CMS Awards Loans to First Seven CO-OPs


On February 21, 2012, CMS announced its first award of repayable loans to seven Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (CO-OPs).  The awards will help CO-OPs establish private, non-profit, consumer-governed health insurance companies with the goal of expanding health insurance options for consumers and small businesses.  The CO-OPs will eventually operate in each states’ health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act, but will also offer plans outside of the exchange.  Starting on January 1, 2014, the first seven CO-OPs will become operational in eight states. 

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IRS Issues Device Tax Proposed Rule


 On February 3, 2012, the Internal Revenue Service issued a proposed rule (REG-113770-10) providing guidance under IRC Section 4191 as to the excise tax imposed on the sale of certain medical devices.  [Read More]

Non-Profit Hospitals Spent 11 Percent on Community Benefits in 2009


According to an Ernst & Young study released February 2, 2012, not-for-profit hospitals spent an average of 11 percent of their total expenses on benefits to their communities in 2009. [Read More]

Making Insurance Plans Comparable: Regulations Released Requiring Plain-Language Insurance Information


On February 9, 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor, and the Department of the Treasury jointly issued final regulations pursuant to the Affordable Care Act regarding plain-language health insurance plan descriptions. Health insurers will soon be required to present health plan benefits and coverage information in a clear, consistent and comparable manner.                

Starting on September 23, 2012, health insurers and group health plans will be required to provide two significant tools to help consumers navigate the health insurance market.  First, a Summary of Benefits Coverage (“SBC”) will outline key features of a plan, such as the covered benefits, cost-sharing provisions, and coverage limitations and exceptions.  The SBC will also include a standardized plan comparison chart, showing common procedures and the corresponding plan coverage.  The second tool, a Uniform Glossary, will explain terms commonly used in health insurance coverage, such as “deductible” and “co-payment”. Insurers must provide the SBC and Uniform Glossary at certain times during the enrollment process, such as when consumers are shopping for coverage, when coverage is renewed, when certain changes occur and upon request.  The Uniform Glossary will also be publicly accessible on government websites, granting consumers easier access to insurance information.   

To view the final rule, visit: http://ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2012-03228_PI.pdf.

 
 
 
 

My Doctor The Car – How Mobile Health (Mhealth) Technologies Are Radically Re-Envisioning Health Care


‘Mobile health’ (mHealth), which is defined loosely as health care delivered wirelessly, is set to transform health care.  A perfect example is the Ford Motor Company’s ‘Car That Cares,’ which it announced at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January. 

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Duane Morris Health Law

Reporting legal developments in the healthcare industry and the latest on the implementation of
the Healthcare Reform Act impacting providers, employers and physicians.

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