Transportation Barriers Challenge Health Care

Resolving transportation barriers to accessing care for patients remains challenging and not just for helicopter transport. 

Poor and other transportation impaired patients often can’t access or are delayed in accessing care because of diffculties in getting there.  Patients that can’t reliably get to sources of care experience greater complications and tend to be less compliant.  These and other transportation challenges have a real negative impact on the quality, effectiveness and cost of treating these patients.  However, finding solutions isn’t always easy.

The current system throws up many barriers to resolving transportation barriers to access of care. 

Patients and their families for reasons of finance or other practical reasons often cannot seslf-solve their own transportation challenges.  Sometimes it’s a question of money.  Sometimes it’s a question of the physical ability to transport themselves due to medical or other capacity limitations.

Systemic tools also often are not adequate. 

Medicare/ Medicaid rules often restrict providers from supplying free or discounted transportation. 

Goverment program funded care is narrowly restricted and highly regulated.  Until better solutioms can be developed, this is a great area of need for church and community groups and volunteers to provide solutions.  Overcoming transportation barrier issues is critical for the success of the medical home and other provider and plan strategies to promote quality, affordable care.  What kinds of solutions are happening in your community that could be used elsewhere?  Join the discussion about these and other health care challenges at http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Coalition-Responsible-Health-Care-Policy-2017652?trk=myg_ugrp_ovr.

Project COPE: Coalition On Patient Empowerment & Coalition For Responsible Health Care Quality

Project COPE: Coalition on Patient Empowerment & the Coalition for Responsible Health Care Quality  are coalitions of individuals and organizations that share the belief that every American and American organization has a stake, and something to contribute to our ability to find and implement the best options for ensuring that the U.S. health care system provides quality, affordable health care.

Health care impacts every individual and every organization in America.  Consequently, every American citizen and organization including but not limited to health care providers, employers, insurer, and community organizations should take part.    The government, health care providers, insurers and community organizations can help by providing education and resources to make understanding and dealing with the realities of illness, disability or aging easier for a patient and their family, the affected employers and others. At the end of the day, however, caring for people requires the human touch.  Americans can best improve health care by not waiting for someone else to step up or speak up. 

Project COPE urges and invites each individual and organization speak up to help communicate and act to make health care work for themselves, their families and others when you can and share your input to help preserve and continue to develop real meaningful improvements to our health care system by joining Project COPE: Coalition for Patient Empowerment here by sharing ideas, tools and other solutions and other resources. 

Other Helpful Resources & Other Information

We hope that this information is useful to you.   If you found these updates of interest, you also be interested in one or more of the following other recent articles published on the Coalition for Responsible Health Care Reform electronic publication available here, our electronic Solutions Law Press Health Care Update publication available here, or our HR & Benefits Update electronic publication available here .  You also can access information about how you can arrange for training on “Building Your Family’s Health Care Toolkit,”  using the “PlayForLife” resources to organize low cost wellness programs in your workplace, school, church or other communities, and other process improvement, compliance and other training and other resources for health care providers, employers, health plans, community leaders and others here. If you or someone else you know would like to receive future updates about developments on these and other concerns, please be sure that we have your current contact information – including your preferred e-mail by creating or updating your profile here. You can access other recent updates and other informative publications and resources

For important information about this communication click here

©2011 Solutions Law Press.  All rights reserved.

Maintaining Jobs Key To Keeping Americans Covered

Creating good jobs and helping Americans keep good jobs is key to keeping Americans covered by health insurance.

Finding of a study published in  November, 2011 by the National Bureao of Economic Research shows that job losses during the economic recession are a key contributor to the growth in the number of uninsured in America. 

Authors of “the Impact of the Macoeconomy on Health Insurance Coverage:  Evidence From the Great Recession” report that:

  • An estimated 9.3 million adult Americans, the vast majority of whom were men, lost health insurance due to a higher unemployment rate alone during the 2007-09 recession;
  • A one percentage point increase in the state unemployment rate is associated with a 1.67 percentage point (2.12%) reduction in the probability that men have health insurance with job loss having the strongest effect on health coverage among college-educated, white, and older (50-64 year old) men.
  • A one percentage point increase in the unemployment rate is associated with a 1.37 percentage point (4.69%) higher probability that a child is covered by public health insurance. We conclude with a discussion of how components of recent health care reform may influence these relationships in the future.

