News & Information
IRS Will Reject Tax Returns That Lack Health Insurance Disclosure
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, October 24, 2017 10:39 AM

President Trump’s first executive order signed in January broadly instructed various agencies to scale back the regulatory reach of federal health care law.

In the latest signal that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is still law, the Internal Revenue Service said this week that it is taking steps to enforce the most controversial provision: the tax penalty people face if they refuse to obtain health insurance.

Next year, for the first time, the IRS will reject your tax return when filed electronically if you do not complete the information required about whether you have coverage, including whether you are exempt from the so-called individual mandate or will pay the penalty. If you file your tax return on paper, the agency said it could suspend processing of the return and delay any refund you might be owed.

Republicans and Democrats Express Dissatisfaction with Drug Industry's Answers
Written by Editor   
Monday, October 23, 2017 07:25 AM

Do you think the federal government ought to be able to negotiate all drug prices? – Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)

“No, we don’t,” – Lori Reilly, executive vice-president for policy, research, and membership at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), a lobbying group for drugmakers.

First-line Treatment of Chronic Spinal Pain
Written by Editor   
Friday, October 20, 2017 08:06 AM

Spinal manipulation should be considered as a first-line conservative treatment. It is now suggested as the first-line intervention by current research as not a single study examined in a recent systematic review found spinal manipulation less effective than conventional care.

Decades worth of research outcomes suggests that knowledge and guidelines related to both acute and chronic spinal pain are now available to inform practice.  The implementation of evidence-informed care services for persistent spinal pain have emerged along with published recommendations from recent systematic reviews. For example, exercise, tai chi, yoga, mindfulness-based stress reduction and other psychological therapies, spinal manipulation and massage, acupuncture, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs; although less effective than previously reported), duloxetine, tramadol and skeletal muscle relaxants (short-term relief only) seem to have a positive role. 

Bipartisan Deal to Stabilize ACA Insurance Markets Announced
Written by Editor   
Thursday, October 19, 2017 08:47 AM

Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) reached a tentative deal on legislation to stabilize the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) health insurance marketplaces.

Alexander and Murray, the chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions (HELP) Committee, have been talking about a deal for several months, but announced on Sept. 19th that they had reach an impasse; that was shortly before the Senate was due to vote on a bill by senators Bill Cassidy, MD (R-La.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to repeal and replace the ACA. But after that vote was canceled due to a lack of support from key Senate Republicans, Murray and Alexander resumed their discussions.

The impetus for continued talks gained additional momentum last week when the administration terminated the CSR payments -- which some observers speculated was President Trump's intent, although he did not say so publicly. Trump also had signed a controversial executive order that would allow formation of so-called association health plans that could operate across state lines.

ACA Calls White House Plan "a Race to the Bottom"
Written by Jeff Jenkins   
Wednesday, October 18, 2017 08:05 AM

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) opposes action taken Oct. 12, 2017, by the White House, which directs various federal agencies to develop regulations that could strip state laws that protect patients’ access to chiropractic and other vital health services.

“Today’s executive order punts a very significant issue over to several departments that could adversely change the health insurance market and leave patients with little choice but to buy plans light on benefits and high in cost,” said ACA President David Herd, DC. “State patient protections, such as inclusion of important benefits, could be in serious jeopardy given this latest action by the president.”

While the direct policy implications of the executive order may not be clear for several months, it’s envisioned that the departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury will go through the typical rule-making and comment period. This includes publishing draft regulations and allowing stakeholders, such as the American Chiropractic Association, an opportunity to provide comment.

“The American Chiropractic Association will be crystal clear in our opposition to any scheme that may eliminate state patient protections or impede access to quality plans,” said Dr. Herd. “Interstate sales, the core of association health plans championed by the president, will start a ‘race to the bottom’ by allowing insurers to choose their regulator. This is not sound policy for the consumer or the provider.”

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