Health care must-reads: Cadillac tax, high prices and AI

The House’s overwhelming willingness to repeal the “Cadillac tax” on high-cost health care plans was the most-read story last week in SmartBrief for Health Care Leaders. Hot topics also included a physician’s analysis that pricing underlies high spending on health care in the US and a look at where in health care AI is poised to play the biggest role.

House votes to repeal ACA's "Cadillac tax" on high-cost plans

House lawmakers voted 419-6 to approve a bill that would permanently repeal the Affordable Care Act's 40% "Cadillac tax" on high-cost employer-based health insurance plans, after being repeatedly delayed by Congress.

Full Story: CNBCThe Washington Post (tiered subscription model)Roll Call (free content)

Physician: Pricing drives US health care's high spending

The US spends almost twice as much on health care as other developed countries, with pricing driving the cost trend, says Dr. Edward Hoffer of Harvard Medical School. Hoffer says site-neutral payments, bundled payments and transparency are three potential solutions.

Full Story: HealthLeaders Media

Where AI can have a big effect on health care   

A report from the Medical Group Management Association identifies seven areas where artificial intelligence could change health care: clinical trials, image processing, health data security, drug research, virtual nursing assistants, diagnoses and robotic surgery.

Full Story: Health Data Management (free registration)

CXO: Patient experience can be the deciding factor

A big challenge for chief experience officers in health care is staying ahead of patient and family expectations, said Dwight McBee, chief experience officer at Temple University Health System in Philadelphia. "Health care is a rapidly changing environment, and the experience of care is often the differentiator when other services and quality outcomes are comparable," McBee said.

Full Story: Becker's Hospital Review

Optum's new niche: Taking on nonclinicial tasks for health systems

UnitedHealth Group's Optum, which had been purchasing physician practices and health care facilities, has launched a new business model aimed at taking over certain nonclinical operations for health systems, including purchasing, information technology and revenue cycle management. It has a deal with John Muir Health in San Francisco, and OptumInsight CEO Eric Murphy said its analysis suggests a potential market of several hundred regional health systems.

Full Story: Forbes

Tom Parks is a health editor at SmartBrief who focuses on health care, leadership and nursing as well as care at the beginning and end of life. He launched and edits the SmartBrief for Health Care Leaders newsletter.

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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.