The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued its long-awaited regulations on medical payouts required under the health care law, a standard known as the medical loss ratio (MLR).
President Obama and the congressional authors of the health care law praised a key rule the Department of Health and Human Services issued on implementing a standard for medical payouts by insurers. The industry was more guarded in its reaction.
"Accountable care organizations"—given a boost under the health care law to spur greater teamwork among doctors and hospitals—have the potential to improve quality and contain costs in the traditional Medicare fee-for-service program, but they must be carefully structured to get the job done, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) said.
The Premier health care alliance, QUEST, a national collaborative of 157 hospitals working to improve quality and save money, reported that it has saved 22,164 lives and $2.13 billion over the first two years of the three-year project.
The new health care law will provide $290 million this year for the National Health Service Corps loan repayment program, under which primary care medical, dental, and mental health professionals can get up to $60,000 to help pay their student loans if they work for two years in a medically underserved area.
More and more of the prescription drug plans competing in the Medicare program are experimenting with new cost-control methods, says a new study by the Washington, D.C., consulting firm, Avalere Health.