Tagged Multimedia

Listen: The Latest On Workplace Wellness Programs

Kaiser Health News senior correspondent Julie Appleby joins a discussion on Cleveland’s WCLV about current thinking on workplace wellness programs.

In Ohio, Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine is pushing a Cleveland Clinic-inspired wellness plan for Ohio’s Medicaid population. Appleby outlines how these wellness plans have historically functioned, their pros, cons and the recent regulatory developments around them. (The wellness segment begins around 15:10.)

And if you are interested in this subject, here is a sampling of Julie Appleby’s coverage:

Final EEOC Rule Sets Limits For Financial Incentives On Wellness Programs (5/17/16)

Feds Issue Proposed Rule On Health Information Collected By Workplace Wellness Programs (10/29/15)

Workplace Wellness Programs: Early Alarm For Workers’ Health Or A Recipe For Over-Testing? (10/5/15)

Privacy Advocates Urge Stronger Protection Of Employee Health Data (9/30/15)

7 Questions To Ask Your Employer About Wellness Privacy  (9/30/15)

When Does Workplace Wellness Become Coercive? (6/24/15)

Listen: The Latest On Workplace Wellness Programs

Kaiser Health News senior correspondent Julie Appleby joins a discussion on Cleveland’s WCLV about current thinking on workplace wellness programs.

In Ohio, Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine is pushing a Cleveland Clinic-inspired wellness plan for Ohio’s Medicaid population. Appleby outlines how these wellness plans have historically functioned, their pros, cons and the recent regulatory developments around them. (The wellness segment begins around 15:10.)

And if you are interested in this subject, here is a sampling of Julie Appleby’s coverage:

Final EEOC Rule Sets Limits For Financial Incentives On Wellness Programs (5/17/16)

Feds Issue Proposed Rule On Health Information Collected By Workplace Wellness Programs (10/29/15)

Workplace Wellness Programs: Early Alarm For Workers’ Health Or A Recipe For Over-Testing? (10/5/15)

Privacy Advocates Urge Stronger Protection Of Employee Health Data (9/30/15)

7 Questions To Ask Your Employer About Wellness Privacy  (9/30/15)

When Does Workplace Wellness Become Coercive? (6/24/15)

Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ Coming Soon: ‘Long-Term Short-Term’ Plans

The Trump administration’s new rule allowing “short-term” insurance plans to be used for up to three years has touched off a big reaction in health policy circles. Supporters of the change say those who can no longer afford comprehensive health insurance will have the ability to purchase lesser but cheaper plans. But opponents worry that consumers who fail to read the fine print will end up with plans that won’t cover care they need.

Reaction is similarly divided over an administration rule change that will make it easier for managed-care plans participating in Medicare to negotiate the price of drugs provided in doctors’ offices or hospitals. Insurance groups call it a small but positive step; patient groups worry it will make it harder for those with serious medical problems to get the medication their doctors recommend.

This week’s panelists for KHN’s “What the Health?” are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

  • The Trump administration says its promotion of short-term health plans is designed to help people who don’t get government subsidies find more affordable health coverage and will provide some help to people who are not going to buy a plan on the federal health insurance marketplaces anyway. But the policies tend to limit many types of care, such as maternity expenses, prescription drugs and mental health issues.
  • In addition to concerns that these plans will destabilize the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, some consumer advocates say people looking at the plans don’t realize the extent to which they lack patient protections. For example, one may not cover hospital expenses if a patient is admitted over a weekend or pay for care needed for injuries if the patient was drunk.
  • As part of the administration’s effort to meet President Donald Trump’s promise to curb prescription costs, federal officials announced this week that private Medicare Advantage plans can require patients being prescribed drugs from a doctor or in a hospital to first try the cheapest drug options. But some patient advocates object, saying consumers and their doctors should be able to decide what is the best therapy.
  • The federal indictment announced this week against Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) renews questions about why a member of Congress with a large role in a biotech company was allowed to be a member of a House committee that oversees health issues. After the indictment, House Speaker Paul Ryan stripped Collins of his seat on the Energy and Commerce Committee.
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, surprised many people with his announcement that insurers would not be able to factor in to premium prices the expectation that fewer people will buy marketplace plans because the health law’s coverage penalties expire in 2019.

