In January, CMS proposed overhauling the way it evaluates if and how much money ACOs are saving in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). Under the revised methodology, the agency would adjust cost benchmarks based on regional rather than national spending data when an ACO signs up for a second three-year contract period.

Of 434 ACOs participating in the program, only 22 have chosen to participate in tracks that include downside risk.

After six years of Obamacare and three years of the exchanges Americans have learned a few lessons. The healthcare.gov disaster was due to the complexity of the website, an awful procurement system, and lack of adequate management by the administrationg. Establishing an insurance company is more than just paying claims, as you can see with the failure of half of the co-op insurers around the country. Finally, people don’t want to spend a lot of money on insurance.

The Association of Medical Colleges released a report that says America will be short a million doctors by 2025 and that the shortage of primary care physicians makes up a third of that number. There are several reasons for the shortage of primary care physicians including “fee for service” payment model and the mandate for doctors to switch to electronic health records (EHR), which is a time consuming, costly addition to physician’s duties.

Obamacare created a system that actually made insurance more expensive, decreasing access to the poor and sick, while pricing out average Americans from affordable health care coverage. Millions more have been added to Medicaid, millions have seen double or triple their annual premiums and millions have opted not to be insured at all.

In the March 8 rule, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) stated that Health Savings Account (HSA) eligibility was not a meaningful distinction for health plans because consumers can determine whether a plan is HSA-qualified by examining a plan’s cost-sharing amounts. Therefore, it will not require HSA-qualified plans to be designated as such.

Two main reasons why HSA-qualified plans will not survive is because plans must cover services below the deductible that are not considered “preventative care.” And the plans must apply specific deductibles and out-of-pocket limits that are outside the requirements for HSA-qualified plans.

Employers that offer a health savings account might gain a competitive advantage in employee recruitment and retention. An HSA can significantly reduce employees’ taxes while giving them an important investment option, making an HSA a valuable financial wellness tool, writes Liz Ryan. HSAs can be offered as a long-term benefit like a 401(k) as well as an emergency fund for unexpected expenses, Ryan writes.

The pharmaceutical industry, insurers and the Obama administration all want prescription drugs to be included in determinations about whether a certain pools of patients are riskier than others.

The determinations are important because insurers who take on riskier sets of patients are eligible to receive compensation under Obamacare. Right now, those determinations are made using just medical claims.

Drug companies and insurers generally agree that prescription drugs should be included in the risk adjustment models. They currently are not.

Obamacare to date has failed miserably relative to what was originally promised regarding how many people would get covered and the number of these who would obtain their coverage through the Obamacare exchanges.

The president’s claim that “America is on a stronger footing because of the Affordable Care Act” is dubious at best. Literally no major promise made for this law has been kept and some have been broken quite egregiously.

The Medicare Advantage Value-Based Insurance Design Model kicks off Jan. 1, 2017 and will run for five years.

Value-based insurance design, or VBID, refers to health plans that waive or lower out-of-pocket costs for healthcare and prescription drugs that are proven effective for patients with chronic health conditions.

The CMS wants feedback on ways to promote quality of care and reduce cost of care for enrollees in the Medicare Advantage program.

The justices heard oral arguments in the case just last week. Now they are asking the parties to address how employees would obtain contraceptive coverage through their employer’s insurance companies without any involvement from the employer, including notifying the government, their insurer, or third-party administrator of their objection.

The parties have the opportunity to spell out for the Supreme Court how such a system could work without controlling the Little Sisters’ and other employers’ insurance plans.