Top news of the day from across the health care industry.
A new survey indicates that Americans borrowed an estimated $88 billion over the last to pay for health care costs, The New York Times reported. According to the article, the survey, which was conducted by Gallup and the nonprofit West Health, also found that 1 in 4 Americans have skipped treatment due to the cost and that approximately half fear bankruptcy in the event of a health emergency. There was a partisan divide regarding opinions on the quality of the American health care system, but both Democrats and Republicans had similar responses about deferring medical treatment because of cost, the article reported. Similarly, the majority of respondents said they lacked confidence in the abilities of elected officials to bring costs down, according to the results.
On Monday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that it would increase 2020 payments to health insurers that manage Medicare Advantage plans by 2.53% on average, Reuters reported. According to the article, the government raised the final payment rate from its previously proposed rate after revising its estimate for increases in medical services for next year. Its final estimate of that growth rate is 5.62% compared with 4.59% in its February proposal, the article reported.
The number of measles cases in the United States for this year has already surpassed the count for all of 2018, The Associated Press reported. According to the article, the CDC’s preliminary estimates show that there have been 387 cases through March so far, compared with 372 for last year. The 2019 count is the most since 2014, when 667 measles cases were reported, and is driven by outbreaks in several states including New York, California, Illinois, Texas, and Washington, the article reported.