Plus, for “extra credit,” the panelists recommend their favorite health stories of the week they think you should read, too:

Julie Rovner: NPR’s “Doctors With Disabilities Push For Culture Change In Medicine,” by Elana Gordon

Anna Edney: The Atlantic’s “Women More Likely to Survive Heart Attacks If Treated by Female Doctors,” by Ed Yong

Margot Sanger-Katz: ProPublica’s “The Shadow Rulers of the VA,” by Isaac Arnsdorf

Kimberly Leonard: The Washington Post’s “A Huge Clinical Trial Collapses, and Research on Alcohol Remains Befuddling,” by Joel Achenbach

To hear all our podcasts, click here.

And subscribe to What the Health? on iTunesStitcher or Google Play.

WATCH: What You Should Know About The New Rule On Short-Term Health Plans

Kaiser Health News senior correspondent Julie Appleby explains on “PBS NewsHour” how the Trump administration’s approach to short-terms plans could make this form of health coverage more widely available.

But the plans also could cause premium increases for those consumers who opt for more comprehensive insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces.

Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ Let’s Talk Politics

It seems increasingly likely that health care politics will play an important role in the midterm elections come November. But unlike every election since 2010, this year finds the Democrats playing offense and the Republicans back on their heels.

There is one health proposal most Democrats and Republicans agree is a good idea — providing “reinsurance” to help insurers pay for their sickest patients, thus enabling them to lower premiums for everyone. This week, the Trump administration approved reinsurance plans requested by Maine and Wisconsin. But legislation in Congress that would extend those programs nationwide failed to get a vote in either the House or Senate earlier this year — another casualty in the partisan fight over health care.

This week’s panelists for KHN’s “What the Health?” are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, Alice Ollstein of Talking Points Memo and Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

  • Congressional Democrats are making preexisting conditions a key debating point, including Senate candidates running in deep-red states, such as Missouri and West Virginia. The guarantee of coverage even when a person has a medical problem is one of the most popular provisions in the Affordable Care Act. Democrats are playing up the Trump administration’s contention in a lawsuit that since the Congress got rid of the penalty for people who don’t get health coverage, insurers don’t need to cover preexisting conditions.
  • Republicans are seeking to prove that they care about health care too, by pointing to their efforts to cut taxes on health care industries and to expand health savings accounts that allow consumers to set aside money for medical bills in tax-free accounts. But the GOP is in a bind because often if people don’t feel the direct benefits of a policy — such as the industry savings from the tax changes — politicians may not reap much benefit.
  • A growing number of Democrats in the House and Senate are also expressing support for a “Medicare-for-all” health care system. Although some may be more interested in skirting the complex details of such a transition in favor of backing a policy that appeals to Democratic voters.

Rovner also interviews KHN’s Emmarie Huetteman, who wrote the latest Bill of the Month. It features a very expensive surgical bill and a very persistent patient. You can read it here.

If you have a medical bill you’d like NPR and KHN to investigate, you can submit it here.

And if you have a question for the podcast, you can send it to whatthehealth@kff.org.

Plus, for “extra credit,” the panelists recommend their favorite health stories of the week they think you should read, too:

Julie Rovner: The New York Times’ “Meet the Rebate, the New Villain of High Drug Prices,” by Katie Thomas

Anna Edney: USA Today’s “Hospitals Know How to Protect Mothers. They Just Aren’t Doing It,” by Alison Young

Alice Ollstein: Politico’s “Trump Policy Shop Filters Facts to Fit His Message,” by Dan Diamond

Rebecca Adams: The Atlantic’s “Being Black in America Can Be Hazardous to Your Health,” by Olga Khazan

To hear all our podcasts, click here.

And subscribe to What the Health? on iTunesStitcher or Google Play.