Arkansas Weighs Plan To Make Some Medicaid Enrollees Fund Savings Accounts

Kaiser Health News, July 22, 2014
by Michele Andrews

If all goes according to plan, next year many Arkansas Medicaid beneficiaries will be required to make monthly contributions to so-called Health Independence Accounts. Those that don't may have to…

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Obscure Rule Restricts Health Law’s Expansion of Care for Addicts

New York Times, July 10, 2014
by Abby Goodnough

EAST HAZEL CREST, Ill. — On its surface, the Affordable Care Act seems like a boon for addiction treatment centers like the South Suburban Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse,…

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Study: Hospitals Using Electronic Medical Records Not Bilking Medicare

Kaiser Health News, July 8, 2014
by Eric Whitney

A new study says there's no need to worry about hospitals using their new electronic medical records to generate bigger bills and boost their income. It's been a concern since…

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Florida Shifts Medicaid Mental Health Strategy

Kaiser Health News, July 7, 2014
by Phil Galewitz

Seeking to improve care and lower costs, Florida this month became the first state to offer a Medicaid health plan designed exclusively for people with serious mental illnesses, such as…

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More Than 750 Hospitals Face Medicare Crackdown On Patient Injuries

Kaiser Health News, June 22, 2014
by Jordan Rau

During a hernia operation, Dorothea Handron’s surgeon unknowingly pierced her bowel. It took five days for doctors to determine she had an infection. By the time they operated on her…

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When a Stressful Hospital Stay Makes You Sick

New York Times, June 12, 2014
by David H. Newman, MD

The woman was rolled into the emergency department by paramedics. Struggling to breathe, she bent forward, hands on her knees, using gravity to help expand her chest. “This all started…

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Michigan To Reward Medicaid Enrollees Who Take ‘Personal Responsibility’

Kaiser Health News, June 11, 2014
by Phil Galewitz

Delayed by state lawmakers, Michigan did not expand Medicaid until the day after the federal online insurance exchange closed March 31 – a move advocates feared would undermine signups. Turns…

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More Than 1.7 Million Consumers Still Wait For Medicaid Decisions

Kaiser Health News, June 9, 2014
by Phil Galewitz

While an unprecedented 6 million people have gained Medicaid coverage since September, mostly as a result of the Affordable Care Act, more than 1.7 million more are still waiting for…

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Medicare can now cover transgender surgery:

Al Jazeera America, May 30, 2014

Medicare can no longer automatically deny coverage requests for sex reassignment surgeries, a federal board ruled Friday in a groundbreaking decision that recognizes the procedures are medically necessary for people who…

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Medicare Overpays Billions for Office Visits, Patient Evaluations

ProPublica, May 29, 2014
by Charles Ornstein

Medicare spent $6.7 billion too much for office visits and other patient evaluations in 2010, according to a new report from the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human…

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Safety Net Hospitals Already Seeing More Paying Patients — And Revenue

Kaiser Health News, May 27, 2014
by Phil Galewitz

At Seattle’s largest safety-net hospital, the proportion of uninsured patients fell from 12 percent last year to an unprecedented low of 2 percent this spring—a drop expected to boost Harborview…

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GOP Strategy To Run Against Health Law Hits Snags

NPR, May 22, 2014
by Julie Rovner

Last year, the Republican playbook for keeping control of the House of Representatives in 2014 and winning the Senate consisted of a fairly simple strategy: Run against Obamacare. But now…

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Poorer Health of Surgery Patients on Medicaid May Alter Law’s Bottom Line

New York Times, May 17, 2014
by Robert Pear

WASHINGTON — Surgery patients covered byMedicaid arrive at the hospital in worse health, experience more complications, stay longer and cost more than patients with private insurance, a new study has found.…

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Medicare Reverses Denial Of Costly Treatment For Hepatitis C Patient

Kaiser Health News, May 15, 2014
by Richard Knox

Walter Bianco, an Arizona man denied access to new drugs to cure his hepatitis C infection, will get the costly medications after all. After Kaiser Health News and NPRdescribed his plight…

