ACA’s Nondiscrimination Rule Goes Into Effect
By October 16, 2016, all covered entities, no matter how large or small, must post information in a conspicuous place notifying individuals that the entity/practice does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a final rule implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act of 2010.
The law and the rule prohibit health care providers from refusing to treat or otherwise discriminate against any individual based on race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. The rule applies to any entity that provides or administers health-related services and receives funding or financial assistance from HHS. This includes Medicare (except payments from Medicare Part B are excluded), Medicaid, CHIP, meaningful use payments, and insurance plans issued through federal Health Insurance Marketplaces. Thus, most physicians are included.
The new rule imposes several significant obligations on physician practices and other covered entities. By October 16, 2016, all covered entities, no matter how large or small, must post information in a conspicuous place notifying individuals that the entity/practice does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. It must also notify individuals – in all the appropriate languages – that the practice offers free, accurate, and timely language assistance to individuals with limited English proficiency. Also, entities/practices with 15 or more employees must designate a compliance coordinator and adopt formal grievance procedures.
2016 Legislative Session
Missouri rejects Aetna-Humana merger
This is a very important win for MSMA members and their patients. Don’t let your non-member colleagues tell you that organized medicine doesn’t do anything for them.
In a tremendous victory for Missouri physicians and their patients, the Missouri Department of Insurance (DoI) has denied the proposed merger of the two health insurance giants Aetna and Humana.
MSMA and the AMA strongly objected to the merger and submitted comments for a May 16 public hearing on the matter. Citing the unhealthy concentration of market power the newly-combined entity would have in Missouri, MSMA warned that the resulting anti-competitive health insurance environment would be harmful to the public. Higher premiums, greater out-of-pocket costs, narrow provider networks, and reduced access to care follow in the absence of competition, and MSMA asked DoI to exercise its statutory authority to reject the merger.
See MSMA’s statement here.
In its ruling, DoI found that the acquisition “would produce an anti-competitive effect by exacerbating a significant trend toward increased concentration and, additionally, by lessening competition...”
The order holds that if the merger does go through, both companies and their subsidiaries would be banned from selling comprehensive individual coverage, comprehensive small group coverage, and Medicare Advantage coverage in the Missouri. Aetna and Humana have 30 days to submit a formal plan to allay DoI’s concerns about the anti-competitive impact of the merger.
What can I do to prevent Opioid Abuse?
Opioid abuse is a national epidemic that you have the power to help prevent. The AMA Task Force to Reduce Opioid Abuse wants physicians across the nation to join together and take action to prevent opioid abuse.
Here are five things you can do to prevent opioid abuse:
Missouri doctor elected AMA President-elect
Physicians voted for David O. Barbe, MD, MHA, a family physician from Mountain Grove, Mo., to be the next president-elect of the American Medical Association (AMA). Following a year-long term as president-elect, Dr. Barbe will assume the office of AMA president in June 2017. For more information on your Missouri Delegation to the AMA, click here.