Trending News Today: Legislation Seeks to Improve Home Health Agencies

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

Michael Botticelli, former director of the Office of National Drug Policy, recently said he worries that addiction treatment may not be a priority to the federal government. Under the Obama Administration, Botticelli used a public health approach to ensure people received the necessary care by helping them get insurance and physicians, according to Kaiser Health News. Botticelli and other advocates for addiction treatment worry that dismantling the Affordable Care Act may have a disproportionately negative effect on patients with opioid or alcohol misuse disorder.

Despite their large sizes and massive proportion of patients, Anthem and Centene account for nearly all of the lowest-quality health plans in California’s Medicaid program, according to California Healthline. Since the companies run 5 of the 6 lowest-rated plans, state officials have placed the insurers on watch. If the health insurers do not improve the quality of their programs, the state will impose fines or limit enrollment.

New federal regulations published last month are expected to increase home health agencies’ responsiveness to patients and their caregivers, according to Kaiser Health News. The new rules strengthen patient rights, and allow caregivers to stay informed about the care being received. Home health agencies will now be expected to coordinate all services a patient receives, and make sure patients understand their treatment regimens.