News Headlines

News Headlines
Health care news from around the state and nation

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CMS to Release Physician Payment Data
Health Leaders Media

The federal government has issued a new policy for public disclosure of physicians’ Medicare payments.

Jonathan Blum, principal deputy administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said in a statement posted Tuesday by CMS that the modifications, posted in the Federal Register, will improve transparency and accessibility for the public while maintaining the privacy of Medicare beneficiaries.

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Only a quarter of those enrolled in ACA coverage under the age of 35, HHS report says
FierceGovernment

Fewer than a quarter of those who enrolled in Affordable Care Act health plans came in the coveted 18-34 age range, Jan. 13 Health and Human Services statistics say. That’s well below the 40 percent target President Obama wanted to hit. The target is an important one because more young people enrolled means more healthy people, who premiums are being counted on to balance out claims made by higher-risk older individuals.

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Medical debt will persist despite health law
USA Today

Millions of Americans will get health insurance through the Affordable Care Act that will protect them from potentially ruinous medical expenses, but a new USA TODAY analysis shows the health plans they can choose still leave them vulnerable to thousands in deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs each year.

Medical insurance deductibles for plans on the federal exchange covering 34 states average $3,000, and those for the least expensive, bronze-level plans average $5,082, according to the USA TODAY analysis of deductible data for HealthCare.gov.

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Uber co-founder said to launch on-demand doctor service
CNET News.com

With the US government’s botched rollout of Healthcare.gov, it appears some techie types are thinking about how to startup-ify doctor visits for the country’s upper class. Oscar Salazar, one of Uber’s co-founders, is reportedly creating a new company that will send doctors on on-demand house calls, according to Valleywag. If the patient needs more care after the home visit, the doctor will send them to the emergency room.

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Ads Attacking Health Law Stagger Outspent Democrats
New York Times

Democrats are increasingly anxious about an onslaught of television ads hitting vulnerable Senate and House candidates for their support of the new health law, since many lack the resources to fight back in the early stages of the midterm campaign.

Since September, Americans for Prosperity, a group financed in part by the billionaire Koch brothers, has spent an estimated $20 million on television advertising that calls out House and Senate Democrats by name for their support of the Affordable Care Act.

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Obamacare insults Hispanics: Column
USA Today

Hispanic Americans have a rocky relationship with the Affordable Care Act. After years of planning, the Spanish-language version of HealthCare.gov opened two months late and was only officially launched in January. But that was the least of the website’s problems. The finished product turned out to be more punchline than health care portal. The glitchy “Spanglish” site is not only a technical disaster; it’s also an embarrassment to the Spanish-language and a sign of disrespect to the Hispanic-American community, for whom much is at stake in the health care debate.

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Amid confusion, some California health insurance deadlines are pushed back
Sacramento Bee

Beset by processing delays and customer confusion, two providers operating in the state’s new health insurance exchange have pushed back their due dates for premium payments.

On Tuesday, officials with Anthem Blue Cross of California said the company was pushing back its payment deadline to Jan. 31. Kaiser Permanente set its new payment date for Jan. 22.

Meanwhile, the state exchange said its deadline would remain midnight tonight for those whose coverage with nine other participating insurers begins Jan. 1.

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Health Matters panel: Preventing illness the best cure
The Desert Sun

Health advocates, including media personalities such as Montel Williams, the Rev. Rick Warren and Dr. Travis Stork, discussed the benefits of pre-emptive treatment of chronic illness — much of which is preventable — during the Health Matters Conference’s final panel Tuesday.

“Traditionally we think of hospitals as places where you get care after you get sick,” said Stork, an emergency room physician, who is also a host on the television show “The Doctors.”

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Clinton: Health Matters event in desert expands awareness
The Desert Sun

The U.S. still has a long way to go in addressing health and wellness concerns, improving life expectancy and reducing health care disparities, but in the past few years, the Clinton Health Matters conference has generated discussion, former President Bill Clinton said at the third annual conference Tuesday.

“We are trying to change the whole ecosystem of America as it relates to health and wellness, and I’m thrilled about it,” Clinton said, addressing a packed room on the meticulous grounds of the La Quinta Resort and Club.

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Doctors, institutions push for awareness of disease with Glaucoma Awareness Month in January
Imperial Valley News

Glaucoma, a group of diseases that damages the eye’s optic nerve, could lead to a loss of vision or blindness if left untreated. Unfortunately, once a person begins to develop symptoms, it is already too late to regain any lost sight. Since January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, doctors and medical institutions are looking to spread information on what glaucoma is and how a person can prevent the disease from impacting their sight.

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HL20: Nann Worel—Serving the Medically Underserved
Health Leaders Media

Park City, Utah, is a playground for movers and shakers. It is home to popular ski resorts that hosted events during the 2002 Winter Olympics. Each year its hosts the Sundance Film Festival, which attracts celebrities from around the globe and swells the population of about 8,000.

It is not the type of place where you would expect to need, much less find, a health clinic dedicated to the uninsured.

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Anthem Blue Cross, Kaiser Permanente extend payment deadlines again print
Los Angeles Times

Amid further delays for consumers, California’s two largest health insurers extended payment deadlines once more for people who signed up for Jan. 1 coverage through the Covered California exchange. Anthem Blue Cross, a unit of industry giant WellPoint Inc., said it is giving new enrollees until Jan. 31 to pay their first month’s premium. Kaiser Permanente, the state’s largest HMO, extended the deadline to Jan. 22.

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