Posts Tagged ‘HWR’

Ideas of March Health Wonk Review

Friday, March 16th, 2018

The March edition of Health Wonk Review is out, and it’s a good one — David Williams has posted the Ideas of March edition of Health Wonk Review.

Health Wonk Review: Ideas of March Edition

We encourage policy wonk fans to take the time to watch the #CareTalk podcast co-hosted by this week’s David Williams (Health Business Group) and John Driscoll (CareCentrix) – among the topics, what the partnership between Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway will mean for healthcare.

Happy holiday Health Wonk Review

Thursday, December 14th, 2017

Santa reading Health Wonk Review

First, let us go on record for saying that there is no sly political motive to our use of the term “holiday” in the title of this post. Admittedly, we have a bit of a liberal slant, but we have no aversion to using the phrase “Merry Christmas.” But ho, ho, ho, we do have an inordinate fondness for alliteration. Of course, we might have called it the Happy Hanukkah Health Wonk Review instead, but we wanted to encompass Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza, New Year’s, and even the dubious Festivus. Whatever your flavor or inclination, we wish you a merry, happy, joyful one. Pentatonix says it better than we ever could, so a bit of a seasonal interlude before we get to this week’s entries.

The Happy Holiday Health Wonk Review

*** First up, at Managed Care Matters, Joe Paduda is never one to shy away from calling it as he sees it and this week his submission takes on the GOP tax bill, which he describes as “a mess, riddled with math errors, contradictory language, and un-implementable directives.” Congressional leaders say they have reached some agreement and will vote before the end of the year, so Joe’s post will give context.

*** Roy Poses proves once again that the devil is in the details and he consistently makes it his blogging business to dig through the details to hold feet to the fire. At Heath Care Renewal, he tracks down more about a barely-reported Pfizer settlement for “alleged” anti-competitive behavior that nearly slipped through the radar. He says that the lack of negative consequences suggests that the impunity of top health care leaders is is worsening. Check out his post One Barely Noticed Settlement by Pfizer Suggests the Futility of Polite Protests about Health Policy.

*** How will the CVS purchase of Aetna affect the healthcare landscape? Jason Shafrin aka The Healthcare Economist weighs in with his informed observations.  And another of our regular wonks weighs in on the merger. David Williams of Health Business Blog posts CVS + Aetna. Are we sure this adds up? Despite talksthat this combo will lead to a revolution in care delivery, he remains a skeptic and talks about why.

*** Acknowledging that the individual market for health insurance has become unaffordable for many of the unsubsidized — particularly older would-be enrollees — Andrew Sprung outlines various ways to keep Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) below the subsidy line. Check out his post Steering clear of the subsidy cliff in the ACA marketplace at xpostfactoid.

***  Vincent Grippi of CareCentrix submitted a fun #CareTalk video podcast, featuring HWR regular David Williams teaming with John Driscoll of CareCentrix. In a point-counterpoint format, they spar about the implications of 2017 elections on healthcare (think Maine), move on to value-based healthcare and they close the 10 minute segment with a lightning round.

*** Brad Flansbaum of The Hospital Leader has an interesting post about Locums vs F/T Hospitalists, posing the question, do temps stack up? He reports on a JAMA study, adding his perspective. Now I must confess that the term “locums” was a new to me, but Brad gives it good context. But if you are curious to the origins, as I was, Wikipedia is your friend.

*** In his post The Positive Side of Sharing, InsureBlog’s Henry Stern has the latest on a reader’s experience with a Health Care Sharing Ministry. (He offers this spoiler alert: it’s actually been pretty good).

*** Shopping for individual health insurance or know someone who is? If your state uses HealthCare.gov, you have until December 15 to enroll, but in other states, you may be able to enroll as late as January 31. Victims of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey may also have extensions. Louise Norris has all the details in her  guide to buying individual health insurance at healthinsurance.org. For more, see Timothy Jost’s post on Health Affairs Blog: Open Enrollment Ends Friday—Except For Those Qualifying For Special Enrollment Periods.

*** For our post, we’re delving into our archives for an expose of a mysterious employer. Many have nothing but good to say about him, but others think he is not a good employer. Judge for yourself:

Santa’s workshop: “OSHA problems galore” say whistleblowers
The risks of being Santa
Is Santa Claus a bad employer?