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Health Law Requires Medicare To Cover Dementia Evaluation

Kaiser Health News, May 6, 2014
by Michelle Andrews

For the millions of seniors who worry that losing their keys may mean they’re losing their minds, the health law now requires Medicare to cover a screening for cognitive impairment…

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Mortality Drop Seen to Follow ’06 Health Law

New York Times, May 5, 2014
by Sabrina Tavernise

BOSTON — The death rate in Massachusetts dropped significantly after it adopted mandatory health care coverage in 2006, a study released Monday found, offering evidence that the country’s first experiment…

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VIDEO NOW AVAILABLE: 2014 Annual Conference:
Behavioral Economics, Law, and Health Policy

Saturday, May 03, 2014
Wasserstein Hall, Milstein East ABC
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

Couldn't join us in person at Harvard Law School? Join the conversation on Twitter using #BELHP2014! We also liveblogged the full event at Bill…

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Telemedicine Policy Draws Opposition From Patient Advocates, Health Care Providers

Kaiser Health News, May 2, 2014
by Lisa Gillespie

New guidelines issued by the Federation of State Medical Boards could have a chilling effect on the growth of telemedicine – especially in rural areas and among low-income patients, say some patient…

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Health Law’s Pay Policy Is Skewed, Panel Finds

New York Times, April 27, 2014
by Robert Pear

WASHINGTON — Federal policies to reward high-quality health care are unfairly penalizing doctors and hospitals that treat large numbers of poor people, according to a new report commissioned by the…

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Looking at Costs and Risks, Many Skip Health Insurance

New York Times, April 21, 2014
by Abby Goodnough

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Steve Huber, an affable salesman who is still paying off an unexpected medical bill, was not among the millions of Americans who signed up for health insurance…

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Health Care Spending’s Recent Surge Stirs Unease

New York Times, April 18, 2014
by Anne Lowrey

WASHINGTON — It’s back. For years, because of structural changes in the health care delivery system and the deep economic downturn, the health care “cost curve” — as economists and…

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Even After Doctors Are Sanctioned or Arrested, Medicare Keeps Paying

ProPublica, April 16, 2014
by Charles Ornstein

In August 2011, federal agents swept across the Detroit area, arresting doctors, pharmacists and other health professionals accused of running a massive scheme to defraud Medicare. The following month, several…

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Doctor-Pay Trove Shows Limits of Medicare Billing Data:

Wall Street Journal, April 9, 2014
by Christopher Weaver, Melinda Beck, and Ron Winslow

The trove of Medicare data released Wednesday shows a wide cast of characters in the top ranks of the highest-reimbursed doctors, and reveals as much about the limits of the newly public…

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Obama Administration Retreats On Private Medicare Rate Cuts

Kaiser Health News, April 8, 2014
by Jay Hancock

Under intense, bipartisan political pressure, the Obama administration backed down for the second year in a row on proposed payment cuts for insurance companies that offer private plans to Medicare…

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Medical Assn Won’t Stop Medicare Doc Data Release

NPR, April 7, 2014
by AP

The nation's largest doctors' group said Monday it won't try to block Medicare's release of billing records for 880,000 physicians, although it continues to oppose the government's recent decision to…

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Mental Health Groups Split on Bill to Overhaul Care

New York Times, April 2, 2014
by Benedict Carey

Lawmakers, patient advocates and the millions of Americans living with a psychiatric diagnosis agree that the nation’s mental health care system is broken, and on Thursday, Congress will hear testimony…

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Was the Medicaid Expansion Coercive?

