RealClearHealth Morning Scan -- 01/27/2016
Today's Top Stories
ACA Fines Press Millennials As Deadline Nears
R. Alonso-Zaldivar, AP
Fines for being uninsured rise sharply in 2016 - averaging nearly $1,000 per household, according to an independent estimate. It's forcing those in their 20s and 30s to take a hard look and see if they can squeeze in coverage to avoid penalties. Many are trying to establish careers or just make progress in a still-bumpy economy.
Panel Recommends Mental Illness Screenings
Ariana Eunjung Cha, WP
All American adults should be screened for depression as part of their normal health-care routine, an influential panel recommended on Tuesday. The United States Preventive Services Task Force also singled out maternal mental illness for the first time by suggesting that women be screened during pregnancy and after childbirth.
NYC Practice: Screening for Depression for 3 Years
A federal task force's recommendation that primary care doctors screen all adult patients for depression was surprising but a “very, very positive development," says Henry Chung, a psychiatrist who is chief medical officer at the Montefiore Health System's care management organization here.
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Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies are helping people understand how to use their health benefits so they can get the right medication for them at the most affordable price. Learn more.
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Okla. Treats Mental Health System w/o Care
Jaclyn Cosgrove, Oklahoman
If territory leaders had embraced the concept of treating Oklahomans in communities where they lived, the mental health system would look much different today. Instead, residents were warehoused in large psychiatric hospitals, and for decades, many communities lacked any available mental health care. After those hospitals were closed, Oklahoma leaders claimed they would invest in community mental health care. That did not happen.
CMS Seeks Cut in Readmissions for Minorities, Poor
Virgil Dickson, MH
The CMS is pushing hospitals to establish more aggressive care plans and to team up with non-medical personnel such as social workers in a new guidance aimed at reducing readmissions for minority and low income Medicare enrollees. Minority and other vulnerable people with chronic conditions such as congestive heart failure are more likely to be readmitted within 30 days of discharge than their white counterparts, according to the CMS.
Rubio: Some 'Cheating' Disability System
Mackenzie Ryan, D.M. Register
Asked how he’d provide health care to individuals with disabilities who can’t obtain work without it, Marco Rubio spoke of his grandfather, who became disabled after contracting polio as child.
Trump Dips Toe into Tricky Health Care Proposals
Caitlin Owens, MC
Donald Trump this week put forth a few health policy proposals that go beyond replacing Obamacare with “something terrific,” his stance of the past few months. But not very far beyond.
Trump Would Have Problems on Medicare Rx Prices
David Nather, Stat
To have any real effect on drug prices, Medicare would have to be able to say “no” to drugs that might be expensive, but are still badly needed by people with chronic conditions.That means it would have to establish a list of covered drugs, known as a formulary, and be willing to leave drugs off it. But that approach risks a massive political backlash and charges of shortchanging seniors.
Trump & Liberals Agree on Negotiating Drug Prices
Sarah Kliff, Vox
Trump has said that he wants to take on the drug companies — that he would be unafraid to do so, as he promises to not become beholden to large interest groups. That might turn out to be true, or it might not. But it won't matter much; Congress has to sign off on this proposal, and over the past decade it has shown absolutely no interest in moving forward.
How to Manage a High-Deductible Plan
Arielle Levin Becker, CT Mirror
For many Americans, the days of paying a $10 or $20 copay for a doctor visit and leaving the medical bills to their insurance companies are long gone. Instead, many are paying a larger share of their medical bills, often through deductibles that leave people to pay the full cost of care until they hit a certain dollar limit. And that means not just higher potential costs, but more to understand – from figuring out how much care costs to handling bills that aren’t always clear.
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Making the most of your prescription drug benefits helps you get healthy faster and stay healthy longer, while keeping costs in check. Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies are helping people understand how to maximize their benefits so they can get the effective medicines they need at the most affordable price. Learn more.
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