Archive for Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion has improved access to surgical services for Medicaid patients. Or so says a new study published in JAMA Surgery, which reports that In this study of patients with 1 of 5 common surgical conditions, Medicaid expansion was associated with a 7.5–percentage point increase in insurance coverage at the time of hospital admission. The policy was also associated with patients obtaining care earlier in their disease course and with an increased probability of receiving optimal care for those conditions. As a result, the study found, The ACA’s Medicaid expansion was associated with increased insurance coverage and improved receipt of timely care for 5 common surgical conditions. This development is especially relevant to Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals … Read More
While the Affordable Care Act has greatly increased the number of Americans with health insurance and reduced the demand for uncompensated care from hospitals, many hospitals still see significant numbers of uninsured patients. Some of those patients simply have not taken advantage of the health reform law’s creation of easier access to affordable insurance while others live in states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs. Hospitals that care for especially large numbers of such uninsured patients qualify for Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments, commonly referred to as Medicaid DSH. The purpose of these payments is to help these hospitals with the unreimbursed costs they incur caring for such patients. The Affordable Care Act calls for reducing Medicaid DSH payments … Read More
The Affordable Care Act has reduced socioeconomic disparities in access to health care in the U.S. According to a new study published in the journal Health Affairs, Health care access for people in lower socioeconomic strata improved in both states that did expand eligibility for Medicaid under the ACA and states that did not. However, gains were larger in expansion states. The absolute gap in insurance coverage between people in households with annual incomes below $25,000 and those in households with incomes above $75,000 fell from 31 percent to 17 percent (a relative reduction of 46 percent) in expansion states and from 36 percent to 28 percent in nonexpansion states (a 23 percent reduction). This serves as evidence that socioeconomic disparities in health care access narrowed … Read More
As was surely expected, reforms introduced through implementation of the Affordable Care Act have driven down uncompensated care costs for many hospitals. How much? A new study published by the Commonwealth Fund offers the following findings: uncompensated care declines in expansion states are substantial relative to profit margins; for every dollar of uncompensated care costs hospitals in expansion states had in 2013, the Affordable Care Act erased 41 cents by 2015; and Medicaid expansion reduced uncompensated care burdens for safety-net hospitals that are not made whole by Medicaid disproportionate share payments (Medicaid DSH). Learn more, including how the decline in uncompensated care costs affected different kinds of hospitals in different kinds of states, in the report “The Impact of the … Read More
The Pennsylvania Health Law Project has issued a statement detailing its perspective on the recently proposed American Health Care Act, which would both repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act of 2010. See that statement here.
How can you keep score while Congress considers multiple proposals to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act? The Kaiser Family Foundation has just created a new tool that enables users to compare and contrast all of the current repeal and replace proposals: you pick the proposals you want to compare and you select the aspects of those proposals that interest you. Find this new interactive tool here, on the web site of the Kaiser Family Foundation.
How might Pennsylvania be affected by a repeal of the Affordable Care Act? In a new report, the Pennsylvania Health Funders Collaborative attempts to answer that question, offering projections on the impact of the 2010 health reform’s repeal on jobs, prescription drug coverage for seniors, insurance status for low-income Pennsylvanians, hospitals, and the state’s economy as a whole. The study looks at this impact on a state-wide level as well as on a congressional district-by-district basis while also examining anticipated impact on some individual counties and even some individual hospitals. Learn more about how repeal of the Affordable Care Act might affect Pennsylvania and Pennsylvanians by going here to see the Pennsylvania Health Funders Collaborative report The Pennsylvania Health Funders … Read More
In a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf urged Congress, no matter how it addresses the Affordable Care Act, to preserve that law’s expansion of access to Medicaid-covered health care services. The governor specifically pointed to the many people who receive substance abuse treatment through those services. If the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is repealed and not replaced, over a million Pennsylvanians could lose access to health care and tens of thousands of people – people who are our friends, our neighbors, and our family members that are currently receiving treatment for a substance use disorder – would lose insurance coverage and no longer be able to afford their treatment. See Governor Wolf’s complete letter … Read More
The Pennsylvania Health Law Project has published its January 2017 newsletter. Included in this edition are stories about: impending changes in the lineup of managed care providers that serve Medicaid participants in the state’s HealthChoices program for physical health services; the status of the state’s implementation of its Community HealthChoices program of managed long-term services and supports for low-income, elderly Pennsylvanians who seek to continue living independently in the community; the potential impact of a repeal of the Affordable Care Act on Pennsylvanians; and Pennsylvania’s receipt of a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic demonstration grant from the federal government to improve services and care coordination for individuals on Medicaid or CHIP. Go here for the latest edition of PA Health … Read More
While both the Trump administration and Congress insist that they will repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, neither has yet provided information about what that replacement might look like. But one place worth looking for a possible glimpse into the future is the Affordable Care Act replacement plan proposed by Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), President Trump’s nominee to serve as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. In 2015, Rep. Price proposed the Empowering Patients First Act as a vehicle for replacing the Affordable Care Act. While the bill was not adopted by Congress at the time, Dr. Price should soon be in a position to exert meaningful influence over the manner in which the Trump administration … Read More