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Posted inHealth

Proposed changes to psychiatric manual could impact addiction diagnosis

What’s in a name? That’s a question that experts are wrestling with as they prepare to revise the diagnostic manual that spells out the criteria for addiction and other substance-use problems. The catalyst for this discussion is a set of proposed changes to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the reference guide upon which […]

Posted inHealth

States encounter obstacles moving elderly and disabled into community

A multi-billion dollar federal initiative to move low-income elderly and disabled people from long-term care facilities into the community has fallen far short of its goals, as many states have struggled to cobble together housing and other services. Launched in 2007 during the Bush administration, the states initially projected placing 35,380 Medicaid recipients in the […]

Posted inHealth

Some insurers paying patients who agree to get cheaper care

In recent years, insurers have tried to cajole consumers into using less-expensive health-care providers by promising lower co-payments and other cost-sharing breaks for members who select those doctors and hospitals. Lately, they’re trying an even more direct approach: cash rewards. Some Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield members in New Hampshire, Connecticut and Indiana can […]

Posted inHealth

HHS gives states flexibility on health law’s “essential benefits”

States will be given wide latitude to decide what “essential benefits” insurers must offer in their health policies come 2014, the Obama administration said Friday in a move that pushes off final federal rules on the topic until an unspecified date. Essential benefits, which must be offered by insurers in most policies sold to individuals […]

Posted inHealth

HHS rejects insurance commissioners’ broker recommendation

The Department of Health and Human Services today released its final medical loss ratio rule. In it, the administration rejected a National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ recommendation to exclude fees paid to insurance agents and brokers from insurance companies’ allowable administrative costs. You can read the document online. The medical loss ratio refers to the percentage of […]

Posted inHealth

The five cancers most likely to push you over the financial edge

Cancer often takes a heavy toll not only on people’s bodies but on their finances as well. And just as some types of cancer are more deadly than others, some types cause more financial pain, as recent research from Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center shows. When researchers examined bankruptcy rates in Washington state and compared them […]

Posted inHealth

Advisory panel says essential health benefits package must be affordable

The government moved a step closer Friday toward defining what “essential benefits” would be offered by companies selling coverage to millions of Americans in new insurance exchanges. In a 297-page report, the Institute of Medicine, a federal advisory panel, laid out criteria and methods the Department of Health and Human Services should use in developing […]