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New Online Tool Helps Pennsylvanians Shop for Health Coverage

December 07, 2016

The Pennsylvania Department of Insurance has launched a new, interactive website designed to help Pennsylvanians shop for health coverage. The Pennsylvania Plan Comparison Tool 2017 lets consumers compare plans available on the Health Insurance Marketplace as well as plans available outside the marketplace.

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Per-Capita Health Care Spending Grows along with Coverage and Utilization, But at Slower Rates

December 06, 2016

During 2015, per-capita health care spending grew by 5.0 percent and overall health spending grew by 5.8 percent, according to a study by the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Those annual rates continue to be below the rates of most years prior to passage of the Affordable Care Act—even as millions of people have gained coverage.

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State, Federal Efforts Focus on Flu Prevention as Peak Season Nears

December 05, 2016

While seasonal flu activity varies, it usually peaks between December and February and can last as late as May. With December a frequent time for families and friends to get together, Pennsylvania hospitals, along with other state and federal organizations, are encouraging hospital employees and the general public to receive a flu vaccine.

 

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Pennsylvania Budget Deficit Grows, Setting Up Difficult Decisions Next Year

December 02, 2016

Pennsylvania’s Revenue Department yesterday released its collections report for November, indicating that General Fund revenue collections for the month totaled $2 billion. This amount is $79.5 million, or 3.8 percent, less than expected.

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More Than 102,000 Pennsylvanians Have Enrolled in Health Care Insurance Through HealthCare.gov

December 01, 2016

New information released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services shows that, during the first month, 2.1 million Americans, with more than 102,110 in Pennsylvania, have enrolled in health care coverage through HealthCare.gov.

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Innovation Initiative, Behavioral Health Reform and Key Hospital Policies Overwhelmingly Clear U.S. House

November 30, 2016

In an overwhelming vote, the U.S. House approved a revised 21st Century Cures bill. The package reconciles months of work by both chambers of Congress to advance a comprehensive “innovation” policy initiative which seeks to accelerate the discovery, development and delivery of medical innovations. The legislation also incorporates various Medicare provisions and the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Reform Act—comprehensive behavioral health reform legislation championed by Congressman Tim Murphy.

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Pennsylvania Hospital Employment Up by 1,200 Jobs in October 2016

November 30, 2016

Pennsylvania hospital employment increased by 1,200 jobs from September 2016 to October 2016, for total direct employment of 274,700. This is 3,400 more hospital jobs than one year ago, October 2015, when the total number was 271,300.

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Implementation of Federal Overtime Rule Temporarily Blocked

November 29, 2016

In May 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a final rule making changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s regulations governing overtime payment eligibility and how employers classify their exempt and non-exempt employees. Although implementation was scheduled for December 1, nationwide emergency preliminary injunctive relief has been granted.

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Pennsylvanians Encouraged to Continue Enrolling in Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Plans

November 29, 2016

Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner reminds residents that Open Enrollment for 2017 health insurance coverage available through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is underway and encouraged Pennsylvanians to explore options for health insurance coverage through the online federal marketplace.

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HAP Leader Helps Create Hospital Guide to Ensure Health Care Services in Vulnerable Rural, Urban Communities

November 29, 2016

News Release:  A new report issued by the American Hospital Association (AHA) addresses ways in which hospitals can help ensure access to essential health care services in vulnerable rural and urban communities. 

Andy Carter, president and chief executive officer of HAP, serves on the 29-person health care leader task force that developed the report.The task force met with policymakers and hospital and community leaders during a 15-month period to identify essential health services, strategies to meet community needs, and barriers to those strategies.

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New Commonwealth Fund Report Supports Behavioral Health Integration

November 28, 2016

A new report and related chartpack released by The Commonwealth Fund indicates that about 56 percent of high-need adults in the U.S.—about 6.7 million people—have a behavioral health diagnosis, such as depression, anxiety, or a substance-use problem. In addition, this select group of high-need patients report unmet medical needs at a greater rate than high-need patients without a behavioral health problem.

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3,383 Overdose deaths for Pennsylvania in 2015, Almost Three Times More Than Traffic Fatalities

November 23, 2016

According to an analysis by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Philadelphia Field Division, in 2015 Pennsylvania reported 3,383 drug-related overdose deaths. This represents a 23 percent increase from the previous year. The number of overdose deaths for Pennsylvania is 2.8 times more than traffic fatalities in 2015 (1,200).

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CMS Releases New Data Tool Aimed at Making the Quality Payment Program Easier

November 22, 2016

Recently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched a new online application that will make it easier for organizations to retrieve and maintain the Quality Payment Program’s (QPP) measures as well as enabling them to build applications for clinicians and their practices.

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Heightened Congressional Oversight in Administration Transition

November 21, 2016

With a new administration set to take office in January and Republican control of both chambers of Congress and the White House, Congressional Republicans and the Trump Administration are in the process of developing their procedural and policy strategy with respect to health care policy for early next year.

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Governor Wolf Declares ‘Rural Health in Pennsylvania Week’

November 18, 2016

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf declared November 14–18 as Rural Health in Pennsylvania Week to draw attention to the wide range of issues impacting rural health care, including the critical role of Pennsylvania’s rural health care providers, including its 15 critical access hospitals. 

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