- On May 4, the CEO Coalition, made up of leaders of 10 hospital systems, shared a signed declaration and said it hopes to kick off a national movement to protect workers’ psychological, emotional and physical safety.
- Primary care practices are playing a significant role in vaccinating people in the U.S. for COVID-19, according to a new survey.
- On April 30, CMS significantly changed how Affordable Care Act exchanges will run in 2022, intending to lower out-of-pocket costs for customers and streamline enrollees’ user experience, among other actions.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve found these industry news stories that should be of interest to healthcare finance professionals.
1. CEO Coalition hopes to kick off a national movement to protect all levels of healthcare workers
A May 4 article in Modern Healthcare reported, “CEOs from 10 hospital systems are working together to create a new safety standard for healthcare workers as the pandemic has highlighted the risks and inequities in the industry.
“The group, formed early this year and known as the CEO Coalition, shared their signed declaration on [May 4] and said they hope to kick off a national movement to protect workers’ psychological, emotional and physical safety as well as promote health justice.”
In a statement cited in the article, Tom Mihaljevic, MD, president and CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, said, “We are taking collective actions to protect healthcare workers at every level to ensure they have the systems, tools and resources they need and deserve to feel safe and thrive.”
The article provides details on the group’s Declarations of Principles, which include safeguarding psychological and emotional safety, promoting health justice and ensuring physical safety.
2. Survey: PCPs playing major role in COVID-19 vaccinations
An April 26 Healthcare Drive article reported, “Primary care practices are playing a significant role in vaccinating people in the U.S. for COVID-19, according to a new survey from the Primary Care Collaborative and the Larry A. Green Center.
“The PCC surveyed more than 650 primary care physicians, nurse practitioners and pharmacists in 48 states, the District of Columbia and Guam. Altogether, nearly four out of 10 practices are administering the COVID-19 vaccines, ‘a marked increase’ compared to just a few weeks prior, while 47% are partnering with local vaccination administration sites. ‘Primary care is now beginning to be leveraged to target the vaccine to hard-to-reach populations,’ the survey’s authors concluded.”
Other PCC survey highlights from article author Ron Shinkman include the following:
- 38% of primary care practices say they are administering vaccines, whereas a few weeks ago almost half of the practices said they wanted to administer vaccines but could not, due to supply issues.
- 19% of those surveyed say they now have obtained a steady supply of COVID-19 vaccine.
- About 70% of practices surveyed said their level of burnout and mental exhaustion has reached an all-time high. That said, 38% of survey respondents indicated “severe strain, compared to 85% last May.”
3. CMS cuts ACA out-of-pocket costs by $400 and finalizes provisions to help consumers gain coverage
An April 30 Modern Healthcare article reported that CMS “significantly changed how Affordable Care Act exchanges will run next year, intending to lower out-of-pocket costs for Obamacare customers, streamline enrollees’ user experience and update how insurers are paid for the risks they take on their members.
“In its second update to the annual benefit and payment parameters rule, the agency announced consumers’ maximum out-of-pocket costs will be limited to $8,700 for individuals and $17,400 for plans that cover multiple people. The update is $400 lower than previous caps, CMS said.
“Officials said they curbed cost-sharing parameters by citing the National Health Expenditure Accounts’ projections of per-enrollee, employer-sponsored insurance premiums. CMS said this was the measure used for benefit years 2015 through 2019.”
Author Nona Tepper also wrote, “CMS said it was also finalizing a few provisions aimed at helping consumers gain coverage.” Among those provisions, which “the agency hopes will slow the growth of healthcare costs and cut the uninsured rate,” are the following:
- Allowing enrollees to change marketplace plans if they don’t receive advance payment on premium tax credits
- Allowing those age 30 and over to apply for catastrophic coverage
- Enabling beneficiaries who aren’t notified of triggering life events to enroll in plans 60 days after they learn about their eligibility
- Permitting COBRA beneficiaries to sign up for marketplace coverage if the employer or government contributions to their plan end