Learn more about the results of the study and the authors’ perspectives on the potential implications on certain aspects of health reform on this trend at http://www.nber.org/papers/w17600.

 Project COPE: Coalition On Patient Empowerment & Coalition For Responsible Health Care Quality

Project COPE: Coalition on Patient Empowerment & the Coalition for Responsible Health Care Quality  are coalitions of individuals and organizations that share the belief that every American and American organization has a stake, and something to contribute to our ability to find and implement the best options for ensuring that the U.S. health care system provides quality, affordable health care.

Health care impacts every individual and every organization in America.  Consequently, every American citizen and organization including but not limited to health care providers, employers, insurer, and community organizations should take part.    The government, health care providers, insurers and community organizations can help by providing education and resources to make understanding and dealing with the realities of illness, disability or aging easier for a patient and their family, the affected employers and others. At the end of the day, however, caring for people requires the human touch.  Americans can best improve health care by not waiting for someone else to step up or speak up. 

Project COPE urges and invites each individual and organization speak up to help communicate and act to make health care work for themselves, their families and others when you can and share your input to help preserve and continue to develop real meaningful improvements to our health care system by joining Project COPE: Coalition for Patient Empowerment here by sharing ideas, tools and other solutions and other resources. 

Other Helpful Resources & Other Information

We hope that this information is useful to you.   If you found these updates of interest, you also be interested in one or more of the following other recent articles published on the Coalition for Responsible Health Care Reform electronic publication available here, our electronic Solutions Law Press Health Care Update publication available here, or our HR & Benefits Update electronic publication available here .  You also can access information about how you can arrange for training on “Building Your Family’s Health Care Toolkit,”  using the “PlayForLife” resources to organize low cost wellness programs in your workplace, school, church or other communities, and other process improvement, compliance and other training and other resources for health care providers, employers, health plans, community leaders and others here. If you or someone else you know would like to receive future updates about developments on these and other concerns, please be sure that we have your current contact information – including your preferred e-mail by creating or updating your profile here. You can access other recent updates and other informative publications and resources. 

Examples of recent updates that may be of interest include:

For important information about this communication click here

©2011 Solutions Law Press.  All rights reserved.

Senator Hatch Attacks Proposed ACA Premium Tax Credit Regulations

U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, says the premium subsidy provisions of the Patient Protection & Affordable Care act (Affordable Care Act) does not authorize the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to allow individuals purchasing coverage through a federal health insurance exchange to receive the tax credits and subsidies authorized under new Internal Revenue Code § 36B to offset the cost of being mandated to buy health insurance created under Affordable Care Act Section 1311.  

As created under the Affordable Care Act, Internal Revenue Code (Code) § 36B grates a refundable tax credit for certain individuals purchasing qualifying health insurance coverage from a qualified health plan.  According to Senator Hatch, IRS proposed regulations here to implement Code § 36B would violate its provisions by allowing individuals that buy coverage through federal exchanges to claim premium tax credits because the express language of the statute only calls for amounts paid for coverage from “State” exchanges to count when calculating the amount of the credit.

In a December 1, 2011 letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman available for review here, Senator Hatch that Code § 36B only allows for its premium tax credit to be claimed when coverage is purchased from a State exchange.  According to Senator Hatch, the amount of the credit is determined based on the annual sum of the monthly “premium assistant amounts.”  Section 36B currently defines the Premium Assistance Amount as equaling the lesser of … (A) “the monthly premiums for such month for 1 or more qualified health plans offered in the individual market within a State which cover the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s spouse, or any dependent … and which were enrolled in through an Exchange established by the State under 1311 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” or (B) an amount calculated with reference to the “applicable second lowest cost silver plan.”   An applicable second lowest cost silver plan must be a plan offered “through the same Exchange through which the qualified health plans taken into account under” the immediately-aforementioned subparagraph (A)  – that is, through “an Exchange established by the State under [section] 1311” of PPACA.

