ShareFacebook Twitter

Sign In | Register.


Untitled Document

Facebook Twittter


This Week in Health Care Reform - March 25th, 2016

New polling reinforces the popularity of Medicare Advantage and the importance of protecting it; drug approvals hit an all-time high in 2015; and, telehealth use grows amongst providers.


Week in Review

MA Polling: This week, a new poll released by the Coalition for Medicare Choices underscores the popularity of Medicare Advantage with seniors and voters, while also highlighting their reaction to the latest round of cuts to the program currently being considered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  Compiled by Morning Consult, the results piece together a compelling narrative that decision-makers and elected officials would do well to listen to, namely, that seniors are highly satisfied with Medicare Advantage (90 percent), the majority of voters (58 percent) would be more likely to vote for a candidate who took action to stop cuts to the program, and that seniors and voters, alike, worry that further cuts to the program will increase costs and reduce benefits.  (To coincide with the release of the data, the Coalition held a Congressional briefing on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.  Be sure to check out the Health Action Network on Twitter, @HealthActionUS, for highlights.)

Rx Approvals:
Last year represented something of a high-water mark for drug approvals in this country as the FDA approved a record-breaking 56 new drugs.  That number tops the previous record of 53 approvals from 1996.  Given the growing influence that spending on prescription drugs has exerted on the overall health care cost curve in recent years, it should come as no surprise that concern over this alarming trend continues to mount.  What’s less clear, however, is what exactly can be done to introduce clarity into what outsiders deem pharmaceutical manufacturers’ "baffling" pricing decision mechanism.

Telehealth Adoption:
A new survey of health care professionals reinforces the growing role that technology is playing in the delivery of health care.  A majority of those polled said that telehealth is now a high priority for their organizations and is already providing a measurable return on investment.  Further, a majority also believes that telehealth was either mission-critical or important going forward.  Overwhelmingly (84 percent), many of the respondents said they believed that technology has progressed to the point that telehealth has the capability to deliver similar outcomes for patients as those treated at a hospital, clinic, or a doctor’s office.  Nonetheless, barriers persist, including the inherent complexity that comes with the adoption and subsequent integration of any new advancement, as well as significant concerns regarding licensing and reimbursement standards.

Return to archives...



We encourage you to stay involved as implementation efforts surrounding health care reform progress.  Visit the Health Action Network and be sure to let us know what's on your mind.


Looking Ahead

With CMS expected to finalize its decision regarding proposed funding changes to Medicare Advantage shortly, time’s running out for you to add your voice to the growing chorus of supporters fighting to protect the popular program and the millions of seniors and persons with disabilities who depend on it for their health care needs.  Reach out to your elected officials now and ask them to urge CMS to protect Medicare Advantage from further, harmful cuts.

You can keep up with the latest by following the Health Action Network on Twitter and by liking us on Facebook.