Routledge, 2014
by I. Glenn Cohen (Petrie-Flom Faculty Co-Director)

In The Affordable Care Act Decision: Philosophical and Legal Implications, Fritz Allhoff and Mark Hall, eds. In this book chapter on the ACA decision, NFIB v. Sebelius, I focus on the Court's…

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Obama Administration Proposes 1.9% Cut In Medicare Advantage Payments

Kaiser Health News, February 24, 2014
by Mary Agnes Carey

An Obama administration announcement about payment rates for Medicare Advantage plans in 2015 has set off a dispute about how large – or small – the changes really are. Late…

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The Dream of Retiring Abroad, With Good Health Care

New York Times, February 21, 2014
by Tim Gray

For the well-traveled, the idea of retirement abroad can seem an idyll. You pick a place you’ve loved visiting, whether it’s the thrumming avenues of Paris or the sunny strands…

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Making ‘Big Food’ Pay For Obesity:

"On Point" on WBUR, February 17, 2014

In the 1990s, the American tobacco industry was reined in and made to pay, big-time, for the health consequences of cigarettes and more.  An epic quarter trillion-dollar legal settlement in…

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Report: Nearly 3.3 Million Americans Have Enrolled in Private Obamacare Plans

Kaiser Health News, February 12, 2014
by Phil Galewitz

Nearly 3.3 million Americans have signed up for private health insurance plans since October through the online marketplaces created by the health law, with enrollment continuing to surge through January,…

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Health Law Year in P/Review

Friday, January 31, 2014 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wasserstein Hall, Milstein East B & C
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

Watch Event Recordings

Video of this conference is now available at online! (See below for links to specific panels.) At our second Annual Health…

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Law’s Expanded Medicaid Coverage Brings a Surge in Sign-ups

New York Times, January 20, 2014
by Sabrina Tavernise

WELCH, W.Va. — Sharon Mills, a disabled nurse, long depended on other people’s kindness to manage her diabetes. She scrounged free samples from doctors’ offices, signed up for drug company…

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Medicare Officials Seek Authority To Ban Harmful Prescribers

NPR, January 6, 2014
by Tracy Weber and Charles Ornstein

Medicare plans to arm itself with broad new powers to better control — and potentially bar — doctors engaged in fraudulent or harmful prescribing, following a series of articles detailing…

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Medicare pricing drives high health-care costs

The Washington Post, December 31, 2013
by Peter Whoriskey and Dan Keating

Medicare may be best known for paying the medical bills for millions of people 65 and older, but recent studies show it plays another gargantuan role in American health care:…

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Medicaid Expansion Faces Major Logistical Challenges Among the Homeless

The New York Times, November 24, 2013
by Annie Lowrey

In a back room at the Franciscan House of Mary and Joseph, one of the largest homeless shelters in Chicago, a social worker named Sheena Ward guided Terry Cannon through…

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Obamacare Bailout Sought as Effort Planned to Bypass Site

Bloomberg, November 21, 2013
by Alex Nussbaum

States and insurers are already working to bail out President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul, anticipating the system’s online insurance exchanges may not be ready by a critical December deadline. All of…

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You Plan Your Retirement, Then You Get the Health Bill

New York Times, November 19, 2013
by Ann Carrns

JEFF STRACK, a 61-year-old sales manager in Charlotte, N.C., enjoys his work and is in good health. But the prospect of paying for health costs after he retires weighs on…

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One in 10 veterans lacks health insurance.

Washington Post, November 11, 2013
by Sarah Kliff

The Veterans Administration operates the country’s largest health-care system. It has more than 1,700 hospitals and clinics across the country. Doctors there had about 50 million appointments with veterans in 2012. This…

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A Tale of Two State Exchanges

Kaiser Health News, October 18, 2013
by Amy Snow Landa

PORTLAND — To get a glimpse of how the two-week-old health-insurance exchanges are faring under the Affordable Care Act, there may not be a better place to look than the…

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Three Critical Measures of Marketplaces’ Impact Could Take Several Years to Assess

Kaiser Health News, September 29, 2013
by Jordan Rau

Rev your engines: On Oct. 1 people can start shopping for insurance on the new on-line marketplaces created by the health law. The first weeks and months will be closely…

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Millions of Poor Are Left Uncovered by Health Law

New York Times, October 2, 2013
by Sabrina Tavernise and Robert Gebeloff

A sweeping national effort to extend health coverage to millions of Americans will leave out two-thirds of the poor blacks and single mothers and more than half of the low-wage…

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