Archive for the ‘Health Care Reform’ Category

Study Finds Benefit to Keeping Young Adults on Parent Health Insurance

Friday, February 24th, 2012

There is a provision in the 2010 health reform law that will require private insurers to keep people under age 26 on their parents health insurance plan if they do not have other health
insurance benefits. How important is this provision?

Young adults, age 19 -29, make up about 17% of the adult population that does not qualify for Medicare and account for about 30% of adults who are uninsured. A new study found that young adults who are permitted to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans seek medical care more
regularly than those you who are no longer covered by their parents’ insurance. Seeking medical care without insurance was cost prohibitive for many young adults just starting out.

Is this a component of the health care law that you support or not? Please leave a comment and let us know your thoughts.

Would Doctors Provide Better Care if They Were Paid More?

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

We are about to find out. Wellpoint, the U.S. health insurer with the largest enrollment, is going to provide pay to doctors depending on the type of care they provide. Doctors who keep patients healthier while keeping costs down will be paid more than doctors who drive costs up and don’t take care of their patients as well. Overall, a doctor who keeps patients healthier and costs down could earn ten percent more than his colleagues.

 Do you think such a system will prevent medical malpractice and improve patient safety? Please leave us a comment and let us know.

Are Your Medical Records Safe?

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Patient data losses are up nearly one third (32%) in 2011. While most medical practitioners have back up data that they can access for your care, more than half admit that they do not know where the patient information they lost is physically located. It could be on a stolen smartphone, iPad, laptop, or other electronic device, for example, that has not yet been found and may never be recovered.

To make matters worse, many healthcare organizations admit that they do not require security measures, such as passwords, on mobile devices.

As a patient, it is important to know that these potential security breaches could cause you harm if they fall into the wrong hands. If you are concerned about the privacy of your medical records then be sure to speak to your doctor about efforts to safeguard your private medical information.

US Supreme Court to Hear Health Care Reform Case

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Earlier this month, the United States Supreme Court announced that it would hear a case concerning the constitutionality of the health reform law known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Several issues are expected to be considered by the Court including whether it is constitutional to require individuals to have health insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty.

The Circuit Courts of Appeals are currently divided on the issue of mandatory health insurance.

Oral arguments are expected in the spring of 2012 with a decision likely prior to the November 2012 presidential election.

Should Pennsylvania be More Like Texas?

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Pennsylvania, like many other states, is regularly looking at tort reform options.  Those who support tort reform argue that it is necessary to cap noneconomic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits in order to keep healthcare costs in check and to encourage doctors to practice medicine in state.

Texas capped noneconomic medical malpractice damages in 2003 and a new study finds that it has not had the intended effect.  The study conducted by Public Citizen found that healthcare costs and insurance premiums have not decreased in Texas. Additionally, the study found that there are not significantly more doctors per capita in Texas as a result of the state’s tort reform.  Physician groups dispute the findings of the study.

As Pennsylvania continues its tort reform discussions it is important to keep in mind the data available from other states, such as Texas, so that informed decisions can be made about laws that affect Pennsylvania medical malpractice victims.