Health Beat: Study says health care providers optimistic but losing confidence in ACA

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 80 views 

Editor’s note: Each Wednesday, Talk Business & Politics provides “Health Beat,” a round-up of health-related topics.

HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS OPTIMISTIC BUT LOSING CONFIDENCE IN ACA: While over three-quarters of healthcare providers express optimism about the future of U.S. health care overall, support for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has lessened according to a new study by Mortenson. The number of health care providers who feel positive about the ACA has fallen significantly in just one year’s time with a much smaller majority believing the ACA is a step forward for U.S. health care. Even as providers become accustomed to the provisions of the ACA, nearly 8 out of 10 feel the legislation needs significant changes or revisions.

TRANSAMERICA: TWO-THIRDS OF AMERICANS SUFFER FROM A CHRONIC HEALTH CONDITION – A new survey commissioned by the non-profit Transamerica Center for Health Studies (TCHS) found that nearly two out of three (62%) Americans have been diagnosed with a chronic health condition, with the most common conditions being overweightness, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

The third annual study, conducted in August through September of 2015 by Harris Poll found that among 4,611 adults ages 18-64, white Americans (67%) are the most likely to report being diagnosed with a chronic health condition. African-Americans are shown to have the highest rates of high blood pressure and Type 2 Diabetes (24% and 10%, respectively). Asian-Americans are generally least likely to report having any chronic health conditions even though 41% of this population has one.

The study also found that most Americans (82%) are able to afford routine health expenses compared to 41% of the uninsured. However, two in five Americans overall (41%) report an increase in premium costs over the past one to two years. To learn more, click here.

HHS TO PROCURE TWO NEW ANTHRAX PROTECTION DRUGS: To better protect public health in an anthrax attack, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response will add two types of anthrax antitoxin drugs for the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) as options to treat inhalational anthrax. ASPR’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority will fund the purchases under Project BioShield, the chief mechanism through which the U.S. government supports the advanced development and procurement of new medical countermeasures – drugs, vaccines, diagnostics, and medical supplies – to protect the American public against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats.

HOSPITAL LEADERS: NEW PAYMENT MODEL CAN’T REDUCE LOW MEDICAID PAYMENTS – The state’s Medicaid system could consider a payment model classifying inpatient hospital stays according to diagnosis and resources required for treatment as a way to incentivize efficiencies. If it’s adopted, hospitals say it can’t result in smaller payments, because they’re now losing money with Medicaid patients.

The issue was discussed at a meeting of the Diagnosis Related Group Subcommittee of the Health Reform Legislative Task Force. The task force is composed of legislators considering changes to the state’s Medicaid program, which serves the state’s lowest income patients as well as the aged and those with disabilities. Read more here.