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Determining the “Essential Health Benefits Package”

12/15/11 – Politico is running an interesting article on how the Department of Health and Human Services will define the “essential health benefits package” under President Obama’s new health care law. You can read it here.

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Seniors May Lose Access to Care, Doctors Warn

12/15/11 – The Onondaga County Medical Society held a press conference yesterday urging Congress to stop Medicare cuts set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2012. They argue that if the cuts go through, many Medicare patients will be turned away. Read more from the Syracuse Post-Standard here.

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Medicaid Redesign Team’s Final Recommendations

12/14/11 – The final meeting of the full Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) was held today in Albany. The general purpose of today’s meeting was to accept the reports from the remaining work groups and outline the process for the transmittal of the final MRT recommendations to Governor Cuomo.

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Extraordinary Legislative Session Results and Implications

12/9/11 – On Wednesday, Governor Cuomo called the Legislature back to Albany for an Extraordinary Session to approve legislation that would overhaul the state’s tax code and create new economic development initiatives. The package that was approved in both houses of the legislature was negotiated largely behind closed doors.

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Medicare Part D Brought Savings in 2011

12/6/11 – This morning USA Today ran an interesting piece on savings achieved in the Medicare program over the past year…data show that 2.65 million people with Medicare have saved more than $1.5 billion on their prescriptions – averaging about $569 per person.

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Health Insurance Exchange Funding

12/2/11 – The Affordable Care Act requires states to establish one-stop marketplaces where consumers can choose a private health insurance plan. Earlier this week, the Department of Health and Human Services issued nearly $200 million in grant funding to help a number of states set up health insurance exchanges.

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Updated: World AIDS Day

12/1/11 – Today is World AIDS Day and marks the 30th year since the beginning of the epidemic that has killed 30 million people worldwide. Over the past 30 years more than three dozen drugs have been developed and approved to treat HIV/AIDS.

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Brooklyn MRT Work Group Delivers Report to Commissioner Shah

11/29/11 – Yesterday, the Health Systems Redesign: Brooklyn Work Group, a work group of the New York State Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT), issued its final report to DOH Commissioner Shah. This work group was charged with assessing the strengths and weaknesses of Brooklyn hospitals and their future viability.

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Thoughts on Medication Adherence

11/28/11 – It’s a bit dated but I’ve recently come across a Health Affairs article from January 2011 on the cost effectiveness of medication adherence. While previous research has shown a link between medication adherence and health cost savings, this study provides the strongest proof yet of the relationship.

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Stemming the Tide of Prescription Drug Abuse

11/18/11 – It often goes under the radar but prescription drug abuse is becoming a major problem in our country. Just two weeks ago, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the abuse of prescription drugs, for non-medical purposes, has reached epidemic levels.

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