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The Importance of Health Insurance Coverage

Why is health insurance coverage important?

  • It improves access to care
  • It’s associated with improved health outcomes
  • It supports appropriate health care utilization
  • It improves individuals’ and families’ financial well-being

A new briefing from the American Hospital Association discusses each of these facets on the impact of health coverage on consumers and the overall health system. The report also provides recent data trends on the number of insured and uninsured and a reference list for further information.

Source: The importance of health coverage. American Hospital Association, Nov. 2017. http://www.aha.org/content/17/importance-of-health-coverage-report.pdf

Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

 

2018 Calendar of Health Observances and Recognition Days

Want to find out when Healthy Weight Week is? Brain Injury Awareness Month? Medical Laboratory Professionals Week or International Orthopaedic Nurses Day?

You can find the answers for these and hundreds of other health observances or professional recognition days throughout the year. For each calendar listing, descriptive information is provided with sponsor contact information for more details.

Source: 2018 Health observances & recognition days. Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development of the American Hospital Association, 2017. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HEALTHCAL2018 [free registration required to view/download]

Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

 

How Well Does Insurance Coverage Protect Consumers from Health Care Costs?

In 2016, over a quarter of insured adults in the U.S. were underinsured — more than double the 2003 rate and and currently an estimated 41 million people. This is the finding from the latest Commonwealth Fund’s biennial health insurance survey that looked at the number of insured adults that had high out-of-pocket expenses and deductibles relative to their incomes.

The underinsured rates were highest [44-47%] for those purchasing individual coverage directly or through a Marketplace exchange and for the disabled under age 65 covered by Medicare.

The share of privately insured adults that had health plans without deductibles has shrunk by nearly half since 2003, while deductible amounts have increased. The number of insured adults with deductibles of $3000 or more has grown from 1% in 2003 to 13% in 2016.

Underinsured adults may defer needed medical care because of the costs and/or face medical debt and long term financial issues.

The survey report also discusses health policy implications of its findings.

Source: Collins SR and others. How well does insurance coverage protect consumers from health care costs? Findings from the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey, 2016. Commonwealth Fund Issue Brief, Oct. 2017. http://www.commonwealthfund.org/~/media/files/publications/issue-brief/2017/oct/collins_underinsured_biennial_ib.pdf 

Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

 

Average Cost of a Hospital Stay, Emergency Room Visit, Physician or Dental Office Visit, or Home Care Service

In 2014, the mean cost for a hospital stay was $13,450, with an average out-of-pocket expense of $351. That’s according to Medical Expenditures Panel Survey [MEPS] Household Component data available from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

An emergency room visit averaged $1,048 in 2014, with $95 of that in out-of-pocket expenses.

A hospital outpatient visit expense averaged $927 with a $54 out-of-pocket cost, while an office-based physician visit totaled $222 with $29 out-of-pocket. The mean out-of pocket expense for a dental visit was $132 of the total visit cost of $295.

Finally, home health care expenses averaged $1,454 per month for those who had the expense during the year.

MEPS data on household medical expenditures is also available for earlier years.

Source: Expenditures per event by health care service type. Medical Expenditures Panel Survey, Household Component summary tables, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, accessed Feb. 15, 2017 at https://meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/data_stats/quick_tables_results.jsp?component=1&subcomponent=0&year=-1&tableSeries=9&searchText=&SearchMethod=1&Action=Search

Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

30 Largest Accountable Care Organizations

SK&A has released an updated ranking of the largest accountable care organizations based on the number of participating physicians. The marketing contacts firm has identified 703 ACOs involving 479,000 healthcare providers and business personnel aligned with ACOs. Topping its published list of the 30 largest ACOs are:

  1. HealthCare First South Los Angeles, a Medicaid ACO with 7,237 participating physicians and 2,668 health facilities
  2. Heritage Provider Network & Anthem Blue Cross of California, a commercial ACO with 7,207 physicians and 4,177 facilities
  3. Heritage California ACO, a Medicare Shared Savings Program with 6,876 physicians and 3,905 facilities
  4. Tenet Healthcare & Humana, a commercial ACO with 6,644 physicians and 1,963 facilities
  5. Hill Physicians/Dignity Health/University of California, San Francisco & Health Net, a commerical ACO with 5,883 physicians and 2,118 facilities

Source: Top 30 accountable care organizations. SK&A, Feb. 2017. http://www.skainfo.com/reports/top-accountable-care-organizations [free registration required to view/download]

Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

Health Innovations State Law Database

The Health Innovations State Law Database created by the National Conference on State Legislatures is  a resource for identifying over 800 recently enacted state laws and regulations that address health policy innovations related to access, Medicaid, private and commercial insurance markets, the Accountable Care Act and social determinants of health.. The database supports searching by keyword, state, legislative status, bill number, sponsor, and/or these topics:

  • Exchanges and Health Marketplaces
  • Free Market; Challenges and Alternatives
  • Market-Cost Containment
  • Market-Coverage
  • Market-Delivery Reform [includes accountable care]
  • Market-Health Insurance Reforms
  • Market-Mandates and Essential Health Benefits
  • Market-Network Adequacy
  • Market-Other
  • Market-Payment Reforms
  • Market-Price Transparency
  • Medicaid Expansion and Waivers
  • Medicaid Payment Reform
  • Medicaid-General
  • PPACA – ACA-Health Reforms
  • State-Run Programs
  • Telehealth Programs

However, the full-text of the legislation located is restricted to NCLS members.

Source: Health innovations state law database: tracking state laws for health care transformation, 2015-2016. National Conference of State Legislatures, accessed Jan. 27, 2017. http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/health-innovations-database.aspx

Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

Number of System-Affiliated vs Independent Community Hospitals, 1999-2015

System-affiliated hospitals outnumber those that remain independent. In 2015, 66% of community [acute care, non-federal] hospitals were affiliated with a health care system. This compares to 51% in 1999. Conversely, 34% of community hospitals were independent facilities in 2015, down from 49% in 1999.system-vs-nonsystem-comm-hosp-fy15

 system-vs-nonsystem-comm-hosp-fy15-chart

Sources:

Fast facts on US hospitals: pie charts. American Hospital Association, Jan. 2017. http://www.aha.org/research/rc/stat-studies/Pie-charts2017.shtml

Table 2.1: Number of community hospitals, 1991-2014. In: Trendwatch Chartbook 2016, American Hospital Association, May 12, 2016. http://www.aha.org/research/reports/tw/chartbook/2016/table2-1.pdf. Related chart 2.4: Number of hospitals in health systems, 2004-2014: http://www.aha.org/research/reports/tw/chartbook/2016/chart2-4.pdf

Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org