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.

Care Access Affected by Income, Not Just Coverage, Commonwealth Fund Survey Finds

While expanded coverage under the health care overhaul will increase health care access, primary care improvements will still be necessary to make sure people can see a medical provider in a timely way instead of relying on a hospital emergency room, findings from a Commonwealth Fund survey indicate.

Hearing Explores Private Market Solution to Medicare Physician Payment Problem

House Ways and Means Committee Republicans turned to the private market for inspiration on a new physician payment system, while Democrats emphasized the role government can play in improving the quality and efficiency of care.

Feds Issue Final Rule on Summary Benefits and Coverage

People who renew or buy health insurance after Sept. 23 will receive a four-page briefing in plain English explaining what health plans will cover and what limitations or exceptions will apply to the policies they buy under a final rule three federal departments recently issued.

Electronic Health Information Exchange Poised for Major Growth, Experts Say

While progress has been slow on sharing patient health information electronically, experts recently said that new payment and service delivery models could drive rapid adoption in the next several years.

One in Four Medicare Users Would Pay Surcharges by 2035 Under GOP, Obama Plans

Under pending proposals by House Republicans and the White House, one in four Medicare enrollees by 2035 would be on the hook for monthly premium surcharges now paid only by beneficiaries with very high incomes, says a new study.

CMS Adds Hospital Infection Data to Comparison Web Site

Information about central line-associated bloodstream infections, which federal officials have made a priority to get under control, will now be included on the government's Hospital Compare Web site, Medicare officials recently announced.