In his December 1, 2011 letter, Senatory Hatch warned the Department of Treasury that the implementation of a regulation that would allow individuals to claim a premium tax credit under Code § 36B for coverage purchased through a federal exchange would be ‘legislative change to federal law without formal approval from Congress’ that would ‘exceed the constitutional authority of the Executive Branch.”  Given these concerns, Senator Hatch’s letter asks the Department of Treatsury to ensure that “any final regulations regarding Code section 36B clarify that the section 36B Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit will not be available based upon enrollment in a Federally-facilitated Exchange.

The Internal Revenue Service held hearings on its proposed regulations in November and has been accepting comments on their provisions.  Parties interested in reviewing or commenting on the proposed regulations should see here.

 Project COPE: Coalition On Patient Empowerment & Coalition For Responsible Health Care Quality

Project COPE: Coalition on Patient Empowerment & the Coalition for Responsible Health Care Quality  are coalitions of individuals and organizations that share the belief that every American and American organization has a stake, and something to contribute to our ability to find and implement the best options for ensuring that the U.S. health care system provides quality, affordable health care.

Health care impacts every individual and every organization in America.  Consequently, every American citizen and organization including but not limited to health care providers, employers, insurer, and community organizations should take part.    The government, health care providers, insurers and community organizations can help by providing education and resources to make understanding and dealing with the realities of illness, disability or aging easier for a patient and their family, the affected employers and others. At the end of the day, however, caring for people requires the human touch.  Americans can best improve health care by not waiting for someone else to step up or speak up. 

Project COPE urges and invites each individual and organization speak up to help communicate and act to make health care work for themselves, their families and others when you can and share your input to help preserve and continue to develop real meaningful improvements to our health care system by joining Project COPE: Coalition for Patient Empowerment here by sharing ideas, tools and other solutions and other resources. 

Other Helpful Resources & Other Information

We hope that this information is useful to you.   If you found these updates of interest, you also be interested in one or more of the following other recent articles published on the Coalition for Responsible Health Care Reform electronic publication available here, our electronic Solutions Law Press Health Care Update publication available here, or our HR & Benefits Update electronic publication available here .  You also can access information about how you can arrange for training on “Building Your Family’s Health Care Toolkit,”  using the “PlayForLife” resources to organize low cost wellness programs in your workplace, school, church or other communities, and other process improvement, compliance and other training and other resources for health care providers, employers, health plans, community leaders and others here. If you or someone else you know would like to receive future updates about developments on these and other concerns, please be sure that we have your current contact information – including your preferred e-mail by creating or updating your profile here. You can access other recent updates and other informative publications and resources. 

Examples of recent updates that may be of interest include:

For important information about this communication click here

©2011 Solutions Law Press.  All rights reserved.

CMS Celebrates 1st Anniversary of Strategic Framework on Multiple Chronic Conditions

December 14, 2011 marked the one-year anniversary of the release of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Strategic Framework on Multiple Chronic Conditions (Plan), a plan aimed at improving the overall health status of individuals with multiple chronic conditions.  CMS marked the anniversary by touting what it views as early successes of the program.

One in four Americans – and two out of three over 65 – have multiple chronic conditions. According to a new report issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), care for its beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions accounts for 93 percent of Medicare expenditures.

In the Plan, HHS identified more than 100 programs, activities and initiatives that focus on improving the health of those with multiple chronic conditions by integrating strategies to care for some of our sickest patients in hopes of improving health outcomes, lowering costs and maximizing quality of life.

In addition to the new CMS data on numbers of Original Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions, HHS also reported in its Chronic Conditions Among Medicare Beneficiaries report that Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions are more likely to be hospitalized and are the biggest users of other high-cost health care services.

