HHS reports on health plan choice, premiums in 48 state marketplaces   09/25/2013
Individuals and families may be able to choose between 6 and 169 qualified health plans in 2014 in the 36 states with a federally facilitated or supported health insurance marketplace, or exchange, the Department of Health and Human Services reported today. On average, eight different health insurance companies are expected to participate in each federally facilitated exchange, with premiums generally lower in states with more insurers participating, the agency said. In 48 states, including 12 implementing their own exchange, monthly premiums for the second-lowest-cost silver plan average 16% below an HHS-derived Congressional Budget Office projection of $392. After tax credits, a family of four in Texas with income of $50,000, for example, could pay $282 per month for a plan at this tier, while a 27-year-old Texan earning $25,000 could pay $145, HHS said. The agency estimates that 56% of uninsured Americans may qualify for premiums of less than $100 per month after tax credits. The findings could change once all of the plan data is available and HHS completes its review.
HHS awards contract to pursue nerve agent treatment   09/25/2013
The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response today awarded a $60 million contract to Meridian Medical Technologies to study and purchase a faster acting and longer lasting medication to treat seizures caused by nerve agents. Midazolam is approved as a fast-acting, highly effective pre-operative sedative for adults and children. Although not approved for treatment of seizures, the drug was found in a large study to treat prolonged seizures faster than the anticonvulsant currently in the stockpile to treat seizures caused by nerve agents. The contract includes purchase of midazolam in autoinjectors for adults and multi-dose vials for adults and children for emergency use while the company conducts additional studies.
AHE honors members, announces sustainability certificate program   09/25/2013
The AHA’s Association for the Healthcare Environment yesterday announced the recipients of its 2013 Recognition Awards for excellence in caring for the environment, volunteer service, mentorship and environmental sustainability. The association’s highest honor, the Phoenix, went to Robert Paine, director of operations for Acuity Concepts in Plymouth, MA, for his outstanding service and contributions to AHE and the profession. For more on the awards and recipients, see the news release. AHE, an AHA personal membership group, also announced a new certificate program to recognize and provide guidance on environmentally sustainable health care operations for facilitates of all sizes and care settings. For more information, visit www.ahe.org or email ahe@aha.org.