Health Law Workshop: Rachel Sachs

Monday, April 13, 2015 5:00 PM
Health Law Workshops
Griswold Hall, Room 110
1525 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

Presentation Title: "Prescription Drug Reimbursement as Innovation Incentive" Rachel Sachs is an Academic Fellow at the Petrie-Flom Center. She earned her…

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REGISTER NOW: Third Annual Health Law Year in P/Review

Friday, January 30, 2015 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wasserstein Hall, Milstein East AB
1585 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA

Please join us for the Third Annual Health Law Year in P/Review symposium, with leading experts discussing major developments during…

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Small Businesses Drop Coverage As Health Law Offers Alternatives

Kaiser Health News, December 15, 2014
by Jay Hancock

For two decades Atlanta restaurant owner Jim Dunn offered a group health plan to his managers and helped pay for it. That ended Dec. 1, after the Affordable Care Act…

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Spending Bill Approved By Congress Includes Health Policy Provisions

Kaiser Health News, December 15, 2015

KHN Morning Briefing: Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

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Children’s Health Program Faces Cloudy Future Under ACA

Pew Charitable Trusts, December 4, 2014
by Christine Vestal

The Children’s Health Insurance Program got a big boost under the Affordable Care Act, which called for an increase in federal funding for the program and required states to maintain…

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Gov. Jerry Brown Considering Expanding Medi-Cal to Immigrants

Los Angeles Times, December 3, 2014
by Phil Willon

Gov. Jerry Brown is considering expanding state-funded Medi-Cal coverage to residents shielded from deportation under President Obama’s new immigration policies. Nancy McFadden, the governor’s top policy aide, said that possibility…

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No faith in health reform:

Crain's: New York Business, November 23, 2014
by Caroline Lewis, quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

[...] Under the health-care-sharing ministry model, before coverage kicks in, a household pays a monthly fee that "is matched with another's eligible medical bills," according to Christian Care Ministry's website,…

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Law Professor Discusses Medical Tourism

Harvard Crimson, November 20, 2014
by Katherine H. Scott, quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

When most people hear the word “tourism,” they immediately think of flocking to the sandy beaches of the Caribbean or exploring museums in a European city. For Harvard Law School…

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They Paid How Much? How Negotiated Deals Hide Health Care’s Cost

NPR, November 15, 2014
by Sammy Mack

Every hospital has its own master list of charges for different services. Those charges are different from hospital to hospital. But insurance companies don't pay those listed charges. The listed charges are almost…

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Cost of Coverage Under Affordable Care Act to Increase in 2015

New York Times, November 14, 2014
by Robert Pear, Reed Abelson, and Agustin Armendariz

The Obama administration on Friday unveiled data showing that many Americans with health insurance bought under the Affordable Care Act could face substantial price increases next year — in some cases as…

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The Selling of Obamacare 2.0

Politico, November 13, 2014
by Joanne Kenen

[...] The second year of Obamacare enrollment starts Saturday, and the administration is launching a much more precise strategy that uses targeted digital ads, aims at specific demographics and leverages…

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Health Law Workshop: Leemore Dafny

Monday, November 10, 2014 5:00 PM
Health Law Workshops
Griswold Hall, Room 110
1525 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

Download the Presentation Topic Paper: "More Insurers Lower Premiums: Evidence from Initial Pricing in the Health Insurance Marketplaces" (co-authors, Jonathan Gruber…

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Doctors Cash In on Drug Tests for Seniors, and Medicare Pays the Bill

Wall Street Journal, November 10, 2014
by Christopher Weaver and Anna Wilde Matthews

Doctors are testing seniors for drugs such as heroin, cocaine and “angel dust” at soaring rates, and Medicare is paying the bill. It is a roundabout result of the war…

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Shortage of Medicaid Doctors? Not if You Ask Patients

New York Times, November 10, 2014
by Austin Frakt

One longstanding concern about Medicaid is that too few doctors will accept it, because it tends to pay providers less generously than private plans do. This concern shows up in news articles about…

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How Much Is That MRI, Really? Massachusetts Shines A Light

Kaiser Health News, November 6, 2014
by Martha Bebinger

[...] Websites that mine such data are springing up to fill the void, revealing price tags on everything from an office visit to a cesarean section. But thanks to a law enacted…

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Employers Can’t Skip Insurance Coverage For Hospitalization

NPR, November 5, 2014
by Jay Hancock

Closing what many see as a loophole that could trap millions of people in sub-standard insurance, the Obama administration said Tuesday that large-employer medical plans lacking hospital coverage will not…

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Home Health Workers Struggle For Better Pay And Health Insurance

