Daily roundup: July 31, 2013

Bite-sized hospital and health industry news

  • Maryland: State insurance regulators this month sharply decreased the premiums for all nine carriers filing to sell health plans through the state's insurance exchange, citing flawed data and unreasonable assumptions. In some cases, the regulators cut the premiums by one-third (Hancock, Kaiser Health News, 7/26). 

  • Learn about the exchanges. This white paper can help you understand the basics of the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, and this new video outlines three ways to prepare for the "exchange tsunami."

  • New York: The appellate division of the state Supreme Court ruled this week that Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York City health officials overstepped their legal authority when they attempted to ban the sale of large, sugary beverages last year. The ruling comes three months after a state Supreme Court justice prevented the ban from going into effect on the eve of its implementation date (Baker, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 7/30).

  • North Carolina: Gov. Pat McCrory (R) this week signed into law a measure requiring that abortion clinics meet the same requirements as outpatient surgical centers—a move that critics say will force many abortion clinics to close (AP/USA Today, 7/29).

  • Texas: HHS this month enacted a six-month moratorium on enrolling Houston-area ambulance service providers in Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The agency was empowered to do so by a law created by the Affordable Care Act allowing it to issue moratoriums to combat fraud, waste, and abuse. HHS said the moratorium was issued based on "data analysis and agency experience," citing six cases in Houston where ambulances allegedly submitted $9.5 million in fraudulent claims (Aaronson, "Capsules," Kaiser Health News/Texas Tribune, 7/29).


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