Friday, November 14, 2014

Health Care Insights | Weekly Round Up

Health Care Insights brings you your weekly healthcare round up. Below you will find relevant articles on key industry topics that we thought our readers would benefit from - enjoy.

Top Stories:

CMS Says Some Providers are Obstructing Dual-Eligible Demonstration
The CMS official in charge of coordinating care for Americans covered by both Medicare and Medicaid says some healthcare providers are illegitimately trying to dissuade dual-eligible beneficiaries from participating in a managed-care initiative designed to test ways to reduce costs and improve quality. She said her agency has increased its surveillance of these providers, though she did not identify any by name.

Plans Say Duals Bring Down Star Ratings, Beneficiary Advocates Not Convinced
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As CMS looks at possible changes to the Medicare Advantage star ratings program, health plans say that poorer beneficiaries are causing lower-than-appropriate star ratings for some MA plans, though the Medicare Rights Center says that current data do not show that beneficiaries' low income is the root cause of lower quality care for those beneficiaries.

Work Group Submits Comments to CMS on Sovaldi, Breakthrough Therapy Designation Medications
The Medicaid Work Group sent a comment letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on the introduction of Sovaldi and other new  Breakthrough Therapy Designation medications and their potential impact on Medicaid costs.

Vitamin B Doesn't Reduce Cognitive Risk in Healthy Elderly
Lowering plasma homocysteine levels with oral vitamin B12 and folic acid does not appear to be an effective strategy for reducing memory loss and Alzheimer's risk, according to findings from a randomized, clinical trial of elderly people in the Netherlands with elevated homocysteine.

Joint Commission Report: U.S. hospitals are getting better, but there is still room for improvement
If the Joint Commission‘s assessment of a hospital is any indication – and by just about all accounts, it’s the indication – hospitals across the U.S. are improving, with more than 1,200 having achieved “top performer” status. A total of 1,224 made that cut, an increase of 11 percent from last year. The top performers represent nearly 37 percent of more than 3,300 Joint Commission-accredited hospitals that contributed data, according to its annual report.

Have a great weekend!

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