Serving High-Need, High-Cost Patients – Commonwealth Fund video

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People with complex, long-term health care needs, and those living in poverty, often struggle the most to get their needs met. In this video, The Commonwealth Fund’s Melinda Abrams and Mark Zezza, along with Jennifer DeCubellis of Hennepin County Health in Minneapolis, talk about new models of care that can help health care providers improve the health and health care of their high-need patients, while also lowering costs. They also explain how focusing on these patients has the potential to improve care for all Americans.

To learn more visit The Commonwealth Fund’s website.

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Infertility patients finding creative financing help

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IVF egg thumbBy Michelle Andrews
KHN

Infertility treatment is a numbers game in some respects: How many treatments will it take to conceive a child? And how much can you afford?

Even as insurance plans are modestly improving their coverage of such treatments, clinics and others are coming up with creative ways to cover the costs to help would-be parents reduce their risk  for procedures that can run tens of thousands of dollars.

Some even offer a money-back guarantee if patients don’t conceive. Continue reading

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Health news headlines – September 2nd

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Global health news – September 2nd

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CDC issues advice for colleges, universities, and students about Ebola in West Africa

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West Africa

From the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

For Colleges and Universities

Advice for Study Abroad, Foreign Exchange, or Other Education-related Travel

Is it safe to travel to countries where the Ebola outbreaks are occurring (Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria)? What should we do if we have study abroad, foreign exchange, research, or other education-related travel planned to these countries? Continue reading

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Small Firms slow to embrace business exchanges

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Photo by Sanja Gjenero

Photo by Sanja Gjenero

By Christine Vestal
Stateline

Unhappy with the choices her insurance broker was offering, Denver publishing company owner Rebecca Askew went to Colorado’s small business health insurance exchange last fall.

She found exactly what she’d been hoping for: affordable insurance options tailored to the diverse needs of her 12 employees.

But Askew is in a tiny minority. Only 2 percent of all eligible businesses have checked out so-called SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program) exchanges in the 15 states where they have been available since last October under the Affordable Care Act. Even fewer purchased policies.

So far, 15 states, including Washington state, and the District Columbia have set up SHOPs.

In November, three more state-run SHOP exchanges are slated to open, and the federal government will unveil exchanges for the 32 states that chose not to run their own.

SHOP exchanges were supposed to open nationwide on Oct. 1, the same day as exchanges offering health insurance for individuals.

But the Obama administration postponed the SHOP launch, citing the need to fix serious technical problems with the exchanges for individuals, which it said were a higher priority. Continue reading

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Health news headlines – September 1st

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Global health – September 1st

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Women’s health – Week 51: Traumatic Brain Injury

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tacuin womenFrom the Office of Research on Women’s Health

Traumatic brain injury (TBI), a form of acquired brain injury, occurs when a sudden force, such as from an explosive blast or an automobile accident, causes damage to the brain.

TBI can result when the head suddenly and violently hits an object, or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue.

In most of these cases, the skull remains intact and the damage is believed to be caused by a pressure wave of the explosion’s concussive force passing through the brain.

Symptoms of a TBI can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the extent of the damage to the brain. Continue reading

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Health news headlines – August 31st

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Global health news – August 31

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Federal judge blocks Texas restriction on abortion clinics

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200px-Flag-map_of_TexasBy Carrie Feibel, KUHF
AUGUST 30TH, 2014, 10:18 AM

This story is part of a partnership that includes Houston Public MediaNPR and Kaiser Health News.

In a highly anticipated ruling, a federal judge in Austin struck down part of a Texas law that would have required all abortion clinics in the state to meet the same standards as outpatient surgical centers.

The regulation, which was set to go into effect Monday, would have shuttered about a dozen abortion clinics, leaving only eight places in Texas to get a legal abortion — all in major cities.

. . . state’s regulation was unconstitutional and would have placed an undue burden on women, particularly on poor and rural women.”

The regulation, which was set to go into effect Monday, would have shuttered about a dozen abortion clinics, leaving only eight places in Texas to get a legal abortion — all in major cities.

Judge Lee Yeakel ruled late Friday afternoon that the state’s regulation was unconstitutional and would have placed an undue burden on women, particularly on poor and rural women living in west Texas and the Rio Grande Valley. Continue reading

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As many as 1 in 5 exchange enrollees affected by technical problems, staff concedes | HealthCare Checkup | Seattle Times

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Coverage is hereGlitches and technical problems have affected as many as 28,000 people trying to buy health insurance through the Washington Healthplanfinder online marketplace, said associate operations director Brad Finnegan.

via As many as 1 in 5 exchange enrollees affected by technical problems, staff concedes | HealthCare Checkup | Seattle Times.

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If you got your health care subsidies mistakenly, you may owe Uncle Sam

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Consumers getting government subsidies for health insurance who are later found ineligible for those payments will owe the government, but not necessarily the full amount, according to the Treasury Department.

The clarified rule could affect some of the 300,000 people facing a Sept. 5 deadline to submit additional documents to confirm their citizenship or immigration status, and also apply broadly to anyone ultimately deemed ineligible for subsidies.

If found ineligible, residents could owe thousands of dollars.

First reported by the newsletterInside Health Policy on Thursday, the clarification worries immigration advocates, who say many residents are facing website difficulties and other barriers to meeting the deadline to submit additional details.

Those who don’t know about the deadline, or can’t meet it because of glitches, could be deemed ineligible for subsidies and lose their coverage. Continue reading

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Health news headlines – August 30th

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