Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Two Medical News Notes for PA

Two items crossed my screen this week pertaining to health care in Pennsylvania.  Here's the details:

The PA Dems sent out a press release stating, in part:

The Pennsylvania Democratic Party is pleased to highlight news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showing that the Affordable Care Act continues to significantly increase the number of young adults who have health insurance

Before the Affordable Care Act, more young Americans lacked health insurance than any other age group - accounting for more than one in five of the uninsured. Going without insurance put the health and finances of millions of young people at risk. 

Contrary to the myth that young people don't need health insurance, one in six young adults has a chronic disease like cancer, diabetes or asthma. Studies show that nearly half of uninsured young adults reported problems paying their medical bills and others forwent regular care, like checkups or recommended screenings, due to cost. 

President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act to put affordable, quality health insurance back within reach of all Americans. Thanks to the new law, young adults can now stay on their parents' plan up to age 26. 

Originally, HHS projected that 1.24 million young adults would gain coverage in 2011 as a result of this part of the law. The actual numbers far exceed initial expectations. The CDC recently announced that 2.5 million young adults now have health coverage, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. 

In Pennsylvania, that means an estimated 65,000 young Americans have access to health care because of the new law.

Continuing with theme of local impact of national policy, a document was released on Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations.  I will not even pretend to understand the intricacies (or even the big picture) of this topic.  Here is a brief excerpt from the fact sheet:
The Pioneer ACO Model is a CMS Innovation Center initiative designed to support organizations with experience operating as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) or in similar arrangements in providing more coordinated care to beneficiaries at a lower cost to Medicare.  The Pioneer ACO Model will test the impact of different payment arrangements in helping these organizations achieve the goals of providing better care to patients, and reducing Medicare costs.

That's a lot of jargon and acronyms.  One thing I could see from the fact sheet is that one of these organizations, Renaissance Medical Management Company, is or will be operating in Southeastern Pennsylvania.   You can read the fact sheet online.  There is another fact sheet just on Pioneer ACOs.  People wanting to learn more should read over both. 

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