Dually Noted from around the web

October 9, 2015 § Leave a comment

Articles, commentary, research, and more from the past week

Complex patients favor traditional Medicare
Health Affairs has published a study showing that traditional Medicare is the preferred choice of “(H)igh-cost patients with complex healthcare needs.” Based on research from 2010 – 2011, the study found that “complex patients were more likely to switch from Medicare Advantage to traditional Medicare, rather than switch in the other direction.” In addition, the study determined that the switch to traditional Medicare was more likely to occur among dual-eligibles.

Dementia excluded from the California end-of-life law
“Death with dignity” advocates achieved a major victory with California’s recently passed “End of Life Option Act.” The law lets residents end their lives if they have been determined by a physician to be suffering from a terminal disease and meet certain qualifications. However, there are exceptions: the law does not cover “people with progressive debilitating diseases that don’t have an obvious six-months-to-live prognosis and people with dementia.”

The impact of the ACA’s Medicaid expansion
Medicaid expansion, part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), has produced profound changes in our healthcare system. Since the bill was passed, more than 950 community health centers have been built, and many existing centers have been expanded or upgraded. Today, community health centers serve as the country’s largest primary care system for low-income patients. At the same time, Medicaid expansion has made long-standing shortages in specialty care even worse, with patients experiencing long waits to see cardiologists, orthopedists, and others.

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