Number of Uninsured Rises in 2017

The extension of Medicaid to low-income people and providing income subsidies for individuals below 400% of poverty with the enactment of the Affordable Care Act decreased the number of uninsured Americans from 44 million to just under 27 million. In 2017, however those numbers began to rise again and 700,000 people were uninsured again. The Kaiser Family Foundation looks at the key facts about the uninsured in America.

KFF insured chart

Source: Kaiser Family Foundation

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Four Possible Drug Pricing Solutions

Founder and CEO of VIVIO Health, Pramod John, offers four possible solutions to address the issue of high drug prices in America. These solutions all vary but call on pharmaceutical companies to dramatically change how they do business—including changes to pricing structures in the U.S. versus other countries; increasing competition; overhauling federal regulations and setting new standards.

Source: Validation Institute

Groups Ask Congress, “End Surprise Billing”

In early December, nine groups including consumer representatives, employers and health insurers, asked Congress to establish new legislation to protect patients from surprise medical bills incurred (often without their knowledge), from out-of-network providers. The Kaiser Family Foundation discovered in a poll in September that four out of 10 insured adults reported they received a surprise medical bill in the past year.

Source: Modern Healthcare

Health Care Hacking—4.4M Patient Records Breached

Webp.net-compress-imageIn the third quarter of 2018, Protenus, a cybersecurity software company, released a report showing there were 117 disclosed health data breaches in that time frame. Of these incidents, a large breach of 1.4 million patient records occurred due to phishing—a tactic in which emails that appear to be official are sent and employee passwords are captured. Approximately eight breaches were a result of insider error or wrongdoing, which means incidents that happen in the health care organization that are a result of unintentional human error. Read more.

Source: Healthcare Informatics

Everything You Need to Know About the Cost of Health Care

The rising cost of health care has been an important issue in the daily lives of Americans and the people who represent Americans in government. Higher premiums, co-pays, deductibles and hidden costs like drug prices, hospital consolidation, and lobbying from the medical industry have caused an increased number of families to have trouble paying medical debt. Legislative efforts to help mitigate these costs have come in the form of raised limits on Health Savings Accounts (HSA) contributions, and expanded access to short-term insurance plans.
Click on a headline below to read more.
12 Charts Explaining Health Care Hidden Costs (Wall Street Journal, July 31, 2018)
How Americans Pay (or don’t pay) Medical Bills (Kaiser Family Foundation, June 2018)
How Expanded Access to Short-Term Insurance Could Help (ModernHealthcare.com, Aug. 1, 2018)