 

Health Wonk Review and a tribute to our veterans

Friday, November 10th, 2017

At Healthcare Economist, Jason Shafrin has posted the latest compendium of posts from the health policy bloggers: Health Wonk Review: Quote-of-the-day Edition. He frames each submission with a pithy quote. While the overall shape and politics of the healthcare debate are still a primary theme of posts, there are other entries, including two videos. Grab a coffee and catch up on the latest thinking from the wonks.

This weekend, we pay tribute to our veterans and thank them for their service and sacrifice. We end with this advice: How to honor veterans: Hire one!

Health Wonk Review’s “Pink Edition”

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

InsureBlog’s Hank Stern has posted the latest edition, the “Pink Edition,” of Health Wonk Review.

Why the “Pink Edition?” Because October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Hank and his team, Love, Hope and Faith, are doing their best to raise money to help eradicate this terrible disease. They’re participating in a walk to do just that on October 21, and Hank would love some help from the HWR community. Something to think about.

So, after making a donation to Hank’s worthwhile cause, we hope you’ll grab a cup of whatever suits you best, put your feet up and once again revel in all things health wonkery.

Fresh Health Wonk Review & a summer news roundup

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

Fresh Health Wonk Review! Looking for some beach reading? The wonks have you covered. Peggy Salvatore posts The Summer Lull Edition of Health Wonk Review at Health System Ed blog – catch up on what’s been happening in the last few weeks, from autopsies of the ACA repeal to where we go from here and assorted other health topics, the wonks have you covered – check it out.

man reading laptop on a beach

 

More summer reading:

Healthcare reform implications for work comp – Not included in this week’s HWR but a must-read nonetheless, in a two-part series at Managed Care Matters, Joe Paduda breaks down the likely implications for workers comp, Medicaid Expansion and more. Part one is linked above, and here is part 2.

They Got Hurt At Work — Then They Got Deported – Most workers comp laws have upheld workers comp for workers regardless of status: if the employer had the benefit of the labor and the worker is injured, generally comp will pay for those injuries. NPR looks at how that is changing and how some state laws are targeting undocumented workers.

Opt Out is Going to Return, and Why We Should Pay Attention – Think opt out was killed with the OK Supreme Court decision? At Bob’s Cluttered Desk, Bob Wilson talks about why that’s not likely and where the debate is going from here.

WCI 2017 – Miss the recent conference? Here are a few folks who have you covered: WCI has a good conference roundup and Conference Chronicles features good recaps of sessions.

Mourning writer Lizzie Grossman: The Pump Handle readers will miss her – We were sad to learn of Lizzie’s passing, a journalist and blogger who covered important environmental health issues. Her voice will be missed.

Quick Takes

 

In closing, Apparently, robots aren’t quite ready to take our jobs

A fresh Health Wonk Review for your perusal

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Jason Shafrin, our favorite Healthcare Economist, has posted a fresh collection of health policy punditry, the “I will build a great Health Wonk Review . . . and nobody builds Health Wonk Reviews better than me, believe me”  edition. Want the scoop on AHCA, national drug policy, pharma, bundled payments or other current topics in the policy arena? Check out this post. If you don’t follow the health arena on a daily basis, Heath Wonk Review is a great way to keep up with the important news.

If you are feeling particularly wonky or would like to follow back issues, got to Health Wonk Review’s home page.

 

Freshly posted Health Wonk Review at InsureBlog

Friday, April 7th, 2017

Start your Friday with your morning beverage of choice and a fresh edition of Heath Wonk Review. Over at InsureBlog, Hank Stern has posted the Health Wonk Review: Pre-Passover edition. In his Twitter promo for this edition, he promises “Everything from horseradish to opioids” – you are probably not going to find too many insurance-related posts quite that eclectic!

In addition to wonks weighing in on RyanCare and the future of the ACA, other topics include opioids, physician burnout, the physician mission, price transparency, “the coding swindle” and more. Check it out!

We bring one post in particular to your attention – a post by HWR regular Brad Wright at his Wright on Health blog. He relates an up-close-and-personal encounter with the health care system, and reflects on his experience in the larger context of healthcare availability and accessibility.  Wonkery is all well and fine, but there is nothing quite like a personal testimonial to make a powerful impact. (Wishing you the best as you recover, Brad!)

 

 

Fresh Health Wonk Review at medicareresources.org blog – check it out!

Friday, February 10th, 2017

Steve Anderson has posted the latest and greatest Health Wonk Review – the #alternative_facts Edition at medicareresources.org blog.

