Friday News Dump: Wonkbites

by Adrianna McIntyre 

There’s more to the news cycle than the shutdown and exchange glitches (but not much).

  1. Is Connecticut enrolling enough bros? While enrollment data for federally facilitated exchanges is sparse (read: nowhere to be found), states setting up their own marketplaces have been more generous. Connecticut reports that nearly a third of their successful applicants have been under 35. If that trend holds, it’s not quite up to par with the Administration’s target; they’ve said they want 2.7 million of the anticipated 7 million enrollees to be young adults—that’s closer to 40%.
  2. Docs dubious of exchanges. A new survey of physician group practices found that majority did not favor the ACA’s exchanges. This sentiment seemed to hinge on uncertainty about how the new insurance products will work, and whether their reimbursements would be competitive. Still, twice as many of the surveyed docs said they were planning to accept the new plans than nix the new customers altogether.
  3. Diagnosis: miscommunication. Though patient safety has improved over past years and decades, it’s still far from perfect. A recent analysis suggests that delays and misdiagnosis in the outpatient setting are pretty much a communication issue—with other providers, labs, etc.— even in the VA, which has a robust EMR system.
  4. The repeal effort that’s just kind of “meh”. A halfhearted effort to repeal the medical device tax has encountered support and resistance from both sides of the aisle. While the tax may not be a stellar policy move, it can’t be repealed without making the ACA more expensive—unless Congress finds other offsets. Repealing it without finding revenue elsewhere would be capitulation to special interests, and could lead to other stakeholders demanding that Congress heed their whims, too.
  5. Preferably before I fly into DC tomorrow. Too much to ask? open_letter

Adrianna is a graduate student in public policy and public health at the University of Michigan.
Follow her on Twitter at @onceuponA or subscribe to the blog.


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