Weekly Dose of Health News April 7 – 11, 2014

Weekly Dose of Health News April 7 – 11, 2014


This week’s Dose brings us breaking news from both our nation’s and state’s capitals as the leaders of the health departments at the federal and state level announce their resignations. Also in the headlines this week is the latest Affordable Care Act enrollment figures, announcements on upcoming public hearings and conferences, as well as an interesting story on dramatic improvements on health care delivery in Rwanda.


Kathleen Sebelius, the Health and Human Services Secretary, is stepping down.  President Obama is nominating Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the current director of the Office of Management and Budget, to the position.


New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah is stepping down in June (or May 4, as reported by some outlets) and will be replaced by Dr. Howard Zucker, who has been First Deputy Commissioner since September 2013.


Over 908,000 New Yorkers have enrolled in the state’s health exchange as of April 7, 2014.


The Obama Administration announced that Medicaid enrollment has increased by three million under the Affordable Care Act, bringing the total number of people enrolled in the program to 62 million.


Here’s another article on the controversy surrounding mammograms and how they can lead to overtreatment.


Despite its turbulent history, Rwanda has dramatically improved its health care delivery system, resulting in a vaccination rate that is better than in the U.S., a 60 percent reduction in the HIV rate and where 82 percent of people with HIV/AIDS are on antiretroviral therapy.


The New York State Department of Health is holding public hearings around the state on the 1115 Medicaid Partnership Plan Waiver extension beginning next week.


The January Medicaid Global Cap Report was released this week and showed that the cap increased by 3.2% or $510 million for 2014.  This increase is a result of increased expenditures and decreased revenue sources such as rate increases, increased enrollment and utilization of the program and once occurring items such as decreased drug manufacturer rebates due to the shift of drugs from brand to generics.


As the Affordable Care Act hit the 7 million enrollment mark, Administration officials reviewed what went right and when went wrong.


The United Hospital Fund has announced its 2014 Medicaid Conference, scheduled for July 15 from 8:30 – 3:30.  Full program details will be available soon.