The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is not all that’s on our wonks’ minds of late, but it certainly takes up a huge portion of the mind share as evidenced by the plethora of related posts. We are a diverse crew, though, so there are also posts about a variety of other topics: the reaction to/impact of the immigration ban on healthcare industry, best cancer treatments, the process of healthcare M&As, legal liability in the form of class action suits for a data breach. and workers comp. One thing we find: the contributors are all very knowledgeable people – even if a topic is not on your radar, it’s a good way to learn something new.

Two posts we think are particularly worth calling out:

If ACA is repealed, how many will max out on restored lifetime coverage caps?

If ACA is repealed, how many are at risk of losing coverage by U.S. Congressional District? (Data covers 35 states)

Fresh Health Wonk Review posted at Joe’s place

Friday, January 27th, 2017

As we embark on the second week of a new administration, Joe Paduda has posted Health Wonk Review’s Inauguration Edition at Managed Care Matters. Rather unsurprisingly, the Affordable Care Act is much on the minds of the wonks, so there’s quite a few posts dealing with various aspects of repeal and replace.

Related to the topic of this week’s health wonkery, Joe also has a post on his blog about how the demise of the ACA would impact workers comp, specifically. A key quote:

“If ACA is repealed without a simultaneous and credible replacement, we may well see a rise in the number of workers without health insurance. The key issue to track is a cutoff of funding for Medicaid expansion – ACA added about 13 million more employed people to the insured rolls; if they lose coverage they’ll need a different payer to cover their injuries. Bad news for workers’ comp.”

And we’d point you to one other not-to-miss post at Managed Care Matters – Beware of Astroturf, the infuriating story of the American Pain Foundation, an pharma industry sponsored opioid-peddling outfit masquerading as a patient advocacy organization.

A 10 year anniversary Health Wonk Review & more noteworthy news

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

It’s Health Wonk Review week! Louise and Jay Norris host a special edition at Colorado Health Insurance – not only is it a mere 46 days to the next election so that has the wonkers opining – it is also the 10th blogging anniversary for the hosting blog – The “We’re Ten!” Edition of the Health Wonk Review. There are great entries from both the usual subjects and some fresh faces. Louise is a great host, framing everything nicely. Congratulations on 10 years of blogging, Louise & Jay. *clinks champagne glass*

More news of note

Just by way of coincidence, September is our birthday month here at Work Comp Insider, too – we launched in 2003! That makes us a grizzled old timer in Internet time.

Oklahoma and opt out– in case you missed it, the Oklahoma Supreme Court Ruled Workers’ Comp Opt-Out Unconstitutional:

Justice Watt, in the Court’s highly anticipated written decision, said the OWCC previously found the Opt Out Act: “1) constituted an unconstitutional special law; 2) denied equal protection to Oklahoma’s injured workers; and 3) denied injured workers the constitutionally protected right of access to courts.”

And the high court agreed, finding that the core provision of the Act “creates impermissible, unequal disparate treatment of a select group of injured workers.”

The PCI and AIA were quick to applaud the decision. Joe Paduda hopes this is the end to what he sees as the pointless debate about Opt-Out (we hope so too). Bob Wilson looks at some of the loose ends in the wake of this decision.

Psych indicators – Most of us in the industry are pretty familiar with triggers or warning signs that would indicate an accident investigation or the need for early medical intervention — but perhapsare  less familiar with indicators that might signal the need for a psychological evaluation. Our friends at Work Comp Psych Net have posted a handy reference list of Predictive Psychosocial Triggers For Workers’ Compensation Claims.

Obesity’s toll on WC – A new study in the September Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine shows that obese and overweight workers are more likely to incur high costs related to workers’ compensation claims for major injuries;

But for workers with major injuries, high BMI was associated with higher workers’ compensation costs. In this group, costs averaged about $470,000 for obese and $270,000 for overweight workers, compared to $180,000 for normal-weight workers.

After adjustment for other factors—including high-cost spinal surgeries or injections—obese or overweight workers with major injuries were about twice as likely to incur costs of $100,000 or higher. Body mass index had no effect on costs for closed claims or for less-severe injuries.

Safety Culture Does Not Exist!  – This is a half-hour podcast interview with Dr. Edgar Schein, Professor at MIT Sloan School of Management. Well worth a listen. We weren’t aware of this podcast series and it looks great: The Pre Accident Podcast is an ongoing discussion of Human Performance, Systems Safety, & Safety Culture. The Dr. Schein interview is the #88th edition!

Speaking of safety …. It’s Farm Safety & Health Week from September 18-24.

More news of note