In The News

Tech Experts: Health Exchange Site Needs Total Overhaul, 10-17-13, USA Today

Kelly Kennedy reports according to tech experts, the federal health care exchange was built using 10-year-old technology that may require constant fixes and updates for the next six months and the eventual overhaul of the entire system.

Charlotte Area has Some of the Highest Blue Cross Insurance Rates in the State, 10-20-13, Charlotte Observer

John Murawski and Karen Garloch report Mecklenburg and surrounding counties will have some of the state’s highest health insurance premiums, based on a review of plans offered by Blue Cross and Coventry Health Care of the Carolinas, the only two private insurers participating in the online marketplace created by the new federal law.

Contractors See Weeks of Work on Health Site, 10-20-13, New York Times

Sharon LaFraniere reports federal contractors have identified most of the main problems crippling President Obama’s online health insurance marketplace, but the administration has been slow to issue orders for fixing those flaws, and some contractors worry that the system may be weeks away from operating smoothly, people close to the project say.

Health Law’s Impact on Doctors Remains Unclear, 10-20-13, USA Today

Liv Osby reports many doctors have seen changes over the years from the increasing influence of the insurance industry over treatment decisions to the growth in hospital employment of doctors. But many doctors are unsure of what the changes brought with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act will mean for them.

Thousands of Consumers Get Insurance Cancellation Notices Due To Health Law Changes, 10-21-13, Kaiser Health News

Anna Gorman and Julie Appleby report health plans are sending hundreds of thousands of cancellation letters to people who buy their own coverage, frustrating some consumers who want to keep what they have and forcing others to buy more costly policies.

In Syria, Doctors Risk Life and Juggle Ethics, 10-21-13, New York Times

Sheryl Stolberg and Anne Barnard report while the Obama administration claims credit for pushing President Bashar al-Assad into giving up the arsenal, some experts say the real credit lies with the doctors who risked their lives  and confronted thorny questions of medical ethics  to bring to light the use of chemical weapons.

WakeMed Names Interim CEO, 10-24-13, Triangle Business Journal

Jason deBruyn reports WakeMed Health & Hospitals announced Rear Admiral Donald Gintzig as interim president and CEO for the 884-bed hospital system; this comes after WakeMed parted ways with former CEO Bill Atkinson in late September, citing a difference of vision for the future of the hospital.

N.C. Refusal of Medicaid Leaves Large Group in ‘Gap’, 10-24-13, Star News

Molly Parker and Mike Voorheis report roughly 7 percent of the nation’s 5 million poor uninsured adults who fall into the so-called health insurance “coverage gap” live in North Carolina, according to the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation.

Pennsylvania Governor Talks Up Plan to Expand Medicaid His Way, 10-25-13, Kaiser Health New

Elana Gordon reports it looks like Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett may be following in the footsteps of   fellow Republican governor in Ohio, John Kasich, as Kasich bypassed his own Republican legislature to expand the state’s Medicaid program.

Med Schools Report Record-Breaking Numbers, 10-25-13, Fierce Healthcare

Katie Sullivan reports the number of first-year medical students exceeded 20,000 for the first time, the Association of American Medical Colleges said in its annual report on medical school enrollment applications, with a total of 20,055 students enrolled in 2013 programs.

Health ‘Coverage Gap’ Affecting WNC Residents, 10-26-13, Citizen Times

Julie Ball reports for many Western North Carolina residents, passage of the Affordable Care Act brought hope for coverage while they worked towards finding employment, but like 319,000 people in North Carolina many residents fall into a “coverage gap” resulting from the state’s decision not to expand Medicaid.

FDA Shift on Painkillers Was Years in the Making, 10-27-13, New York Times

Barry Meier and Eric Lipton report the Food and Drug Administration has recently recommended tightening how doctors prescribed the most commonly used narcotic painkillers, like the highly addictive legal narcotics like Vicodin and Lortab, has been years in the making.

HealthCare.gov’s Smiling Face Vanishes, 10-28-13, Politico

Tal Kopan reports the website for the problem-plagued health care exchanges has a new look, and gone is the smiling face of an unidentified woman from the homepage. A representative for the government agency responsible for the website said that the change was part of an overall effort to enhance the site and highlight the different ways users can enroll in the exchanges.

 
 

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