The information in the report is based on the roughly 65 percent of Medicare beneficiaries who were enrolled in the Original Medicare Fee-for-Service program for the entire year, and does not include beneficiaries who have a private Medicare plan. 

CMS is touting success from various programs including in the Plan at the close of its first year of operation.  CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner says its Chronic Conditions Among Medicare Beneficiaries report will be an important resource for CMS, its partners, and providers, to help make more informed decisions about how to best treat patients with chronic conditions.”

 For more information about the HHS Strategy on Multiple Chronic Conditions and the Inventory of HHS Programs, Activities and Initiatives, go to: http://www.hhs.gov/ash/initiatives/mcc/

Project COPE: Coalition On Patient Empowerment & Coalition For Responsible Health Care Quality

Project COPE: Coalition on Patient Empowerment & the Coalition for Responsible Health Care Quality  are coalitions of individuals and organizations that share the belief that every American and American organization has a stake, and something to contribute to our ability to find and implement the best options for ensuring that the U.S. health care system provides quality, affordable health care.

Health care impacts every individual and every organization in America.  Consequently, every American citizen and organization including but not limited to health care providers, employers, insurer, and community organizations should take part.    The government, health care providers, insurers and community organizations can help by providing education and resources to make understanding and dealing with the realities of illness, disability or aging easier for a patient and their family, the affected employers and others. At the end of the day, however, caring for people requires the human touch.  Americans can best improve health care by not waiting for someone else to step up or speak up. 

Project COPE urges and invites each individual and organization speak up to help communicate and act to make health care work for themselves, their families and others when you can and share your input to help preserve and continue to develop real meaningful improvements to our health care system by joining Project COPE: Coalition for Patient Empowerment here by sharing ideas, tools and other solutions and other resources. 

Other Helpful Resources & Other Information

We hope that this information is useful to you.   If you found these updates of interest, you also be interested in one or more of the following other recent articles published on the Coalition for Responsible Health Care Reform electronic publication available here, our electronic Solutions Law Press Health Care Update publication available here, or our HR & Benefits Update electronic publication available here .  You also can access information about how you can arrange for training on “Building Your Family’s Health Care Toolkit,”  using the “PlayForLife” resources to organize low cost wellness programs in your workplace, school, church or other communities, and other process improvement, compliance and other training and other resources for health care providers, employers, health plans, community leaders and others here. If you or someone else you know would like to receive future updates about developments on these and other concerns, please be sure that we have your current contact information – including your preferred e-mail by creating or updating your profile here. You can access other recent updates and other informative publications and resources

For important information about this communication click here

©2011 Solutions Law Press.  All rights reserved.

Texas Health Care Organizations Among 26 Organizations Receiving Awards To Promote Health Care Quality, Safety & Affordability

Affordable Care Act funding seeks to help health providers identify and spread local ideas to improve care, reduce preventable healthcare acquired conditions

The Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council Foundation, the Texas Center for Quality & Patient Safety Hospitals and Lifepoint Hospitals, Inc. are three of the 26 state, regional, national, or hospital system organizations selected as Hospital Engagement Networks by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  As part of the Partnership for Patients initiative, a nationwide public-private collaboration to improve the quality, safety, and affordability of health care for all Americans, the selected entities will share in $218 million in funding to help find solutions already working to reduce healthcare acquired conditions, and work to spread them to other hospitals and health care providers across the country.

The 26 selected recipients announced by HHS December 15, 2011  are:

  • American Hospital Association;
  • Ascension Health;
  • Carolinas HealthCare System;
  • Catholic Healthcare West;
  • Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council Foundation;
  • Georgia Hospital Association Research and Education Foundation;
  • Healthcare Association of New York State;
  • Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania;
  • Intermountain Healthcare;
  • Iowa Healthcare Collaborative;
  • Joint Commission Resources, Inc.;
  • Lifepoint Hospitals, Inc.;
  • Michigan Health & Hospital Association;
  • Minnesota Hospital Association;
  • National Public Health and Hospital Institute;
  • New Jersey Hospital Association;
  • Nevada Hospital Association;
  • North Carolina Hospital Association;
  • Ohio Children’s Hospital Solutions for Patient Safety;
  • Ohio Hospital Association;
  • Premier;
  • Tennessee Hospital Association;
  • Texas Center for Quality & Patient Safety;
  • UHC;
  • VHA; and
  • Washington State Hospital Association.

