The Weekly Insight: February 26
Texas Insight’s Recent Reports
- HHSC: Medical Care Advisory Committee: The Medical Care Advisory Committee (MCAC) gathered for their quarterly meeting. MCAC is a federally mandated committee that reviews and makes recommendations to the state Medicaid director on proposed rules that involve Medicaid policy or affect Medicaid-funded programs.
- HHSC: Value-Based Payment and Quality Improvement Advisory Committee: The Value-Based Payment and Quality Improvement Advisory Committee gathered for their quarterly meeting. [The Committee] provides a forum to promote public-private, multi-stakeholder collaboration in support of quality improvement and value-based payment initiatives for Medicaid, other publicly funded health services and the wider health care system. It was established in accordance with Texas Government Code §531.012.
- Texas House of Representatives: General Investigating & Ethics Committee: The Committee met on February 15 to consider a number of interim charges which included: Interim Charge 10: Monitor agencies and programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 85th Legislature. (Review results of State Auditor’s Office report on the Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s management of Medicaid managed care contracts). This report addresses only the HHSC portion (Charge 10).
- HHSC: Mental Health Condition and Substance Use Disorder Parity Workgroup: The Mental Health Condition and Substance Use Disorder Parity Workgroup met in their second meeting which was largely organizational in nature. [This workgroup] was established by House Bill 10.
Federal Healthcare Reports
- S. Healthcare Coverage and Spending: In 2016, the United States had an estimated population of 318 million individuals. Most of those individuals had private health insurance or received health care services under a federal program (such as Medicare or Medicaid). About 8.6 % of the U.S. population was uninsured (Table 1). Individuals (including those who were uninsured), health insurers, and federal and state governments spent approximately $3. 2 trillion on various types of health consumption expenditures (HCE) in 2016, which accounted for 17.1 % of the nation’s gross domestic product.
- How Many People Experience Homelessness? Attempts by the federal government to estimate the number of people who are homeless have only taken place on a regular basis for a little more than a decade. Prior to that, there had been several national estimates of homelessness but nothing both comprehensive and recurring…
Texas Healthcare News
- Texas clinics flooded with “tsunami” of flu patients – and the season may not have peaked yet:
More than 4,000 Texans have died from flu-related illnesses this season, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
U.S. Healthcare News
- Democrats march toward single-payer health care: Single-payer health care is gaining ground among Democrats. In a sign of the party’s move to the left on the issue, the Center for American Progress (CAP), a bastion of the Democratic establishment, this week released a plan that comes very close to a single-payer system.
- Pediatricians Call for Universal Depression Screening for Teens: Only about 50 percent of adolescents with depression get diagnosedbefore reaching adulthood. And as many as 2 in 3 depressed teens don’t get the care that could help them.
- D.A to Expand Medication-Assisted Therapy for Opioid Addicts: The agency will embrace treatment that “does not require the patient to be totally clean at every visit,” as long as the patient shows continuing improvement
- No Downturn in Obesity Among U.S. Kids, Report Finds: Hopes were dashed this week that the United States was finally making progress in the fight against childhood obesity. Contrary to previous reports, the epidemic of fat has not abated. In fact, there’s been a big jump in obesity among the nation’s youngest children, according to the latest analysisof federal data, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
- Why Your Pharmacist Can’t Tell You That $20 Prescription Could Cost Only $8: States are moving to block “gag clauses” that prohibit pharmacists from telling customers that they could save money by paying cash for prescription drugs rather than using their health insurance.
- Patients Eagerly Awaited a Generic Drug. Then They Saw the Price: Teva Pharmaceuticals announced it would sell a “lower-cost” alternative to Syprine, an old drug that costs more than $21,000. But the new generic version costs nearly as much.
- Opening Mental Hospitals Unlikely to Prevent Mass Shootings, Experts Say: Spree killers may be angry and troubled, but few have shown symptoms that would have landed them in mental hospitals.
- Trump’s Pick to Lead Indian Health Service Withdraws Nomination: The Withdrawal of the nominee, Robert Weaver, follows reports that said he had inaccurately represented his qualifications to a Senate committee after his nomination in October.