[Podcast] Listen: COVID Stresses Rural Hospitals Already ‘Teetering on the Brink’

(KHN, November 12, 2020)

"Fort Scott is a town of about 8,000, and more than 200 people — from janitorial staff to physicians — lost their jobs when the hospital closed. The trickle-down effect of a major anchor institution in a rural community closing is not just from the hospital jobs but from all the jobs supporting the hospital.”

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[Article] Conservative US supreme court justices suggest Obamacare will be upheld

(The Guardian, November 10, 2020)

"Two conservative supreme court justices have suggested the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could be upheld, as oral arguments began in a suit backed by the Trump administration. At risk in the case is the healthcare coverage of at least 20 million Americans and a number of popular protections that have shifted expectations regarding costs and how the US health system operates. The ACA, passed in 2010 and popularly known as Obamacare, allows people to access preventive health services such as vaccinations at no cost. It also caps insurer profits."

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[Article] Covid-19 didn’t just disrupt healthcare, it accelerated industry change

(MedCity News, November 8, 2020)

"Before the pandemic hit, consolidation, new payment structures and direct-to-consumer business models were hitting providers from all sides. At the same time, new players, such as Oak Street Health and Walmart, were new to the scene. Ongoing regulatory changes were also underway, such as the price transparency rule, enabling patients and payers to shop for care on the basis of price. Arriving amid all these changes, Covid-19 presented both an enormous challenge and a unique opportunity for health systems as well as exposing a broad need for business models that are more resilient in the face of change and more fluid in terms of operations. In this case, health systems had to build and expand the digital capabilities and infrastructure necessary to support remote work and advance clinical services — fast."

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[Article] Mortality due to cancer treatment delay: systematic review and meta-analysis

(Healthcare IT News, November 10, 2020)

"The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated innovation throughout much of the healthcare sphere. At the same time, said panelists at the HIMSS & Cleveland Clinic Patient Experience Digital Series this week, the quick pivot to new policies in response to the pandemic, and the speed at which new technologies were rolled out, carry the danger of leaving some of the most vulnerable people behind."

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[Article] Trump Administration Finalizes Rule Requiring Health Insurers to Disclose Price and Cost-Sharing Information

(KHN, November 11, 2020)

"President-elect Joe Biden’s strategy of lowering the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 60 is sure to face long odds, even if the Democrats can snag control of the Senate in January by winning two runoff elections in Georgia. Republicans, who fought the creation of Medicare in the 1960s and typically oppose expanding government entitlement programs, are not the biggest obstacle. Instead, the nation’s hospitals, a powerful political force, are poised to derail any effort. Hospitals fear adding millions of people to Medicare will cost them billions of dollars in revenue.

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