Policy

The House of Representatives released specifics on a $1.1 trillion funding bill that includes a package of tax breaks, coming down to the wire on Tuesday, Dec. 15, to finalize the bill by the deadline.

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) held a panel discussion earlier this month, discussing medical malpractice reform along with a variety of other topics. 

The Senate voted 90-10 to repeal Obamacare’s “Cadillac tax” on high-cost health plans, a rare instance of bipartisanship around the contentious healthcare law. 

In a study of healthcare systems in six developed nations that could have implications for the U.S.—regardless of the ultimate fate of troubled Obamacare—an influential Canadian think tank has concluded that for-profit hospitals and insurers can survive and thrive under universal health care.

The Pennsylvania-based Geisinger Health System has unveiled its ProvenExperience program, which offers refunds to patients who don’t have their expectations met while receiving care. 

Republican senator Cory Gardner (Colorado) and Democrat senator Joe Donnelly (Indiana) introduced two bills on Oct. 21 to accelerate the FDA approval process for medical devices.

Two proposed mergers among four of the five largest health insurance companies in the U.S. would decrease competition and increase costs for hospitals, physicians and patients, according to an American Medical Association (AMA) analysis.

When the Affordable Care Act first went into effect, one of the perceived benefits for physicians was the three new billing codes that cover various “wellness visits” for Medicare Part B patients. But so far, the perk is failing to live up to expectations. 

Medicare has long required a three-day hospital stay before it will pick up the tab for a senior to move into a skilled nursing facility. A new data crunch shows that waiving this prerequisite shortens costly and risky hospital stays—without driving up admissions to skilled nursing facilities or lengthening stays therein.

The American Hospital Association is urging the U.S. Department of Justice to take a hard look at Anthem’s planned $48.4 billion purchase of Cigna.

Researchers are as subject to human nature as anyone else and so may be inclined to only publish, or at least to slant study design and conclusions toward, positive results of clinical trials. 

The U.S. House of Representatives may vote next week to permanently change the made Medicare pays hospitals and physicians, The Hill reports.