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Trump signs short-term spending bill allowing states to access more CHIP funds

December 8, 2017

President Trump is working with Republican and Democratic leaders on a longer-term spending bill that lawmakers say is likely to include new funding for CHIP.

GOP eyeing Medicare, Medicaid reform in 2018, Ryan says

December 8, 2017

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says Republican lawmakers next year will "have to get back [to] entitlement reform," such as Medicare and Medicaid reform, as a way of "tackl[ing] the debt and the deficit."

Senate, House begin negotiations on tax reform bill—and the individual mandate is on the table

December 8, 2017

House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady (R-Texas), who is leading the negotiations, says he is open to including a provision to eliminate the penalty most U.S. residents have to pay for not having health insurance under the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate in Republicans' final tax reform bill.

Temp, full-time doctors provide similar quality of care, study suggests

December 8, 2017

Staff Care, a national recruiting firm that connects locum tenens physicians with hospitals, estimates that the number of temp doctors has almost doubled since 2002, totaling about 48,000 in 2017.

US health spending slows, but consumers' out-of-pocket spending soars, CMS data show

December 7, 2017

In an annual report, CMS actuaries find U.S. health spending increased by 4.3% to $3.3 trillion in 2016, down from growth rates of 5.8% in 2015 and 5.1% in 2014—but consumers' out-of-pocket spending rose at its fastest rate since 2007.

Spending on ED facility fees rose sharply between 2009 and 2015, analysis suggests

December 7, 2017

A Vox and Health Care Cost Institute analysis of data from employer-sponsored plans found that spending on emergency department facility fees rose by more than $3 billion between 2009 and 2015, but the American College of Emergency Physicians is pushing back against the findings, arguing the analysis' data set "leaves out a major portion of the picture and skews the article's findings."

Community health centers grapple with federal funding losses

December 7, 2017

Community health centers are feeling the effects of Congress' failure to reauthorize funding for the Community Health Centers Fund, and a new policy brief estimates that the funding loss could lead to more than 76,000 fewer jobs in 2018 if lawmakers do not address the issue.

FDA approves first test to detect cancer-causing mutations in hundreds of genes

December 5, 2017

FDA says the test, known as FoundationOne CDx, could help reduce health care costs and bolster patient care, and CMS says it plans to cover the test for qualifying Medicare beneficiaries.

Senate votes to eliminate ACA's individual mandate penalty

December 4, 2017

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that eliminating the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate would cause exchange market premiums to rise by 10% and lead to 13 million fewer people having health insurance in 2027.

CVS + Aetna: How the $69B merger could shake up the health care industry

December 4, 2017

Observers say the proposed deal aims to combine Aetna's medical expertise with CVS Health's pharmacy locations to create sites for convenient, local care—and stem rising health care costs.

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