Hospitals Find Better Care Means More Money Under The Health Law

Elsewhere, gay couples find that insurance coverage depends on where you live, and hospitals prepare to offer their own insurance plans.

USA Today: Hospitals Chart Ways To Boost Care, Funding Under ACA
Hospitals are getting creative when it comes to meeting tough new mandates in the Affordable Care Act to improve care and increase patient satisfaction -- and they're getting paid more as a result (McElhaney, 3/27).

The Associated Press: Gay Couples Find Uneven Access To Health Insurance
Nearly every day for three months, Carl Bechdel had to make calls or send emails to try to get family insurance coverage for his husband and himself under President Barack Obama’s landmark health law. The Harrisburg, Pa., couple had sent an insurer their application and a month’s premium in early December but heard nothing. Weeks later, they were told their application was not processed because Pennsylvania doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage. So Bechdel pushed back, repeatedly explaining their predicament in phone calls and emails. Finally, they got a call and apology from the president of the insurance company last month, plus a family plan that started in March (3/27).

The Fiscal Times: Hospitals Plot the End of Insurance Companies
The problems with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act may be masking another major change in the way health care is delivered to U.S. consumers, experts believe. At The Atlantic's Health Care Forum in Washington on Thursday, health care and business professionals said that there’s an increasing trend in the industry toward cutting insurance companies out of the process entirely, as large, regional hospital systems move into the insurance business. Dr. Kenneth L. Davis, CEO and  president of Mount Sinai Health System, the largest health care provider in the state of New York, said that starting next year, Mt. Sinai will begin offering its own Medicare Advantage plan. It will look for other opportunities to bring premium payments directly into the hospital system, rather than filtering them through insurance companies (Garver, 3/27).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.