Top news of the day from the healthcare landscape.
A new poll conducted by Kaiser Family Foundation discovered that nearly half of Americans have a positive view of the Affordable Care Act, while only 31% reported a positive opinion of the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Despite a low overall approval, more than two-thirds of Republicans favored the AHCA, according to Kaiser Health News. Republicans showed support for creating work requirements for Medicaid enrollment, while few were in favor of changing the limit of premium increases for older individuals. Overall, the poll found that more individuals felt the AHCA would hurt their healthcare compared with how they felt earlier this year, Kaiser reported.
Two Medicare Advantage insurers have agreed to pay nearly $32 million to settle a Medicare fraud lawsuit, which alleged the Florida-based companies overbilled the government. The lawsuit was filed by a physician who was the former medical director for the insurers. He testified that the government overpaid for patients who were made to appear sicker than they were and for claims that the insurers treated patients for conditions they did not have or were not treated for, Kaiser Health News reported. This lawsuit is one of many whistleblower lawsuits that have been brought against insurers over Medicare payments.
Maryland recently passed legislation that would ban antibiotic use in healthy livestock and poultry. Nearly 70% of antibiotics used in humans are also used in meat and dairy production, according to The New York Times. This bill aims to control the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and preserve the efficacy of the drugs in humans. Infections from antibiotic-resistant superbugs cause tens of thousands of deaths each year and represent a growing public health concern.