August 16, 2018

The False Choice Of Burden Reduction Versus Payment Precision In The Physician Fee Schedule

Bob Berenson, Visiting Scholar and Senior Advisor for Value Initiatives at Families USA, and Alan Lazaroff, American Geriatrics Society, explain in this Health Affairs blog that The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ proposed rule that makes changes to the Medicare physician fee schedule would worsen payment incentives for clinicians, compromising the quality of care and increasing costs for seniors.

August 15, 2018

Action for Dental Health Act brings much needed attention to oral health issues

Melissa Burroughs

Oral Health Campaign Manager

Nobody wants a root canal, but millions of Americans with mouth pain know it might be their best shot at protecting a tooth and stopping an infection from spreading—if they can afford it. Oral health affects all health and too many people in this country cannot access care. That’s why the Senate is considering the Action for Dental Health Act. But this measure should be the first appointment on our nation’s oral health checkup.

August 7, 2018

Why Medicare Should Cover Oral Health: Cheryl's Story

Michelle Loo

Story Bank Associate

We would like to share just one story about how a Medicare oral health benefit could change someone’s life. Cheryl in Olympia, Washington, has gone nearly 10 years without comprehensive oral health care. 

Fact Sheet
August 2018

Seven Reasons the Trump Administration's Short-Term Health Plans Are Harmful to Families

The Trump Administration wants to turn back the clock on protections for health care consumers established by the Affordable Care Act. This latest act of sabotage on the health law came in the form of a final rule released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The rule makes it legal to sell “short-term insurance” plans for long periods of time that do not comply with the ACA’s consumer protections.

July 11, 2018

The Family Separation Crisis: A Problematic Vetting Process, Challenges After Reunification

Shadi Houshyar, Ph.D.

Director of Early Childhood and Child Welfare Initiatives

Family separation - even for short periods of time - is distressing, traumatic and damaging to the health and well-being of children and parents. Longer periods of separation will lead to sustained and heightened distress and “toxic stress” that will have physiological effects on a child’s neuroendocrine and immune systems, stress regulatory system, and brain development with long-term implications for their health and well-being.

The vetting process that the administration is using to reunite parents with their children is wholly inappropriate. The process, established by the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (TVPRA), requires background checks of sponsors, in-person checks of where the child would live, and a full screening of people who live in that home. The judge in the ACLU lawsuit has ruled that while the government should be mindful of the best interest of each child it releases, it does not have to follow every single step of the process established by TVPRA as it was designed for screening non-parental sponsors of unaccompanied children to assure that potential placements are safe and appropriate. This process was not intended to assess placement of children who entered the U.S. together with their parents.

Short Analysis
July 2018

CMS Suspends Risk Adjustment Program, Endangering Health of Millions

On July 7, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a policy change that could fundamentally undermine the individual market, endangering health care for millions of people who get health care through the individual marketplace. CMS announced it will not distribute more than $10 billion out of a "risk adjustment" pool which is funded by insurers who participate in the individual and small-business markets. The risk adjustment program collects funds from insurers that cover healthier people and redistributes those funds to plans that have sicker enrollees.

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