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Health Management Technology News
  April 8, 2014
In this issue:
 

 Health Management Technology’s Resource Guide sign-up

 CMS rate announcement details plan payments and other program updates for 2015

 Wolters Kluwer Health announces Lippincott Advisor mobile app for healthcare institutions

 Despite bumps, a satisfying end for health care deadline

 Rubio says health care law fell short of signup goal

 Simon Stevens sets out vision for radical NHS change and innovation


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CMS rate announcement details plan payments and other program updates for 2015

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the 2015 rate announcement and final call letter for Medicare Advantage and prescription drug benefit (Part D) programs. The announcement sets a stable path for Medicare Advantage and implements a number of policies that ensure beneficiaries will continue to have access to a wide array of high quality, high value, and low cost options while making certain that plans are providing value to Medicare and taxpayers.

Since the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, Medicare Advantage premiums have fallen by 10 percent and enrollment has increased by 38 percent to an all-time high of more than 15 million beneficiaries. Today, nearly 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. Furthermore, enrollees are benefiting from greater quality as over half of enrollees are now in plans with 4 or more stars, a significant increase from 37 percent of enrollees in such plans in 2013.

“The policies announced today will provide improved benefits in Medicare Advantage and the Prescription Drug Plans while keeping costs low for Medicare beneficiaries,” said Jonathan Blum, CMS principal deputy administrator.“We believe that plans will continue their strong participation in the Medicare Advantage program in 2015 and beneficiaries will continue to have access to a wide array of high quality and affordable Medicare health and drug plans.”

Read the full CMS press release here  

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Wolters Kluwer Health announces Lippincott Advisor mobile app for healthcare institutions

Wolters Kluwer Health announced availability of a Lippincott Advisor App for institutional customers who use Lippincott Advisor. The new mobile application allows hospitals and other healthcare institutions to give their nurses, clinicians and staff full access to Lippincott Advisor from any mobile device including both Android and Apple smartphones and tablets.

Institutional users of Lippincott Advisor now have fast, mobile access to vital evidence-based clinical information both online and offline, which is critical in situations when the Internet is unavailable. The app includes information on Diseases and Conditions, Signs and Symptoms, Diagnostic Tests, Treatments, Hospital-acquired Conditions, Core Measures, Care Plans, and Drug information plus access to all of the customized content developed by users' own institutions.

The Lippincott Advisor App provides the same user-friendly features found in the online PC-based product including fast, intuitive search, bulleted text, helpful tables, icons for frequently used features and full-color art.  It is available as a free download and can be unlocked with a clinician's existing institutional login information. Users also receive all of the quarterly online content updates that equip Lippincott Advisor with the most up-to-date clinical information available.

Read the full press release here  

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Despite bumps, a satisfying end for health care deadline

Every train wreck should end as well as the last-minute rush this week by millions of Americans clamoring to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act — the landmark initiative that President Barack Obama's critics have likened to a rail disaster. With the number applying for coverage hitting the target of 7 million embraced by the White House, the inaugural enrollment period looks to have been a rousing success.

Not that it was a smooth ride by any measure. The nearly disastrous launch of the HealthCare.gov website was followed by a series of confusing deadline extensions and policy changes. Twinned with a rearguard campaign by two dozen Republican governors to resist expanding Medicaid despite generous federal funding, the first six months of health care reform threatened to undermine confidence in the effort.

Fortunately, polls show that nearly two-thirds of the nation has embraced the reform. Nor is this the end of the line. The Monday deadline to beat a tax penalty by signing up for coverage ended the first leg of a long, historic and even daunting journey.

Read the full Times Union article here

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Rubio says health care law fell short of signup goal

The White House celebrated last week when 7.1 million Americans signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act marketplaces since they opened in October 2013.

Predictably, the law's critics were not as thrilled. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., spoke on Hannity about what he sees as the reform's shortcomings.

"I mean, the purpose of Obamacare was not to get 7 million people or 6 million people, or whatever the number now is, to sign up on a website," Rubio said. "The purpose of Obamacare, according to them, was to get more people insurance. And by all accounts, it's going to fall woefully short. You're still going to have 30-some-odd million people in this country uninsured."

Read the full TBO.com article here  

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Simon Stevens sets out vision for radical NHS change and innovation

In his first speech as NHS England chief executive, Simon Stevens prepared the ground for radical change in the way health service staff think and work.

Speaking at Shotley Bridge hospital in County Durham, where he began his NHS career as a trainee manager 26 years ago, Stevens encouraged staff to "think like a patient, act like a taxpayer" as he gave the first indications of what he would – and would not – be doing.

He will not be getting into a trial of strength with the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt. He stressed the need for the national leadership of the NHS to work "in coherent and purposeful partnership", and in highlighting that the NHS England board is operationally independent, he implicitly recognized the legitimacy of political influence on its objectives. He and Hunt are too politically astute to fall out.

He also made clear that he would not be debating how many clinical commissioning groups there should be; his only interest is in making clinical commissioning work.

There were strong themes in his speech of breaking down barriers and driving innovation from both inside and outside the NHS.

Read the full article from The Guardian here  

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