Policy

A final rule issued by CMS on April 5 cemented policies to increase plan choices and benefits for enrollees in the Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit (Part D) programs, opening those beneficiaries to supplemental services like telehealth and streamlining the appeals process for those unsatisfied with their healthcare.

Amid a national debate over whether or not to dissolve the Affordable Care Act entirely or keep parts of the law intact, research presented at the American Heart Association’s QCOR Scientific Sessions on April 5 suggests Medicaid expansion contributed to a significant decline in cardiovascular-related deaths in recent years.

The creators of CMS’s Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating ratings system—aka “Hospital Compare”—intended to present healthcare consumers with an easy, user-friendly way to choose a hospital. However, since the ratings went live in 2016, the system has proven both confusing to consumers and confounding to hospitals.

A federal judge rejected the Trump administration’s efforts to expand access to association health plans March 29, throwing small businesses that rely on those plans into a state of uncertainty, the Washington Post reported.

Two United Nations agencies have joined forces to create the Focus Group on Artificial Intelligence for Health (FG-AI4H)—a group of global representatives the UN hopes will help shape a streamlined, transparent process for vetting AI technologies in the healthcare space.

The Trump administration filed a notice March 25 supporting a federal judge’s ruling that the Affordable Care Act should be thrown out in its entirety—a sharp pivot from the administration’s previous position that only parts of the law should be eradicated.

CMS issued its final Health Insurance Exchanges 2019 Open Enrollment Report on March 25, touting stabilized premiums and extended “grandmother” policies amid sign-ups that numbered 300,000 fewer than last year.

The Trump administration is reportedly considering requiring hospitals and other healthcare providers to publish the prices they charge insurance companies for services after the rates have been negotiated, The Wall Street Journal reported.

CMS is looking for public input on how to regulate and operate the sale of health insurance coverage across state lines. The agency published a request for information (RFI) on March 6 with a public comment period of 60 days.

The American Medical Association (AMA) filed suit against the Trump administration after it finalized changes to Title X that impact family planning providers.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) published three proposals that would lower premiums by one-third for Obamacare insurance coverage and expand access to coverage for more than 4 million additional people.

Nearly 30 million individuals of all ages in the U.S. were uninsured during the first nine months of 2018. This figure represents a little over 9 percent of the population, and it’s similar to the uncovered headcount from 2017. Still, it’s a notable improvement from 2010, when the Affordable Care Act was nascent and 19 million more people lacked coverage.