Public Policy Weekly Clips: June 7, 2016

NCQA gives a rundown of the best national, state and private sector health care articles from the week. Here are our picks for today’s Public Policy Weekly Clips.


ACA plans had significantly smaller price hikes than non-marketplace plans due to smaller networks.

ACA coverage is reducing racial & ethnic disparities in health care coverage.

Moda Health Plan & NC’s BCBS joined Highmark in suing the feds for ACA risk corridor payments.

The nation’s 12-month death rate rose from 2014-15, largely due to overdoses, suicide, heart & Alzheimer’s disease.

The US teen birth rate dropped 8% to hit an all-time low in 2015 of 22.3 live births per 1000 teens.

The US accounts for 46% of the world’s $107B cancer drug market.

Prostate cancer patients underestimate survival without treatment & overestimate the gain with it.

Low-dose aspirin appears to lower death risk for colon cancer patients.

FDA issued draft guidance for voluntarily reducing sodium in processed & commercially prepared food.

Only 6.3% of adults do all 5 key health behaviors involving alcohol, exercise, sleep, smoking & weight.

The VA wants to let advanced practice nurses use their full authority to meet its primary care needs.

AHRQ’s Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program cut both non-ICU catheter use and infection rates.

Studies around the world show a significant association between air pollution & hypertension.

A Princeton study found signs of racial and class bias in access to psychotherapy appointments.

Long-term marijuana use is not associated with health problems other than gum disease.

IBM Watson Health named Paul Tang as its new chief health transformation officer

CHIME is creating a cybersecurity center to promote industry collaboration & share best practices.


Florida’s top opioid prescribers gave out 13.5% less of the drug the year following a crackdown.

Louisiana got CMS approval to use food stamp data to enroll people in its Medicaid expansion.

Michigan is considering a bill to require equal health coverage of both oral and injected cancer drugs.

Vermont is the first state to require pharmaceutical companies to justify why their drug prices go up.

Wyoming should expand Medicaid, say a slight majority of the state’s residents in a new poll.


Telehealth is increasingly used for mental health care.

42 % of employers plan to increase employee health care cost, with 37% reducing  spousal benefits.

Typical family of four employer-sponsored preferred provider health plan costs rose $1,155 to $25,826.

Teleworkers are more likely to pursue wellness options on their own vs. office-based counterparts.

For wellness devices, no one solution fits all.

Private exchange eHealth names former Playboy chief Scott Flanders as its new CEO.

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