Reporter Sandra Boodman reports that some medical school administrators and policymakers see three-year programs as a way to produce physicians, particularly primary-care doctors, faster as the new health-care law funnels millions of previously uninsured patients into the medical system.
AMA Fears Privacy Loss as Medicare Moves to Reveal Doc Pay, Modern Healthcare, 1-14-14
Joe Carlson reports that The American Medical Association is warning that the Obama administration could violate physicians’ privacy rights if it poorly implements its new policy for informing the public how much money Medicare pays to individual doctors. But other groups say the administration did not go far enough in making payment data broadly accessible.
White House Announces Latest Exchange Numbers, USA Today, 1-13-14
Reporter Kelly Kennedy writes that Almost 1.2 million people have enrolled in private insurance through the federal health care exchange from Oct. 1 to Dec. 28, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said, and more than 1 million signed up in December alone.
Nearly Half Adults Hospitalized with Flu This Season Are Obese, NEJM Journal Watch, 1-13-14
The editors of the NEJM Journal Watch report that some 47 percent of adults hospitalized with influenza since October have been obese — substantially higher than the 30-35 percent rate seen in previous flu seasons — according to the CDC’s weekly FluView report.
Health Center Serving Guilford Poor Laying Off 35 Staff Members, Greensboro News-Record, 1-13-14
Joe Killian writes that Layoffs at a local nonprofit health care provider won’t mean the end of treatment for the poor and uninsured, officials say — but it is the latest in a series of funding and staffing blows to a once healthy safety net for Guilford County’s most vulnerable.
Enrollees at Health Exchanges Face Struggle to Prove Coverage, The New York Times, 1-11-14
Robert Pear reports that In addition to the difficulties many face in proving they have coverage, patients are also having a hard time figuring out whether particular doctors are affiliated with their health insurance plan. Doctors themselves often do not know if they are in the network of providers for plans sold on the exchange.
GOP Governors May Still Go For Medicaid Expansion and Cash, Politico, 1-10-14
Kyle Cheney writes that Republicans counting on a year of nonstop Obamacare-bashing may be in for an unwelcome surprise: more red-state governors ditching the political script to take a second look at the law’s huge expansion of Medicaid.
Health Care Employment Drops for First Time in a Decade, Modern Healthcare, 1-10-14
Melanie Evans reports that Healthcare, an engine of employment through the recession, shed 6,000 jobs in December with payroll declines in ambulatory care and hospitals.
Reform Update: ACO Executives Say Experience Rocky But Informative, Modern Healthcare, 1-8-14
Melanie Evans reports that Medicare started 2014 by once again expanding the number of accountable care organizations in its shared-savings program. Nearly a year and a half in, meanwhile, some executives of ACOs in the program’s first wave say their experience has been rocky but also highly informative.