In announcing the awards today, HHS said the Hospital Engagement Networks’ will be funded with $500 million from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center established by the Affordable Care Act. Hospital Engagement Networks will work to develop learning collaboratives for hospitals and provide a wide array of initiatives and activities to improve patient safety.  They will be required to conduct intensive training programs to teach and support hospitals in making patient care safer, provide technical assistance to hospitals so that hospitals can meet quality measurement goals, and set up and implement a system to track and monitor hospital progress in meeting quality improvement goals.  The activities of the Hospital Engagement Networks will be closely monitored by CMS to make sure that they are improving patient safety.

Launched in April 2011, the Partnership for Patients now consists of more than 6,500 partners, including over 3,167 hospitals, along with 2345 physicians, nurses, patient advocates, 892 consumers and consumer groups, and 256 employers and unions. In addition, health plans, Area Agencies on Aging, and state and federal government officials who have pledged to work together to cut the number of hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent and cut hospital readmissions by 20 percent by the end of 2013.

According to HHS, achievement of the Partnership for Patients’ objectives would mean approximately 1.8 million fewer injuries to patients in the hospital and save more than 60,000 lives over three years.

HHS has committed up to $1 billion in Affordable Care Act funding to help achieve the Partnership for Patients.  In addition to the funding to help reduce health care acquired conditions, $500 million has been made available through the Community-Based Care Transitions Program to ensure patients safely transition between settings of care to bring down readmissions.  Recently, seven organizations were selected as the first participants for the Community-Based Care Transitions Program. 

In addition to the Hospital Engagement Contract awards, HHS has awarded three other contracts to help in achieving the Partnership for Patients’ goals: the National Content Developer Contractor, the Beneficiary and Medical Professional Engagement Contractor, and the Evaluation Contractor.

For more information on the Partnership for Patients, see here.

Project COPE: Coalition On Patient Empowerment & Coalition For Responsible Health Care Quality

Project COPE: Coalition on Patient Empowerment & the Coalition for Responsible Health Care Quality  are coalitions of individuals and organizations that share the belief that every American and American organization has a stake, and something to contribute to our ability to find and implement the best options for ensuring that the U.S. health care system provides quality, affordable health care.

Health care impacts every individual and every organization in America.  Consequently, every American citizen and organization including but not limited to health care providers, employers, insurer, and community organizations should take part.    The government, health care providers, insurers and community organizations can help by providing education and resources to make understanding and dealing with the realities of illness, disability or aging easier for a patient and their family, the affected employers and others. At the end of the day, however, caring for people requires the human touch.  Americans can best improve health care by not waiting for someone else to step up or speak up. 

Project COPE urges and invites each individual and organization speak up to help communicate and act to make health care work for themselves, their families and others when you can and share your input to help preserve and continue to develop real meaningful improvements to our health care system by joining Project COPE: Coalition for Patient Empowerment here by sharing ideas, tools and other solutions and other resources. 

Other Helpful Resources & Other Information

We hope that this information is useful to you.   If you found these updates of interest, you also be interested in one or more of the following other recent articles published on the Coalition for Responsible Health Care Reform electronic publication available here, our electronic Solutions Law Press Health Care Update publication available here, or our HR & Benefits Update electronic publication available here .  You also can access information about how you can arrange for training on “Building Your Family’s Health Care Toolkit,”  using the “PlayForLife” resources to organize low cost wellness programs in your workplace, school, church or other communities, and other process improvement, compliance and other training and other resources for health care providers, employers, health plans, community leaders and others here. If you or someone else you know would like to receive future updates about developments on these and other concerns, please be sure that we have your current contact information – including your preferred e-mail by creating or updating your profile here. You can access other recent updates and other informative publications and resources

For important information about this communication click here

©2011 Solutions Law Press.  All rights reserved.

