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Insomnia Linked to Risk of Stroke
A recent study in Neurology revealed that insomnia may be linked to an increased risk of stroke or heart attacks. Researchers collected “data from 487,200 adults 30 to 79 years of age who were free of stroke, coronary heart disease, and cancer at baseline” as well as self-reported insomnia symptoms. During the nearly 10-year follow-up, participants reported 130,032 cases of cardio-cerebral vascular diseases (CVD). Those with three symptoms of insomnia — “difficulties in initiating or maintaining sleep, early morning awakening, and daytime dysfunction” — had an 18 percent higher risk of CVD compared to non-symptomatic adults.
Survey: Americans Struggling to Pay Monthly Premiums
A new survey by HealthPocket found that more than 40 percent of Americans have struggled to pay their monthly insurance premium. A similar percentage also reported that their monthly health insurance premiums were rising. Furthermore, 41 percent had to “cut back on other expenses in order to be able to afford [their] monthly insurance premium.” When asked what the most important issue is in the upcoming election, a quarter responded healthcare, which trailed the “economy” by less than 2 percent.
CMS Proposes New Rule Targeting Supplemental Payments
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently proposed a new rule that would enact stricter Medicaid reporting requirements. The Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Rule would aim to curb supplemental payments, which grew from $263 billion to $363 billion between 2013 and 2016. The proposal is designed to increase transparency and accountability. Supplemental payments, in which states pay providers on top of Medicaid reimbursements, have nearly doubled since 2010, now accounting for 17.5 percent of Medicaid payments. The new rule would provide clear guidance about which payments are legal while closing loopholes to improve reporting. Critics have argued that the rule would make it harder for states to receive federal funding, effectively cutting Medicaid spending.
Report: Initial Training Linked to EHR Satisfaction
A recent report from KLAS Research found that high-quality, intensive training can increase providers’ satisfaction with their electronic health record (EHR). Researchers gathered data from 30,000 physicians nationwide across all specialties. “Collaborative data shows a correlation between high physician agreement that initial training prepared them well and high agreement that the EHR has functionality needed for their specialty,” researchers noted. Researchers identified instructor-led onboarding and a digital library for continuing education as tools to increase satisfaction.
Hospitals Required to Post Negotiated Payer Rates by 2021
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will now require hospitals to publish their negotiated rates in an effort to improve healthcare transparency. In addition to negotiation rates, hospitals will be required to publish “all standard charges,” which include “public discounted cash prices, payer-specific negotiated charges, and de-identified minimum and maximum negotiated charges for at least 300 ‘shoppable’ services (70 CMS-specified and 230 hospital-selected) that are displayed and packaged in a consumer-friendly manner.” Hospitals must post this information and make it easily accessible and readable to the general consumer by January 2021 or face financial penalties.