Your Weekly Dose of Health October 21, 2016

** As you may be aware, step therapy, or “fail first” legislation, A.2834D (Titone) / S.3419C (Young), passed the NYS Senate and Assembly in the final week of the Legislative Session. Please take the time to call Governor Cuomo at 518-474-8390 and urge him to sign this legislation into law, as it’s in the best interest of New York patients and providers! Click here for more information on step therapy.

National News:

  • The Obama administration this week announced that it expects monthly enrollment in health insurance under the ACA marketplace to increase by an average of 9%. That would be good news for Obamacare, as it has recently come under criticism due to rising premiums and major insurers leaving the marketplace. During a speech at Miami Dade College, President Obama defended the Affordable Care Act, saying that it “has done what it was designed to do. It gave us affordable health care.”
  • Vice President Joe Biden delivered the Cancer Moonshot report to the president and the public this week. His report provides a summary of the Cancer Moonshot Task Force’s work so far and lays out a strategic plan. Read more here.

State News:

  • Cigna, one of the nation’s largest insurance companies, said in a letter to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman that they would remove prior authorization for Medication-Assisted Treatments. Prior authorization is used treat opioid addiction. Schneiderman had recently launched an investigation into whether Cigna’s policies created an undue burden on those seeking addiction treatment.
  • The State Health Department issued new regulations to go into effect next year that will encourage new mothers to breastfeed.

City News:

  • Two top city health officials penned op-ed pieces this week. Mary T Bassett, New York City’s Health Commissioner, wrote a piece published in Essence on racism and implicit bias in healthcare. The piece was in part prompted by a recent incident in which Dr. Tamika Cross was prevented from helping a sick person on a flight because the crew didn’t believe she was a doctor. The other op-ed piece was written by Dr. Ram Raju, CEO of New York City Health and Hospitals, and was published in the Huffington Post. His piece draws attention to the recent presidential debates and highlights the lack of discussion on important issues regarding healthcare.

Upcoming Events:

  • NYSHealth, The New York Academy of Medicine and NYU Langone Medical Center’s Department of Population Health are sponsoring the fourth annual Population Health Summit on December 12th. Abstract submissions are due October 31st.
  • The United Hospital Fund and GNYHA Foundation are hosting the 27th Annual Symposium on Health Care Services in New York: Research and Practice on November 15th at the CUNY Graduate Center.
  • City & State New York is hosting State of NY Health on October 27, 2016 at the New York Academy of Medicine.
  • Click here for upcoming meetings, hearings and events from the state Department of Health.