The Weekly Insight: November 6

06th Nov 2017

Texas Insight Reports October 30-November 3

  • Texas Department of Insurance: HB 10 Stakeholder Meeting: The Texas Department of Insurance and the Health and Human Services Commission held a joint meeting for stakeholders to receive an update and provide initial input into the data collection activities related to HB10, with regard to collecting and comparing data from health benefit plan issuers…
  • HHSC: Early Childhood Intervention Advisory Committee: The ECI Advisory Committee gathered for their quarterly meeting.
  • HHSC: Aging Texas Well Advisory Committee: The Aging Texas Well Advisory Committee met to address issues on aging in Texas and to receive program updates.
  • HHSC: Behavioral Health Advisory Committee: The Behavioral Health Advisory Committee met to receive updates and provide direction on behavioral health services in Texas.
  • (Blog)Health Plan Directory Errors Can be Costly for Patients and Providers Alike: When a patient moves to a new city and needs to find a doctor, the logical place for them to look is their health plan’s provider directory. After all, patients today typically have insurance – most commonly from their employer, sometimes purchased from an exchange – and they want to be sure any doctor they see will accept their insurance. But even when patients take the time to check their plan directory, there’s a significant chance that the information they find in it could be incorrect. Sometimes, doctors that accept the health plan aren’t listed – so patients don’t know all their options to use their coverage. Other times, doctors who are in the network are incorrectly included in the plan’s directory – increasing the chances that patients will seek services their insurance won’t actually cover. When this happens, patients can end up saddled with thousands of dollars of unexpected bills.
  • (Blog)The Potential Role of IT in Fighting the Opioid Epidemic: Opportunities and Limitations: Many tactics have been suggested for addressing the opioid epidemic, including the use of certain information technology tools by health care providers.  Ultimately, the solution to the opioid epidemic will require many different tools, among which health information technologies can play an important part.


Federal Healthcare News 

  • Oct. 31: As Open Enrollment for Obamacare Begins, Confusion Reigns: As the fifth open enrollment period [for ObamaCare started] Wednesday, the law is reeling from continued attacks by Mr. Trump that have sown confusion and anxiety among the roughly 10 million Americans with coverage through its insurance marketplaces and millions more who remain uninsured.
  • Nov. 1: Premature Birth Rates Rise for Second Year in a Row: The rate of preterm birth in the U.S. has increased for the second year in a row, according to a new report released Wednesday by the March of Dimes.
  • Nov. 3: House Passes Bill to Fund Children’s Insurance Program: Legislation to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for five years passed the House on Friday over the objections of Democrats, who oppose how the legislation is paid for.
  • Nov. 3: Lobbying Frenzy begins on Tax Bill: The House’s leading tax writer on Friday opened the possibility that Congress’s push to cut taxes could mesh with its so-far failed effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, saying the tax bill could include a measure to do away with the health law’s mandate that most Americans have health coverage.
  • Nov. 3: House Republicans Aim to Eliminate Tax Credits for Orphan Drugs: As part of a sweeping tax overhaul bill, House Republicans on Thursday proposed eliminating billions of dollars in corporate tax credits that have played a key role in the booming industry to develop drugs for rare diseases.
  • Nov. 3: Trump Admin to Fund $10 Million Teen Pregnancy Prevention Effort: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a $10 million research endeavor Friday to “support and improve” teen pregnancy prevention programs, including efforts that encourage teens to avoid sex.