Kaiser Health News, November 3, 2014
by Sarah Jane Tribble

[...] Home care workers are mostly women. More than half are women of color, and 1 in 5 are single mothers. A recent analysis by the Brookings Institution found that while the…

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Who Would Have Health Insurance if Medicaid Expansion Weren’t Optional

New York Times, November 3, 2014
by Kevin Quealy and Margot Sanger-Katz

In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that a cornerstone of the Affordable Care Act — its expansion of Medicaid to low-income people around the country — must be optional for…

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Defects Found Before Debut of Health Insurance Site for Small Businesses

New York Times, November 1, 2014
by Robert Pear

The Obama administration has discovered a number of defects in the online marketplace that will offer health insurance to millions of small-business employees, but federal officials said the problems could probably be…

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Obamacare May Mean High Drug Costs For Floridians With HIV

Miami Herald, October 31, 2014
by Nicholas Nehamas

[...] Last spring, two nonprofit groups filed a federal civil rights complaint alleging that some Florida insurers were discriminating against people with HIV by charging “inordinately high” rates for HIV…

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Is the Affordable Care Act Working?

New York Times, October 27, 2014

At its most basic level, the Affordable Care Act was intended to reduce the number of Americans without health insurance. Measured against that goal, it has made considerable progress. A…

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Quality of U.S. Hospices Varies, Patients Left in Dark

Washington Post, October 26, 2014
by Peter Whoriskey and Dan Keating

More than a million times a year, a terminally ill patient in the United States is enrolled in hospice care. Each time, the family confronts a decision that, while critical,…

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Family Doctors Push For A Bigger Piece Of The Health Care Pie

Kaiser Health News, October 24, 2014
by Lisa Gillespie

Family medicine doctors are joining forces to win a bigger role in health care – and be paid for it. Eight family-physician-related groups, including the American Academy of Family Physicians,…

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Medical Costs Up to 20% Higher at Hospital-Owned Physician Groups, Study Finds

Los Angeles Times, October 22, 2014
by Chad Terhune

Raising fresh questions about healthcare consolidation, a new study shows hospital ownership of physician groups in California led to 10% to 20% higher costs overall for patient care. The UC…

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How Medicare ‘Self-Referral’ Thrives on Loophole

Wall Street Journal, October 22, 2014
by John Carreyrou and Janet Adamy

Self-referral has become common practice among many U.S. physician groups, which refer anything from lab services to MRIs to entities from which they benefit financially. That wasn’t the intention of…

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More Insurers Put Spending Limits on Medical Treatments

NPR, October 21, 2014
by Michelle Andrews

To clamp down on health care costs, a growing number of employers and insurers are putting limits on how much they'll pay for certain medical services such as knee replacements,…

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Prisons Balk at Sovaldi’s $84,000 Cost for Hepatitis C Treatment

San Francisco Chronicle, October 20, 2014
by Stephanie M. Lee and Joe Garofoli

In San Francisco’s jails, no inmates with hepatitis C are receiving Sovaldi, the breakthrough pill that can cure most patients in an unprecedented amount of time. In California’s prisons, the…

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Obamacare and the Midterms

The Economist, October 18, 2014

"My insurance was cancelled because of Obamacare. Now the out-of-pocket costs are so high, it’s unaffordable,” said Julie Boonstra, a cancer patient, in an ad attacking Gary Peters, a Democrat…

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The Biggest Backlog in the Federal Government

Washington Post, October 18, 2014
by David A. Fahrenthold

In an obscure corner of the federal bureaucracy, there is an office that is 990,399 cases behind. That is Washington’s backlog of backlogs — a queue of waiting Americans larger…

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What About Ebola’s Impact on Insurers?

CBS, October 14, 2014
by Bruce Kennedy

Along with all the concerns regarding the ongoing Ebola epidemic, here's one many people probably haven't considered: What about health care and life insurance costs if the disease were to…

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Will ‘Son of Sovaldi’ Cause State Medicaid Programs to Erect High Hurdles?

Wall Street Journal, October 13, 2014
by Ed Silverman

How might state Medicaid programs cope with a new and equally expensive hepatitis C treatment from Gilead Sciences? A new report released just as the FDA late last week approved Harvoni,…

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A Benefit For Rural Vets: Getting Health Care Close To Home

NPR, October 13, 2014
by Quil Lawrence

[...] To make it easier for vets to get care, the VA started a program called Access Received Closer to Home, or ARCH. A trial program began three years ago in…

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Got Insurance? You Still May Pay A Steep Price For Prescriptions

Kaiser Health News, October 13, 2014
by Julie Appleby

[...] Even with insurance, some patients are struggling to pay for prescription drugs for conditions such as cancer, arthritis, multiple sclerosis or HIV/AIDS, as insurers and employers shift more of…

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U.S. Finds Many Failures in Medicare Health Plans

New York Times, October 12, 2014
by Robert Pear

Federal officials say they have repeatedly criticized, and in many cases penalized, Medicare health plans for serious deficiencies, including the improper rejection of claims for medical services and unjustified limits on coverage…

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Price Tags on Health Care?

