CMS Announces New Enrollment Process for Consumers Seeking Exchange Coverage

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new streamlined and simplified direct enrollment process for consumers signing up for individual market coverage through Exchanges that use HealthCare.gov. Consumers applying for individual market coverage during the upcoming open enrollment period through direct enrollment partners will now be able to complete their application using one website. This reduces needless regulatory burden for businesses that provide direct enrollment services and offers consumers easier access to healthcare comparisons and shopping experiences for coverage offered through HealthCare.gov.

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How To Help Alzheimer’s Patients Enjoy Life, Not Just ‘Fade Away’

Alzheimer’s disease has an unusual distinction: It’s the illness that Americans fear most — more than cancer, stroke or heart disease.

The rhetoric surrounding Alzheimer’s reflects this. People “fade away” and are tragically “robbed of their identities” as this incurable condition progresses, we’re told time and again.

Yet, a sizable body of research suggests this Alzheimer’s narrative is mistaken. It finds that people with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia retain a sense of self and have a positive quality of life, overall, until the illness’s final stages.

They appreciate relationships. They’re energized by meaningful activities and value opportunities to express themselves. And they enjoy feeling at home in their surroundings.

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CMS Releases Reports on Quality of Care Received by People Enrolled in Medicare Advantage

In recognition of National Minority Health Month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH) released a pair of reports detailing the quality of care received by people enrolled in Medicare Advantage (MA). One report compares quality of care for women and men while the other report looks at racial and ethnic differences in health care experiences and clinical care, among women and men. Each April, in recognition of National Minority Health Month, CMS plans to make additional reports available online on the CMS OMH website.

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Hospitals Now Must Tell Medicare Patients When Care Is ‘Observation’ Only

 

Under a new federal law, hospitals across the country must now alert Medicare patients when they are getting observation care and why they were not admitted — even if they stay in the hospital a few nights. For years, seniors often found out only when they got surprise bills for the services Medicare doesn’t cover for observation patients, including some drugs and expensive nursing home care.

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Texas Medicaid Health Plans Joined by TMA in Taking Major Step To Make Medicaid Simpler, More Efficient for Texas Physicians

AUSTIN—The Texas Association of Health Plans (TAHP) in collaboration with the Texas Medical Association (TMA) has announced a joint effort to reduce red tape and administrative burdens for physicians and health care providers seeking to participate in the Texas Medicaid program. TAHP and TMA have selected Aperture, LLC, for a statewide Credentialing Verification Organization (CVO) contract used by all 20 Medicaid health plans in Texas to streamline the provider credentialing process.
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Connected Care: New Educational Initiative to Raise Awareness of Chronic Care Management

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH) and the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy at the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) has introduced Connected Care, an educational initiative to raise awareness of the benefits of chronic care management (CCM) services for Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions and to provide health care professionals with support to implement CCM programs. Connected Care is a nationwide effort within fee-for-service Medicare that includes a focus on racial and ethnic minorities as well as rural populations, who tend to have higher rates of chronic disease.

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2016-2025 Projections of National Health Expenditures Data Released

National health expenditure growth is expected to average 5.6 percent annually over 2016-2025, according to a report published as a ‘Web First’ by Health Affairs and authored by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Office of the Actuary (OACT). These projections are constructed using a current-law framework and do not assume potential legislative changes over the projection period.

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