New Projections Show Increase in Uninsured Rates Over the Next 10 Years by Joe Furia

Debbie Johnston, Senior Vice President of Policy Development

Last week the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) released the annual baseline budget projections estimating insurance coverage, premiums, and the cost of federal subsidies over the next 10 years. Some of the key takeaways include:

  • Premiums for benchmark plans are expected to increase by about 15 percent from 2018 to 2019 and about 7 percent annually through 2028
  • Many of the agencies’ projected changes resulted from new assumptions regarding eliminating the individual mandate penalty and coverage gains since 2012. For example, 10 percent of the premium increase is attributable to the loss of the individual mandate penalty
  • Coverage is also expected to impact the penalty elimination. For 2027, CBO projects subsidized marketplace coverage to be 3 million lower than the agency’s September 2017 report, and the total uninsured population is expected to be 5 million higher
  • CBO included in the definition of “insurance coverage,” some enrollment in Association Health Plans and short-term plans - neither of which are required (under federal proposed rules) to include the consumer protections and essential health benefits mandated by the Affordable Care Act

End-Of-Life Conversations Don’t Happen as Regularly as They Should in Arizona by Joe Furia

Sandy Severson, Vice President of Care Improvement

In a recent survey by the Arizona Medical Association & Arizona Osteopathic Association physicians were asked about their views of end-of-life care. The results identified major findings and opportunities, including the following: 

  • Counseling patients regarding end-of-life options occurs only 50 percent of the time when end-of-life was near
  • Counseling patients regarding end-of-life options occurs only 37 percent of the time routinely in older patients
  • Surveyed physician’s also felt that “good deaths” are not frequent and that a major barrier is lack of end-of-life training

AzHHA’s Thoughtful Life Conversation initiative is partnering with the organizations who led this survey to offer physician and healthcare team training on Communication in Serious Illness to improve and encourage physicians to have the end-of-life conversations with their patients. For more information on the Communications in Serious Illnesses training, dates and locations of current trainings click here.  To arrange to have a training held in your community or for your staff, contact Karen Beckford.

Mental Health and First Responders by Joe Furia

Debbie Johnston, Senior Vice President of Policy Development

When a traumatic situation arises first responders are the first to arrive at the scene of events involving injuries and loss of life. They are expected to provide an effective and efficient response to help the community recover. But who can first responders rely on to ensure that they can recover too? The situations first responders are generally faced with are inherently difficult and stressful. These chronic stressful situations often lead to post-traumatic stress, acute and cumulative stress, depression, anxiety, and suicide. The good news is that there are resources. The Arizona Department of Health Services has webpage with resources and tools for first responders.

Point of Pride: Yavapai Regional Medical Center by Joe Furia

Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) Physician Care Family Medicine is expanding! This summer YRMC Physician Care Family Medicine will be relocating to improve access to care for its community. Along with a renovated facility YRMC will be bringing in three more physicians by the end of the year. This new facility will deliver primary care medicine through a team of healthcare professionals including physicians, advanced clinical practitioners and a number of other highly trained professionals ready to care for the people, patients and local community.