Final and proposed rules for ACA insurance provisions released   03/01/2013
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today issued a final rule and proposed rule clarifying certain Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act insurance provisions beginning in 2014. In addition, the Office of Personnel Management issued a final rule establishing standards for the Multi-State Plan Program, which will offer at least two multi-state plans on each state insurance exchange. The CMS final rule further details parameters for the ACA's risk adjustment, reinsurance and risk corridors provisions; processing of cost-sharing reductions and advance payments of the premium tax credit to avoid access barriers for low-income enrollees; and changes two medical loss ratio requirements that make issuers include premium stabilization amounts in medical loss ratio and rebate calculations. CMS also released for comment an interim final rule adjusting the risk corridors calculation to align with the single risk pool provision of the ACA, and allowing qualified health plans to use an optional simplified methodology to calculate cost-sharing reductions for a transition period. The CMS proposed rule outlines a transitional policy for certain Small Business Health Option Program (SHOP) operations to help stabilize the market in 2014 and conform SHOP special enrollment periods to those in the broader group health insurance market. For example, the rule would delay employee choice and premium aggregation requirements for the federally run SHOP until 2015. Both the CMS and OPM final rules take effect 60 days after publication in the March 11 Federal Register.
AHA provides clarity on TIME article   03/01/2013
The AHA yesterday posted to its website a document to provide clarity on a number of statements made in the article “Bitter Pill,” which appears in the March 4 edition of TIME magazine. Since the article came out, AHA has been working to correct some of the information raised by the story and has secured a correction regarding the uncompensated care figures cited in the original piece. For more information, visit www.aha.org/settingtherecordstraight.
Coalition seeks to build online advocacy communities   03/01/2013
The Coalition to Protect America’s Health Care is poised to introduce a new creative approach to advertising and advocacy efforts making strategic use of digital media. The campaign will include a robust online and social media presence to encourage individuals to join the coalition and add their voices to its grassroots efforts on behalf of hospitals and health systems. For more on the coalition, visit http://www.protecthealthcare.org/. AHA is a founding member of the coalition, a broad-based group dedicated to educating the public about issues affecting hospitals' financial situation, and what this means for patients and their families. AHA members will receive an email with further details next week.
Study: FL Medicaid expansion would boost jobs   03/01/2013
Expanding Florida’s Medicaid program under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care would create an estimated 54,288 jobs, according to a study released yesterday by the Florida Hospital Association. “Providing access to health insurance to a million or more working Floridians is a good thing for our patients and our business community,” said Lars Houmann, president and CEO of Florida Hospital and the Florida Division of Adventist Health System. “This report underscores that extending coverage would have a tremendous positive impact on our state’s economy by creating nearly 55,000 high-wage jobs.”