HHS launches Marketplace call center, websites   06/24/2013
The Department of Health and Human Services today launched a 24-hour call center and revamped www.HealthCare.gov website offering information to help individuals, families and small businesses prepare to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace beginning Oct. 1. The website can be accessed from desktop or mobile devices, includes a web chat feature to support consumer inquiries and is integrated with social media. The source code and content also are available in machine-readable formats for use by other websites. By October, consumers will be able to create accounts, complete an online application and shop for qualified health plans, HHS said. The agency plans similar updates to the Spanish-language version of the site, CuidadoDeSalud.gov. The toll-free call center, at (800) 318-2596, provides assistance in more than 150 languages through an interpretation and translation service. Hearing impaired callers can dial (855) 889-4325 using TTY/TDD technology for assistance. Health care providers and others helping consumers with questions on health insurance and enrollment can find assistance and resources at another new website, Marktplace.CMS.gov.
Study identifies effective strategies for enrolling uninsured in coverage   06/24/2013
Past health insurance enrollment efforts in Missouri and other states provide proven strategies to help states reach and enroll uninsured Americans in the Health Insurance Marketplace beginning Oct. 1, according to a new study by Mathematica Policy Research, conducted for the Missouri Hospital Association with funding support from the AHA. Strategies include mobilizing a broad network of local partners and community-based organizations; identifying appropriate messages and mediums to reach targeted populations; and removing barriers for and providing assistance to enrollees. Additional strategies related to Medicaid expansion include streamlining the enrollment process and modernizing the state’s enrollment system. Release of the research coincides with the launch of MHA’s Enroll Missouri website, offering health care providers and the public information about the state’s federally-administered health insurance exchange.
Supreme Court to review NLRB appointments case   06/24/2013
The U.S. Supreme Court today agreed to review a January ruling by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals that found three National Labor Relations Board members were not validly appointed. At issue in the case (NLRB v. Noel Canning et al.) is whether President Obama validly used his recess appointment authority to appoint three members to the board on Jan. 4, 2012 without Senate approval. In a unanimous decision, the appeals court held that the president can only make recess appointments for vacancies that arise during an official recess, which it defined as the break between sessions of Congress. If the ruling stands, it could invalidate all NLRB decisions made since the appointees joined the board due to lack of a legally required quorum for doing business.
HHS call on EHR incentive programs Thursday   06/24/2013
The Department of Health and Human Services will host a National Provider Call Thursday on the Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record programs, and the use of certified EHR technology to meet meaningful use requirements. For more information and to register for the call, click here. July 3 is the last day for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals to begin their 90-day reporting period to demonstrate meaningful use for the Medicare EHR incentive program for fiscal year 2013. Hospitals that attest to meaningful use for the first time this year must report on specific performance metrics for a 90-day period ending on or before Sept. 30. Hospitals that began attesting in 2011 or 2012 must report on the metrics for a full year in FY 2013. Hospitals must attest to meaningful use for FY 2013 to benefit fully from the Medicare program's incentives. For more on Medicare EHR attestation, visit www.cms.gov.