Kaiser Health News

Study: Decision Aids Show Promise In Reducing Medical Procedures

The Lund Report

Reprinted with permission from Kaiser Health News

September 5th, 2012 – While policymakers debate complex changes to reduce health spending, promoting patients’ involvement in treatment decisions could have an immediate effect. A new Health Affairs report about decision aids — materials given to patients to help educate them about treatment options — shows they can help hold down costs by reducing demand for medical procedures.

Insurance Spat Leads to Less Rx Coverage for Some

The Lund Report
The health reform act will require coverage of all drugs beginning in 2014, but Washington's insurance commissioner and the state's largest insurance companies are facing off over a move to eliminate drug coverage entirely under one plan.

July 3, 2012 A fight between the Washington state insurance commissioner and the state’s largest seller of individual health insurance is spotlighting problems in that increasingly troubled market. The spat arose over insurers’ efforts to curb soaring premiums by restricting or eliminating prescription drug benefits.

Experts say they haven’t yet seen similar moves by insurers in other states to axe drug coverage from policies sold in the individual market. But some predict expensive drug benefits will offer an inviting target.

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