HHS to Release Consumer Rights Guidance on Health Records

As part of the Obama administration’s Precision Medicine Initiative, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) hopes to release by the end of the year four documents detailing consumer rights regarding their health records, according to Deven McGraw, HHS deputy director for health information privacy. She said the documents, likely in FAQ format, would […]

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HealthCare.gov Beta Tests Doctor Lookup Feature

Beginning today, HealthCare.gov is piloting a new beta feature that allows consumers to search plans by their preferred provider or health facility. Some consumers will be part of a pilot that allows them to use the beta Doctor Lookup feature as they compare their coverage options in window shopping or when selecting a plan. “The […]

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Study Finds 15 Percent of Obamacare Plans Lack Specialist Coverage

To keep premiums — and expenses — low, health insurance companies rely on what are called “narrow networks” of providers, limiting the consumer’s options. Now the Harvard School of Public Health has found that 15 percent of the 135 silver plans its researchers studied did not include a single in-network specialist for at least one […]

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Getting More Uninsured into Obamacare a ‘Bigger Challenge’ This Year

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell told a group of medical students yesterday that getting those who are still uninsured to sign up during the next open enrollment period is going to be a “bigger challenge.” Speaking at the Howard University College of Medicine, Burwell said, “But while our goals may be […]

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CMS Gears Up for Obamacare Open Enrollment Starting Nov. 1

With Marketplace Open Enrollment set to begin on Nov. 1, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have announced grant awards totaling $67 million to support outreach efforts designed to connect people with local help as they seek to understand the coverage options and financial assistance available at HealthCare.gov. Awarded to 100 organizations located […]

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HHS Releases Long-Awaited Nondiscrimination Rule for Health Care

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a proposed rule to advance health equity and reduce disparities in health care.  The proposed rule, Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities, will assist some of the populations that have been most vulnerable to discrimination and will help provide those populations equal access to health […]

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Study Touts Success of Obamacare

Using results from the 2012-2015 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index (a daily national telephone survey of 507,055 adults aged 18-64), Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) analysts reported today that Obamacare has decreased the medically uninsured by 7.9 percent and  achieved significant improvement in access to health care and medications. The study, “Changes in Self-reported Insurance Coverage, […]

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Final Rules Issued on Alternative Contraceptive Services Delivery Methods

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), along with the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Department of the Treasury (DOT), have issued interim final rules that establish an alternative way for eligible organizations that have a religious objection to covering contraceptive services to seek an accommodation from contracting, providing, paying, or referring for such […]

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HHS Awards $840 Million in Health Care Grants

Health departments across the country will receive more than $840 million in cooperative agreements from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to improve and sustain emergency preparedness of state and local public health and health care systems. The cooperative agreement funds are distributed through two federal preparedness programs: the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) […]

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HHS Fattens Pot for Health Insurers

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced yesterday that it was “pleased” to up its reimbursements to insurance companies to 100 percent for individual health claim costs that fall between $45,000 and $250,000. The original contribution level under the reinsurance provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was 80 percent. The move is […]

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