Kaiser Health News, October 9, 2014
by Martha Bebinger

Without much fanfare, Massachusetts launched a new era of health care shopping last week. Anyone with private health insurance in the state can now go to his or her health insurer’s…

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Why Americans are Drowning in Medical Debt

The Atlantic, October 8, 2014
by Olga Khazan

After his recent herniated-disk surgery, Peter Drier was ready for the $56,000 hospital charge, the $4,300 anesthesiologist bill, and the $133,000 fee for orthopedist. All were either in-network under his insurance or…

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Federal Officials Unveil Streamlined Marketplace Website

Kaiser Health News, October 8, 2014
by Julie Appleby

Consumers using the federal website when open enrollment begins next month should expect a faster website with a shorter application form and features making it easier to use on…

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Wal-Mart Adds In-Store Program to Help Customers Compare Insurance Offerings

Washington Post, October 6, 2014
by Sarah Halzack

Wal-Mart announced Monday that it will dive deeper into the health-care market, unveiling an initiative to allow customers to compare and enroll in health insurance plans in thousands of its…

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The Cost of Cancer Drugs

60 Minutes, October 5, 2014
by Lesley Stahl

Cancer is so pervasive that it touches virtually every family in this country. More than one out of three Americans will be diagnosed with some form of it in their…

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Costs Can Go Up Fast When E.R. Is in Network but the Doctors Are Not

New York Times, September 28, 2014
by Elizabeth Rosenthal

[...] Patients have no choice about which physician they see when they go to an emergency room, even if they have the presence of mind to visit a hospital that…

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Fighting to Honor a Father’s Last Wish: To Die at Home

New York Times, September 25, 2014
by Nina Bernstein

[...] While Joseph Andrey’s daughter battled the health care system, a national panel appointed by the federally funded Institute of Medicine was preparing a sweeping critique of how the system handles just…

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HHS: Health Law Brings Down Hospitals’ Uncompensated Care Costs

Kaiser Health News, September 25, 2014

As part of a report released Wednesday, Obama administration officials cited evidence that hospitals are projected to save $5.7 billion in uncompensated care costs as previously uninsured patients gain coverage through the health law. The…

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Obamacare’s Small Business Exchanges Offer Cheaper Health Coverage, Study Shows

Washington Post, September 24, 2014
by J.D. Harrison

During the lead-up to the rollout of the health care law a year ago, President Obama was adamant that new insurance marketplaces for small businesses would provide a start-to-finish online…

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Avoid the Rush! Some ERs Are Now Taking Appointments

NPR, September 23, 2014
by Anna Gorman

[...] Hospitals around the country are competing for newly-insured patients, and one way to increase patient satisfaction, they figure, might be to reduce the frustratingly long wait times in the…

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Terminally Ill, But Constantly Hospitalized

NPR, September 21, 2014
by Fred Mogul

[...] "New York City continues to lag in serious ways with regards to providing patients with the environment that they want at the end of life," says Dr. David Goodman, who…

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How Catholic Insurance Companies Outsource Contraceptive Coverage

NPR, September 17, 2014
by Julie Rovner

Catholic and other religious hospitals and universities have been arguing in federal court for much of the past two years that they shouldn't have to offer or facilitate birth control…

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A New Way Insurers are Shifting Costs to the Sick

ProPublica, September 17, 2014
by Charles Ornstein

Health insurance companies are no longer allowed to turn away patients because of their pre-existing conditions or charge them more because of those conditions. But some health policy experts say…

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Health Law’s Election Impact is Dimming

Wall Street Journal, September 16, 2014
by Beth Reinhard and Laura Meckler

Though Republicans continue to hammer away at the Affordable Care Act, the health-insurance law is losing some of its punch in the 2014 campaign. Polls show that voters don't see…

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No Time To See The Doctor? Try A Virtual Visit

Kaiser Health News, September 16, 2014
by Anna Gorman

Patients looking for convenient medical appointments can now see UCLA Health System doctors using their cell phones, computers or tablets. It’s part of an ongoing effort at UCLA and elsewhere…

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Fate of Children’s Insurance Program Is Called Into Question at Senate Hearing

New York Times, September 16, 2014
by Abby Goodnough

A Senate hearing on Tuesday set the stage for a coming debate over whether the federal government should continue financing a popular health insurance program for lower-income children who are…

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