Health care must-reads: A push toward accessibility

The past week’s health care industry news has centered on care accessibility. Democrats are introducing proposals to expand access to Medicare, including establishing a single-payer system. However, UnitedHealth Group CEO David Wichmann warns a single-payer system could actually limit the ability of clinicians to provide care. A separate legislative proposal would expand access to Medicare while preserving existing options for insurance.

Innovative payment options are key to expanding accessibility, and Business Insider’s list of 100 People Transforming Business featured a CEO developing a better way to cover hands-on primary care. Meanwhile in hospital news, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, announced it will stop balance billing for balances not covered by insurance.

 

How 10 leaders are changing health care

Business Insider's list of 100 People Transforming Business includes 10 leaders in health care -- from a researcher who helped pioneer CRISPR gene-editing technology to a CEO developing a better way to cover hands-on primary care. Also on the list are the CEO of Amazon's joint health care venture, the former head of the FDA and the leader of a nonprofit that weighs in on the cost-effectiveness of new drugs.

Full Story: Business Insider

San Francisco hospital says it will stop balance billing

Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, which is out of network with all private health insurance plans, said it will stop billing patients for balances not covered by insurance. The practice had come under scrutiny following publicity for bills including a $20,000 charge for an emergency department visit for a broken arm.

Full Story: VoxTIME magazine

UnitedHealth CEO: How "Medicare-for-all" would destabilize health care

UnitedHealth Group CEO David Wichmann says implementing a single-payer "Medicare-for-all" system would destabilize the US health care system by jeopardizing the doctor-patient relationship, limiting the ability of clinicians to provide care and increasing costs, "all without fundamentally increasing access to care." "[T]he market is ascribing an inordinately high probability that some form of Medicare-for-All proposal could become reality," said Cowen Equity Research analyst Charles Rhyee, even though support from centrist Democrats is absent.

Full Story: Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (tiered subscription model)

Health stocks are weak performers despite strong profits

The S&P 500's health care sector stocks have gone from being a market leader last summer and fall to being the index's worst performers so far this year, held back by concern about regulation and scrutiny of drug rebates. Earnings, on the other hand, are strong with health care companies expected to report the second-highest profit growth of the S&P 500's 11 sectors for the first quarter.

Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)

A primer on Democrats' Medicare expansion proposals

Democrats have introduced a variety of proposals that would expand access to Medicare. The Medicare for All Act would establish a single-payer system for dental, vision and long-term-care services, while less sweeping proposals would expand access to Medicare while leaving existing options for insurance intact.

Full Story: The Hill

 

April Hollis is Custom Content Editor, Health Care. She has been with SmartBrief for six years and has covered health care topics since 2006.

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This "most read" feature reflects the most read items in SmartBrief for Health Care Leaders from the previous week. Sign up for SmartBrief for Health Care Leaders to get news like this in your inbox, or check out all of SmartBrief’s health care newsletters, covering health IT, news for insurers, news for providers and more.