Home     About    Sign Up      H2RWebinars    Vendor Solutions     Sponsorship    Contact Us

Industry News

Hatch: Make CMS an independent agency

Last week, Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch argued that Congress should split the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services from the Department of Health and Human Services. Setting CMS up as an independent agency could keep the White House from having too much influence over its operation, he argues. CMS consumes about 85 percent of the health department's $1 trillion budget. (Bloomberg)



Three principles for measuring health IT

Health care professionals have created a framework for measuring health information technology with a goal of making "HIT evaluations more relevant to the current needs of the healthcare system," according to a paper published in the
American Journal of Managed Care and sponsored by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. The paper says health IT should take into account three principles: value includes costs and benefits; value accrues over time; and value depends on each stakeholder's perspective. (FierceHealthIT; paper)


NY HIX passes 2 million mark; higher taxes on horizon

Earlier this month, New York's health insurance exchange announced it had enrolled more than 2 million people, 89 percent of whom had no insurance before signing up. A November poll found 92 percent of those surveyed were completely or somewhat satisfied with the insurance obtained through the marketplace. However, the New York Post reports on something less satisfying: Gov. Andrew Cuomo's new budget includes a nearly $69 million tax on health insurance policies to pay for the exchange. (Crain's New York Business; New York Post)

Innovation & transformation

Time makes the switch to private exchange

Time Inc. is the latest large employer to switch to a private health insurance exchange for active employees. Forty-seven percent of employers surveyed have implemented or plan to consider a private exchange model before 2018, according to the Private Exchange Evaluation Collaborative. Reasons for Time's switch include increased choice, better value and increased plan flexibility, says Greg Giagrande, executive vice president and chief human resources officer. (Employee Benefit News)

A group of commercial payers, providers and industry partners says it is committed to putting 75 percent of its business into value-based models by 2020. Some of the nation's largest health care systems and payers launched the Health Care Transformation Task Force, committing to put 75 percent of their business into such models by 2020. Richard J. Gilfillan, MD, CEO of Michigan-based Trinity Health, is chairman of the task force. HealthLeaders Media recently posted an interview with him about the new initiative. (HealthLeaders Media)


NQF offers recommendations on defining quality

The administration's goal of paying for quality over quantity by 2018 has intensified the debate over how quality is defined and measured, the Wall Street Journal reports. The National Quality Forum is working to resolve this: It submitted recommendations on 199 performance measures for Health and Human Services to consider in 20 federal programs. This is the fourth consecutive year it has submitted guidance to HHS on value-based payment and purchasing programs. (Wall Street Journal--subscription required; NQF)
Consumers & Providers

Opinion: Bi-partisan efforts needed to support vaccination

The number of confirmed cases of measles has shown a drastic leap in 2015 and intentional non-vaccination may be to blame, according to Harold Pollack in a Washington Post opinion piece. "We must continue to debunk false rumors about vaccines--most prominently the debunked theories that the MMR vaccine causes autism," he writes. He urges bi-partisan support of immunization; that may ease deep-rooted distrust across conventional political boundaries. (Washington Post Wonkblog)

Capps to naysayers: There are no immediate miracles 

Sustainable transformation takes time: There are no immediate miracles, Health2 Resources President Katherine Herring Capps writes in a recent blog post. "Experts" too often dismiss innovations such as the patient-centered medical home or the Comprehensive Primary Care initiative because they don't see immediate results. "This attitude disturbs me on multiple levels. First, of course, is that it doesn't give innovation the space and time to grow," she writes. "But what's more pernicious is that it encourages innovations to focus on short-term gain instead of long-term transformation. Sustainable change doesn't happen quickly," she says. "You'd think we'd have learned that by now." (H2R blog)



In an opinion piece for the Boston Globe, author Donald N.S. Unger describes how seeking treatment for his chronic pain has led to him being treated like a criminal. He doesn't ask for sympathy: "'They're-making-it-harder-for-me-to-get-my-drugs' isn't exactly a winning public flag to fly," he acknowledges. But he recounts how he's treated like a criminal. "My latest pain contract, presented as a requirement for obtaining care, included a demand that I appear, whenever ordered, before any practitioner in the health maintenance organization to which I belong, within an hour's time, with my medication bottle in hand. For a pill count. How, exactly, is that supposed to work?" (Boston Globe)


   Follow us on Twitter   Like us on Facebook 

New & Noted   

Deadline approaches: Officials expect a last-minute surge on HealthCare.gov this week. They announced this week that those who are "in line" to purchase coverage by the Feb. 15 deadline will be able to complete the process after that date. (Inside Health Policy)



Penalties kick in:  As many as 6 million people will face a penalty for forgoing health insurance in 2014, according to Treasury Department projections. Another 10 to 20 percent of taxpayers--or 15 to 30 million people--were uninsured but will qualify for an exemption. (The Hill)


Kindness of strangers: To cover medical costs, some turn to crowdfunding. (The New York Times)



Affordable Care Act: A big headache for accountants

The ACA could stand for "Aggravating Challenge for Accountants," according to 
Marketplace. "Two of the most complicated facets of American life have just collided: health care and the federal income tax form." (Marketplace)

MarketVoices...quotes worth reading


"Don't misunderstand: I'm all for harvesting the low-hanging fruit, but not if it's going to kill the tree--or if that's the only fruit we're allowed to cultivate."

--Health2 Resources President Katherine Herring Capps in her most recent blog post

Subscriber Tools
Editorial Team
Roxanna Guilford-Blake
Sandy Mau




Copyright 2009-2015, H2RMinutes

Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2014



















New Colorado RCCO video: Making a Medical Neighborhood Happen 


 Watch now 















The Familiar Physician