Healthcare News May 10, 2012

  • OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Food fight over Obama’s burger habit, school bake sales in Mass.

    They’re public health advocates to some and the food police to others. 

    But terminology aside, groups concerned about American obesity levels received lots of attention Wednesday for petitioning President Obama to stop eating junk food in public and for a ban on school bake sales in Massachusetts. 

    Both developments come against the backdrop of studies this week predicting that four in 10 Americans will be obese by 2030 and that curbing the trend will take work from everybody: schools, governments, insurers, doctors and industry.

  • HHS: Health law to raise Medicaid service fees

    Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius credited the 2010 healthcare law for a new proposed rule that would bring Medicaid primary care service fees in line with those paid under Medicare.

    The rule was announced Wednesday along with news that approximately 150,000 Medicare providers received nearly $560 million more in reimbursements last year because of the law. 

    Sebelius praised the Affordable Care Act “promoting high-quality primary care.”

  • Lawmakers propose a permanent ‘doc fix’

    Reps. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) and Joe Heck (R-Nev.) introduced a bill Wednesday to reform how Medicare pays healthcare providers and to avoid a cut to reimbursement rates on Jan. 1.

    The bipartisan measure would repeal Medicare’s current reimbursement formula and replace it with a new system of payment models. It would also give doctors small boosts in payment rates for four years.

    Money for the changes would coming from war savings from troop withdrawals in Iraq and Afghanistan — a move Republicans have opposed in the past as a “Ponzi scheme.”

    Schwartz and Heck, an osteopathic physician, praised the bill as a way to begin a conversation about long-term Medicare reforms.

  • Report: Millions of employers fail to claim healthcare tax credit

    The report says 3 million businesses were eligible for the tax credit but many employers were unaware of it.

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