The Rundown | Week of 9.18.2017

Est. Reading Time: 3 Minutes

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Privia has compiled a list of stories to keep you up to date on all things healthcare:
One Last Effort to Repeal and Replace?
After many thought the GOP’s efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare were dead, Republican Senators Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) introduced a new bill as a last-ditch effort. NPR reports that this bill, known as the “Graham-Cassidy Plan,” would repeal a significant amount of the ACA, including Medicaid expansion, subsidies to help lower the cost of insurance, and no guarantee of coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. While the Congressional Budget Office has not issued a report on this bill, opponents predict that millions would lose coverage under this plan. This plan must be passed by Sept 30th, the date that the bill authorizing Senate Republicans to repeal Obamacare is set to expire.
Read more: “Latest GOP Effort To Replace Obamacare Could End Health Care For Millions” and “The Health 202: Everything you need to know about who stands where on Graham-Cassidy
The Fight Against Opioids Goes to Court
Forty-one states’ attorneys general have issued subpoenas to five opioid manufacturers and three drug distributors, according to a CNN report. They hope to discover more about the marketing and distribution of these drugs as part of the investigations around what role these companies played in America’s growing opioid crisis. A few companies that were served subpoenas include Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Allergan, among others. With alarming statistics, such as 80 percent of heroin users start with using prescription opioids (National Institutes of Health), many states are taking their own actions to combat the epidemic. While the Trump administration has expressed their concerns over this crisis, they have yet to issue a public declaration of emergency.
Read more: “41 state attorneys general subpoena opioid manufacturers and distributors
Number of Uninsured Americans Reaches Record Lows
A new report by the United States Census Bureau reveals that the number of uninsured Americans dropped to nearly nine percent in 2016, the lowest it’s ever been. The data, collected as a part of the 2014 – 2017 “Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplements” (CPS ASEC) and the “American Community Survey” (ACS), reflects the successes of the Affordable Care Act, which extended access to health insurance to the 50 million Americans who were previously uninsured. Among the states that expanded Medicaid, the average uninsured rate is 6.5 percent, compared with an 11.7 percent average among states that did not expand.
Read more: “Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2016”
Providers Need to Invest to Succeed in Value-based Care
A simulation led by Sanjay Basu, MD, PhD, MSc, of Stanford University, on 969 primary care practices for Health Affairs, reveals that 95 percent of practices would gain revenue by shifting to the team- and non-visit-based care strategies, if the practice achieved 63 percent capitation. Alternatively, if practices were below 23 percent capitation, 95 percent of simulated practices would lose revenue.
Read more: “High Levels Of Capitation Payments Needed To Shift Primary Care Toward Proactive Team And Nonvisit Care”
Say what? New Virtual Scribe Technology May be Coming to a Hospital Near You
SayKara is a new virtual scribe device inspired by Amazon’s Alexa that aims to take burdensome administrative tasks off the shoulders of physicians, CBS News reports. The device addresses a prevalent problem in the healthcare field; statistics show that physicians spend about 50 percent of their time on busywork, including filling out their electronic medical records. Physician report using the device for tasks including recapping a patient’s’ visit and recalling pertinent details of the conversation for inclusion into medical records. The Seattle-based start-up is launching this week with $2.5 million in funding.
Read more“This Seattle start-up is building an Amazon Alexa for health care” and Learn more about Privia’s virtual scribe technology.

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