Editor’s note: Each Wednesday, Talk Business & Politics provides “Health Beat,” a round-up health-related topics.
OHIO ADOPTS MEDICAL MARIJUANA DRAFT RULES, PATIENTS PAY $50 ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP FEE
Patients wanting to use medical marijuana in Ohio’s new program would have to pay a $50 annual fee for their membership card, under draft rules released Friday (Jan 27). The fee would be $25 for veterans or people who receive federal disability benefits. Patients and caregivers would register with the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy, possibly through their doctor’s office, and receive an ID card to buy marijuana at retail dispensaries.
Up to 40 licenses for medical marijuana product manufacturers, called processors, would be available, under proposed rules. Processors would have to pay a $10,000 application fee and a $90,000 license fee. Renewals would cost $100,000 a year. Ohio’s medical marijuana law allows patients with 20 medical conditions to buy and use marijuana if recommended by a doctor. The law prohibits smoking and growing marijuana at home.
REPEAL ALL OF OBAMACARE? PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIANS NOT IN FAVOR, SURVEY SAYS
Results of a random sample survey of 426 primary care physicians by a team of researchers found that the majority do not support repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in its entirety, and the percentage of those who support complete repeal is lower than that of the general public.
In a summary of the survey results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Jan. 25, the research team says 15% of responding physicians supported complete repeal of the act. Of those who self-reported voting for President Donald Trump, 38 percent did so. The participants were drawn from the American Medical Association’s Physician Masterfile, a database of more than 1.4 million physicians, residents and medical students in the U.S.
MOST HEALTHCARE PATIENTS FIND IT DIFFICULT TO GET UP-FRONT COSTS ESTIMATES
Three in four patients (74.7%) said receiving up-front cost estimates would positively impact their view of a healthcare provider, according to a new survey from TransUnion Healthcare. The findings also demonstrate that patient interest in up-front costs has risen over the last 18 months.
A similar TransUnion survey in 2015 found that 57% of patients would be more willing to return to a healthcare provider if they were given billing estimates at the point of service. The survey also found that almost half (43%) said it was somewhat or very difficult to get information on costs, while another 21% of patients had never tried to get procedure cost information.
TransUnion surveyed 2,058 consumers at the end of November 2016 who had health insurance, managed their own healthcare decisions, and had received healthcare services in the last year.