Monday Mashup

The FEHBlog noticed that Congress has been complaining that the Labor Department had not issued guidance on how the 21st Century Cures Act, passed in December 2016, interacts with the 2008 Mental Health Parity Act. The Labor Department’s Employee Benefit Security Administration released a boatload of guidance today, including a proposed ACA FAQ #39 (see Mental Health Parity heading) . The proposed FAQ, in particular, goes on for 12 pages and is worth reading.

Reason Magazine has an interesting, favorable article on Food and Drug Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.

The Wall Street Journal reports today that

The median hospital operating cash flow margin—monitored by Moody’s Investors Service as a signal of financial strength—fell to 8.1% last year from 9.5% a year earlier, in a preliminary analysis of 160 nonprofit and public hospitals and hospital systems with credit ratings from the agency, a Moody’s report said.  * * * 

[T]he metric’s decline points to new challenges for U.S. hospitals as more patients seek medical care in nonhospital settings, and as enrollment surges in Medicare, which typically pays hospitals less than commercial insurers do. Those trends are squeezing hospital revenue, while a tight labor market is driving expenses higher, Moody’s said.

Ruh roh. More hospital cost shifting is on the way.

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