Archive for June, 2012

Akerman – News & Publications – Supreme Court’s Health Care Reform Decision: Most Immediate Impact on Employers and Employer-Sponsored Plans

June 29, 2012 Leave a comment

The United States Supreme Court issued a historic holding yesterday, June 28, 2012. The Court has ruled that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, together with the Health Care and Education Tax Credits Reconciliation Act of 2010 (collectively, the “Health Reform Act”), which had been signed into law in late March of 2010, is almost entirely constitutional.

This Practice Update focuses solely on the most immediate impact of the ruling on employers and the design and reporting obligations of employer-sponsored group health plans. Our discussion focuses on the requirements for employers and plan sponsors to consider in the coming months. Subsequent updates will provide details on important mandates and obligations that have application in later years or that are otherwise awaiting government interpretation.

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Akerman – News & Publications – Practically Speaking: What the U.S. Supreme Court’s Upholding of the Affordable Care Act Means for You

June 29, 2012 Leave a comment

On June 28, 2012 the United State Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote, upheld the constitutionality of the vast majority of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), including the “individual mandate.” The Court also found that while the ACA’s provisions expanding the Medicaid program are constitutional, the penalty included in those provisions for those states that refuse to participate in expansion violates the Constitution. This Practice Update will outline first the two major aspects of the Court’s ruling, the ‘Individual Mandate’ and the expansion of Medicaid, and then provide a listing of implementation dates of the ACA for your use and future reference.

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Healthcare decision expected Thursday – Healthcare business news and research | Modern Healthcare

June 25, 2012 Leave a comment

The U.S. Supreme Court did not issue a ruling in the healthcare reform challenges on Monday, but the court announced that the rest of its decisions will be released Thursday.

The court did, however, grant the Federal Trade Commission permission in an unrelated case to argue a closely watched hospital-merger antitrust challenge, known as FTC v. Phoebe Putney Health Care. Arguments on that case will be heard at a future date.

In the healthcare reform law case, the justices are considering whether Congress has the authority under the U.S. Constitution’s commerce clause to force nearly all Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a tax penalty. If the insurance mandate is illegal, the court will have to decide whether to negate discrete sections of the law dealing with insurance, or to strike the entire act. The court could also decide it doesn’t have jurisdiction over the question until after 2014. Finally, the justices are considering whether Congress can force states to expand the eligibility criteria for costly Medicaid programs for the poor.

Many observers in the legal and academic mainstream, including attorneys surveyed in a poll by the American Bar Association, have predicted the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will pass constitutional muster with the Supreme Court based on past commerce clause precedents. However, opponents of law have surprised the skeptics and naysayers in taking their challenges to the very cusp of victory at the hands of the nation’s highest court.

Obama administration officials say they have not prepared contingency plans in the event that the law is struck down, instead preferring to charge ahead with implementation of the law.

Republican opponents have vowed to attempt to repeal whatever sections the court does not strike down. Rep. Bill Cassidy, a physician and Republican from Louisiana, said Saturday that the GOP would not “rush through a massive bill the American people don’t support” following a repeal.

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Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative: Barely A Ripple Now, Enormous Promise For Later – Health Affairs Blog

June 23, 2012 Leave a comment

The initiative to prioritize primary care by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is one of the most significant and promising initiatives to come out of health reform to date.

See on – Changing Healthcare for the Better

Americans will need doctors but physicians are leaving primary care

June 23, 2012 Leave a comment

With the aging of America and healthcare reform, more Americans will need primary care doctors at precisely the same time doctors are leaving the specialty in droves.

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GE, IBM, and Boeing: Improving Health Care for their Employees

June 23, 2012 Leave a comment

Through its HealthAhead program, online portal and mobile application, GE is communicating with employees and empowering them to take an active and accountable role in planning and managing their health, to engage in behaviors for healthy living and to demand value from the health care system.

The foundation of IBM’s approach to driving value and innovation in the health care delivery system is primary care transformation. IBM’s leaders believe that the primary care medical home model is a promising catalyst for overall health care delivery system reform.

In February 2007, Boeing launched the Intensive Outpatient Care Program (IOCP) to test an innovative health care delivery model designed to treat patients with multiple, complex conditions in a more efficient, high-touch manner. The IOCP was based on three key assumptions:

  • Twenty percent of the high-cost population utilize 80 percent of health care spend;
  • Medically complex individuals are underserved by the current fragmented, inefficient health care system and can benefit the most from personalized, coordinated care; and
  • A breakthrough in health care delivery for medically complex patients could provide important lessons for the health care system and help shape the design of the future medical home delivery model.

See articles on all 3 companies on – Changing Healthcare for the Better

U.S. Faces Obstacles to Improving Health Care Value

June 23, 2012 Leave a comment

The U.S. faces major obstacles in taking advantage of “value-based health care”—one of the most promising developments in health care, according to a new study by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). BCG assessed the progress of 12 developed-world countries in adopting value-based health care, an approach to better controlling health care costs by improving health outcomes at the same or lower cost.

See on – Changing Healthcare for the Better

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