Health

Ways to Connect

Jayron32 of English Wikipedia

After two years of debating how to change North Carolina's most expensive health care program, state lawmakers will vote on a Medicaid overhaul Tuesday. The model negotiators settled on is a mix of two previous proposals.

Census.gov

Household income and health insurance coverage are both going up in the Charlotte area, but the poverty rate is holding steady. Those are a few takeaways from new U.S. Census data released Thursday.

medisave / Flickr https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

Researchers in North Carolina and nationwide may have finally answered an important question in health care: for people with high blood pressure, how low should they aim for? Late last week, the National Institutes of Health released results from a landmark study early because it’s already been conclusive.

Michael Tomsic

The federal government is trying to make it easier for consumers to figure out who's good and who's not in a lesser-known part of the health care industry. For the first time, Medicare has released star ratings for home health agencies. The agencies consist of nurses, therapists and social workers who bring treatment to you. WFAE's Michael Tomsic reports on how agencies earn their stars – and potentially set themselves up for higher reimbursements in the future.

As North Carolina lawmakers debate how to overhaul the state's Medicaid program, there's now a new report on how well a major part of the current program is working. The state auditor released a report Thursday on Community Care of North Carolina, which coordinates services for about 80 percent of the state's Medicaid recipients.

5 Challenges Facing Medicaid At 50

Jul 28, 2015
LBJ Library photo by Unknown

A “sleeper” provision when Congress created Medicare in 1965 to cover health care for seniors, Medicaid now provides coverage to nearly 1 in 4 Americans, at an annual cost of more than $500 billion. Today, it is the workhorse of the U.S. health system, covering nearly half of all births, one-third of children and two-thirds of people in nursing homes.

Medicare Turns 50 But Big Challenges Await

Jul 27, 2015
Harry S. Truman Library and Museum

Medicare, the federal health insurance program for the elderly and disabled, has come a long way since its creation in 1965 when nearly half of all seniors were uninsured. Now the program covers 55 million people, providing insurance to one in six Americans. With that in mind, Medicare faces a host of challenges in the decades to come. Here’s a look at some of them.

Michael Tomsic

Roughly half a million North Carolinians could soon lose money they depend on for health insurance. The U.S. Supreme Court will rule as soon as next week on a key part of the Affordable Care Act. It governs federal subsidies for states like North Carolina that did not set up their own exchange or marketplace. It may sound wonky, but the result could be disastrous for many low-income Americans and insurance markets.

Leaders on health policy in the North Carolina House are pushing their version of a bill to overhaul the state's most expensive health care program: Medicaid. The lawmakers rolled out the bill in committee Wednesday.

House leaders want to overhaul Medicaid by putting groups of doctors and hospitals in charge of managing the program. The state would give them a set amount of money based on who they treat, and the doctors would face financial penalties or rewards based on how they do. 

Republican Representative Nelson Dollar is one of the bill's sponsors. 

Alan Cleaver/Flickr
Alan Cleaver / Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

In North Carolina, health insurance companies are planning to raise average premiums between 11 and 26 percent next year on the Affordable Care Act exchange or marketplace.

The state's dominant insurance company, BlueCross BlueShield, wants to raise average premiums about 26 percent – almost twice as much as last year's increase.   

Pages