House Democrats unveil budget alternative   03/18/2013
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) today released a Democratic alternative to the House budget resolution that would replace the Budget Control Act sequester through a combination of targeted spending cuts and increased revenues. The proposal includes $141 billion in Medicare savings over 10 years “through efficiency improvements, without any cuts to benefits.” It would protect Medicaid from cuts and implement the increase in Medicaid physician fees for primary care services under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The plan also includes budget-neutral reform of Medicare physician payments to prevent the cuts under current law, paid for through measures that build on ACA reforms; and preserves non-defense discretionary spending.
MACPAC issues March report to Congress on Medicaid, CHIP   03/18/2013
The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission Friday recommended that Congress create a statutory option allowing states to implement 12-month continuous eligibility for the Children's Health Insurance Program and adults in Medicaid. The commission said the recommendation would improve enrollment stability after new income eligibility standards take effect in 2014. MACPAC also recommended that Congress permanently fund the Transitional Medical Assistance program, allowing states to opt out of the program if they expand adult coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. TMA allows parents to keep their family's Medicaid coverage for at least six months after transitioning to a new job. The March report to Congress also looks at service use and spending patterns for Medicare and Medicaid dual eligibles, a group for which the commission plans to explore policy options in the future.
HHS: 105 million Americans receiving ACA expanded preventive services   03/18/2013
An estimated 71 million privately insured Americans received expanded coverage of preventive services under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2011 and 2012, according to a report released today by the Department of Health and Human Services. The report estimates the number of men, women and children receiving expanded preventive services by state. Additionally, an estimated 34 million Americans in traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans have received at least one preventive service, such as an annual wellness visit at no out-of-pocket cost, because of the law, HHS said. Effective in September 2010, the ACA requires non-grandfathered health plans to cover and eliminate cost-sharing for certain preventive services, based in part on guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
AONE announces 2013 award winners   03/18/2013
The American Organization of Nurse Executives today announced the recipients of its 2013 recognition awards, which honor the “best of the best” in leadership practice. The recipients are: Bonnie Clipper, associate vice president of professional nursing practice and development at St. David’s HealthCare in Austin, TX, and Ann Marie Brooks, vice president of patient care services for Riddle Memorial Hospital-Main Line Health System in Newton Square, PA – AONE Mentor Award; Victoria Rich, chief nursing executive at University of Pennsylvania Medical Center in Philadelphia – AONE Prism Diversity Award; Barbara Caspers, vice president of nursing operations and acute care practice for Catholic Health Initiatives in Englewood, CO – AONE Innovation in Technology Award; and the Northwest Organization of Nurse Executives – AONE Chapter Achievement Award. In addition, the AONE Foundation announced its 2013 grant recipients and nurse researcher award winner. The recipients will be honored during the AONE annual meeting March 20-23 in Denver. AONE is an AHA subsidiary.