For-profit hospital companies must weather looming threats of market disruption, regulatory changes and technological advancements that may change where patients get care in 2018, analysts say.
In its 2018 outlook, Fitch Ratings said for-profit companies, including hospitals, are prime targets for competition from companies like Amazon, which could exploit inefficiencies that keep hospital care expensive.
“One of the points we really want to articulate is that we’re seeing these little inroads for disruption across the industry,” said Britton Costa, Fitch’s senior director for healthcare & REITs.
The U.S.’s obesity problem is set to get much worse, according to new Harvard research that simulates future obesity rates for those Americans who are currently children.
While a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggested that almost 40% of American adults are currently obese, the new research predicts that over 57% of today’s children will be obese by the time they reach the age of 35.
Obesity is classified as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. BMI is calculated by dividing the subject’s weight in kilograms by the square of their height in meters.
There’s a new app available for healthcare patients to make some money off their medical data.
Falls Church, Va.-based healthcare IT company Health Wizz has created a patient-data-aggregation platform that allows patients to trade and sell their data to pharmaceutical companies, researchers and other organizations.
The platform, which was previously available in beta and was relaunched Thursday, runs on a mobile app through which patients can aggregate their health records.
Having failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Congress is now working on a tax overhaul. But it turns out the tax bills in the House and Senate also aim to reshape health care.
Here are five big ways the tax bill could affect health policy:
1. Repeal the requirement for most people to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty. Republicans tried and failed to end the so-called individual mandate this year when they attempted to advance their health overhaul legislation. Now the idea is back, at least in the Senate’s version of the tax bill.
The sprawling tax cut legislation speeding through Congress is likely to result in major changes in healthcare, including significant insurance coverage losses, higher premiums, tighter access to capital, and greater margin pressure for not-for-profit health systems.Senate Republicans are making last-minute changes to their version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on a straight party-line vote Friday. Then House Republicans, who passed their own tax bill earlier this month, either will simply pass the Senate bill or negotiate differences between the two bills in conference committee.
The Senate tax bill in its final stages of debate has many flaws. But none is more disconcerting — and none represents a more thorough reversal of what used to be bedrock Republican principles — than its ending of the requirement that all Americans have health insurance.
This requirement, known as the individual mandate, is a centerpiece of the Affordable Care Act. Senate Republicans tacked repeal of the mandate on to their tax bill as a way to help fund a host of cuts for corporations and wealthy interests.
The drive by Senate Republicans to repeal the requirement that most Americans have health insurance is not only likely to discourage people from signing up for coverage during the current enrollment period, but also could result in higher premiums.
If repeal is approved, people could opt out of buying policies because they would no longer face a tax penalty and millions could go uninsured. With the Affordable Care Act already weakened by the Trump administration, big drops in enrollment would deal yet another body blow to the law and wreak more havoc in the individual insurance market.
When one of Cindy Holtzman’s clients told the Woodstock, Ga., broker he was considering dropping his Affordable Care Act plan because next year’s cost approached $23,000 for his family of four, she suggested a new option: a back-to-back set of four, 90-day short-term plans, which would effectively give them a modicum of medical coverage for 2018.
An Obama administration rule limited short-term coverage to three months at a time because it was meant as a stopgap between more substantial policies.
The CMS has finalized its decision to toss two mandatory bundled-payment models and cut down the number of providers required to participate in a third.Only 34 geographic areas will be required to participate in the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model, or CJR, according to a rulemaking released Thursday. Initially, 67 geographic areas were supposed to participate.Up to 470 hospitals are expected to continue to operate under the model. That includes the CMS’ estimate that 60 to 80 hospitals will voluntarily participate in CJR.
The CMS on Thursday released a list of 32 reporting measures under consideration for Medicare’s quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs. The number of measures under review is much smaller compared to last year when CMS considered nearly 100 measures. The move is in line with CMS Administrator Seema Verma’s focus on reducing regulatory burden for providers. The agency recently launched the Meaningful Measures initiative to identify measures that will have the greatest impact on quality care improvement. This year, CMS selected 32 measures for consideration out of a pool of 184 submitted by stakeholders.
Access to affordable medicine is an unmet public health imperative, according to a new report that recommended government drug price negotiation, competition reform and financial transparency to alleviate the issue. The report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine outlined several potential paths to more affordable drugs through various policy reforms. They range from consolidating the government’s purchasing power to negotiate lower drug prices with manufacturers, closing loopholes in the regulatory framework that block competition and mandating pharmaceutical price transparency.
Health 2.0 sat down with Linda Molnar to discuss the evolution of Precision Health, the imperatives at stake in a fast-paced field, and empowerment through big data. Linda has over 20 years in the field of Life Sciences and is responsible for a number of initiatives that further the field with start-ups, the feds, and for investors.
Her current endeavor is leading the upcoming Technology for Precision Health Summit in San Francisco alongside Health 2.0.
Doctors spend too much time taking notes during and after patient visits, and providers are turning to technology to combat physician burnout. The experiment could save doctors hours of time usually spent on a computer instead of in front of patients.