Washington Health Policy Week in Review

Washington Health Policy Week in Review is a weekly newsletter that offers selected stories from the daily newsletter CQ HealthBeat.

Commonwealth Fund: Individual Market Problematic for Those Who Lose Insurance Coverage

More than 60 percent of those who reported losing health insurance in 2011 had difficulty finding affordable alternatives in the individual insurance market, according to a Commonwealth Fund survey released last week.

Health Spending Growth Prompts a New Examination of Causes

There is a need to slow down the unsustainable growth in U.S. health care spending, panelists at an Alliance for Health Reform event recently agreed. But they found much less consensus on what or who is to blame, be they doctors, hospitals, insurers, patients, or a complicated brew of all four.

A Health Law Program States Actually Like? Yes, in the Case of Duals Demo

The deep disdain expressed by many state officials for "Obamacare" doesn't extend to everything in the health care law—witness their response to a program to test the widespread use of managed care for the so-called dual-eligible population.

PCORI Official Forecasts Busy Agenda

The next month will be a busy one for the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). At a briefing last week on comparative effectiveness research, the chief operating officer provided specific dates for upcoming decisions and gave more details about how the group is approaching its work.

AHRQ: Measures of Disparities in Access to Care Show Declines or No Gain

The nation is either making no progress or is heading in the wrong direction in reducing racial, ethnic, and income-related disparities in access to care, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) said in a recently released report.

CMS Announces More Small Health Plans with 'Unreasonable' Proposed Rates

A Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) official recently announced that two insurers in five states have proposed rate hikes that are "unreasonable."