Second Look—Advocacy

Bundled payments
An article in The Wall Street Journal (June 9) looks at the issue of bundled payments for healthcare. Under a bundled payment pricing program, a single overall price covers everything involved in a course of treatment. The author states that 350 healthcare organizations are currently participating in pilot bundled-payment programs with Medicare, covering 48 health conditions.

Nearly 6 in 10 ACA enrollees previously uninsured
A report released by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that 57 percent of enrollees who signed up for insurance through the health insurance exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) were previously uninsured. The report also found that ACA enrollees report somewhat worse health than those in pre-ACA plans, that about half are concerned about premium affordability, and that plans trend toward narrow provider networks.

The ACA and ED use
An article published in USA Today (June 8) notes that some hospitals have seen a surge in emergency department (ED) use that may be linked to increased coverage under the ACA. According to information from the American College of Emergency Physicians, nearly half of ED physicians recently polled stated that they’ve seen an uptick in visits since Jan. 1, 2014.

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