Education Key To Helping Low-Income Families Make Better Health Choices

Healthy Cal is reporting that the experience of the The Network for a Healthy California, a partnering program by federal, state, and local agencies, shows that educational programs can help low income families make better health choices. 

According to the Healthy Cal report, the 2009 Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance data from the California Department of Public Health found that roughly 21 percent of the population in Orange County’s between the ages of 5 and 20 years, and 17 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 5 years were obese. 

Healthy Cal says the Network created a number of initiatives that have helped many of Santa Ana’s low-income population access healthy foods and conducted a broad range of other educational programs for the population.  Noting that the outreach sought improve food choices, cultural and awareness barriers and other understandings and patient and family behaviors and circumstances.  Healthy Cal reports that these efforts are paying off.  Learn more at Healthy Cal.

About Project COPE: The Coalition On Patient Empowerment & Its  Coalition on Responsible Health Policy

Sharing and promoting the use of practical practices, tools, information and ideas that patients and their families, health care providers, employers, health plans, communities and policymakers can share and offer to help patients, their families and others in their care communities to understand and work together to better help the patients, their family and their professional and private care community plan for and manage these  needs is the purpose of Project COPE

The Coalition for Responsible Health Policy

The best opportunity to improve access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans is for every American, and every employer, insurer, and community organization to seize the opportunity to be good Samaritans.  The government, health care providers, insurers and community organizations can help by providing education and resources to make understanding and dealing with the realities of illness, disability or aging easier for a patient and their family, the affected employers and others. At the end of the day, however, caring for people requires the human touch.  Americans can best improve health care by not waiting for someone else to step up:  Speak up, step up and help bridge the gap when you or your organization can do so by extending yourself a little bit.  Speak up to help communicate and facilitate when you can.  Building health care neighborhoods filled with good neighbors throughout the community is the key.

The outcome of this latest health care reform push is only a small part of a continuing process.  Whether or not the Affordable Care Act makes financing care better or worse, the same challenges exist.  The real meaning of the enacted reforms will be determined largely by the shaping and implementation of regulations and enforcement actions which generally are conducted outside the public eye.  Americans individually and collectively clearly should monitor and continue to provide input through this critical time to help shape constructive rather than obstructive policy. Regardless of how the policy ultimately evolves, however, Americans, American businesses, and American communities still will need to roll up their sleeves and work to deal with the realities of dealing with ill, aging and disabled people and their families.  While the reimbursement and coverage map will change and new government mandates will confine providers, payers and patients, the practical needs and challenges of patients and families will be the same and confusion about the new configuration will create new challenges as patients, providers and payers work through the changes.

We also encourage you and others to help develop real meaningful improvements by joining Project COPE: Coalition for Patient Empowerment here by sharing ideas, tools and other solutions and other resources. TheCoalition For Responsible Health Care Policy provides a resource that concerned Americans can use to share, monitor and discuss the Health Care Reform law and other health care, insurance and related laws, regulations, policies and practices and options for promoting access to quality, affordable healthcare through the design, administration and enforcement of these regulations.

Other Helpful Resources & Other Information

We hope that this information is useful to you.   If you found these updates of interest, you also be interested in one or more of the following other recent articles published on the Coalition for Responsible Health Care Reform electronic publication available here, our electronic Solutions Law Press Health Care Update publication available here, or our HR & Benefits Update electronic publication available here .  You also can access information about how you can arrange for training on “Building Your Family’s Health Care Toolkit,”  using the “PlayForLife” resources to organize low cost wellness programs in your workplace, school, church or other communities, and other process improvement, compliance and other training and other resources for health care providers, employers, health plans, community leaders and others here. If you or someone else you know would like to receive future updates about developments on these and other concerns, please be sure that we have your current contact information – including your preferred e-mail by creating or updating your profile here. You can access other recent updates and other informative publications and resources.

For important information concerning this communication click here

©2011 Solutions Law Press, Inc.  All rights reserved.