Tuesday February 21, 2017

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Consumer-Driven Health News



Are High-Value Health Plans the Wave of the Future?

Two researchers have proposed a new way to design health insurance plans that could win bipartisan support. Called a "high-value health plan," the proposal combines the consumer-driven, market-based concepts of HDHPs linked to HSAs with exemptions that enhance coverage for the clinical services that have been proven to benefit patients the most. However, existing IRS regulations designate that clinical services meant to treat ‘an existing illness, injury, or condition’ are excluded from pre-deductible coverage.

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High Deductible Plan Switch Shows Little Effect on Diabetes Patients

Most patients with diabetes who joined high-deductible health plans did not experience adverse outcomes related to diabetes, but acute diabetes complications increased among certain vulnerable subgroups, according to the results of a study published recently in JAMA Internal Medicine. Clinicians and their teams should pay special attention to low-income diabetes patients or diabetes patients with other chronic illnesses.

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What to Know About Your High-Deductible Health Plan

At some point when you feel sick, you need someone other than Dr. Google. But that information isn’t free. Those of us with a high-deductible health plan (and that's a few of us) may worry less about what’s wrong, than what it will cost to find out. Most people with a plan through Obamacare have a high-deductible, and more employers are putting their workers on this type of plan. Which means more questions. This being January, the start of a new health care year, it's the perfect time to provide answers.

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The Tough Terrain of Transparent Pricing

A small but growing number of health systems are thinking “more like retailers” and establishing clear pricing strategies to compete for consumers who face rising out-of-pocket costs under high-deductible health plans, according to a report from the PwC Health Research Institute.

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Trump Signs ObamaCare Executive Order

President Trump on Friday signed an executive order directing federal agencies to “ease the burden of ObamaCare." The order did not direct any specific actions, instead giving broad authority to the Department of Health and Human Services and other agencies to take actions available to them under the law to ease regulatory requirements from ObamaCare. It pushes agencies to target provisions that impose a "fiscal burden" on a state or a "cost" or "regulatory burden" on individuals or businesses.

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