adolescents’ access to appropriate care, but the evidence suggests many needs are not being met.  Read More

Digital health technologies, particularly those designed to engage and empower patients, have the potential to address unmet health needs and deliver care in new, lower-cost ways. Information shared from electronic health records, the “cloud” and apps can help clinicians target conditions, measure and monitor patient outcomes, personalize treatments, and engage patients in their care. This briefing will examine innovative uses of digital health technology to engage patients and deliver care, with particular focus on high cost, high need patients.  Read More

Almost three in ten Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in the Medicare Advantage (MA) program, which offers a choice of competing private health plans – typically managed care plans such as HMOs and PPOs. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) made significant changes to the way Medicare Advantage plans are paid, including tying a portion of payments to a quality star rating system. Despite predictions that MA enrollment would drop in the wake of scheduled payment reductions to the program, the percentage of seniors who are choosing to enroll in MA plans is still growing. However, the impact of upcoming reductions remains the subject of much debate.  Read More

Need for Integration in Teen Health

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Toolkit: Emergency Preparedness in the U.S.: The Ebola Threat

Is the U.S. prepared for a potential virulent pandemic? This new Alliance toolkit examines public health infrastructure, funding and policy levers that deal with these kinds of health crises in America.

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The Employer Mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

The Toolkit, available here, details the ACA’s employer requirements and penalty. It also includes information about the delay in the mandate to 2015, and analysis about its impact on employer-based coverage.

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