December 16, 2019
FCC UNANIMOUSLY APPROVES PROPOSAL FOR NEW 3-DIGIT NUMBER AS SUICIDE PREVENTION HOTLINE
The Federal Communications Commission is moving ahead with plans to designate a three-digit number to reach the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 988. The five-member commission unanimously voted on Thursday to approve the proposal, which is now open for public comment, and start the rulemaking process. The proposal requires carriers to implement 988 as a national suicide prevention hotline within an 18-month timeframe.
HOUSE PASSES DEMOCRATS’ BILL TO TAMP DOWN DRUG PRICES
A U.S. House Democrat bill that would give Medicare the authority to negotiate prescription drug prices and provide new benefits for seniors was passed Thursday in a 230-192 vote along party lines. The AARP is among the groups that support the bill, while the pharmaceutical industry strongly opposes it.
HEALTHCARE GROUPS NAME REGIONAL CENTERS FOR FIVE-YEAR MENTAL HEALTH INITIATIVE
A report published last month by Milliman, a global actuarial and consulting firm, found that the current state of mental health and substance use treatment in America is getting worse. Results showed that patients were much more likely to resort to “out-of-network” providers for behavioral health treatment than for other conditions. To overcome these issues, the national committee has identified five priorities to transform behavioral healthcare and improve access to necessary early detection and appropriate treatment. These best practices include:
FEDERAL WATCHDOG QUESTIONS BILLIONS OF DOLLARS PAID TO PRIVATE MEDICARE PLANS
A new report from the inspector general’s office criticized insurers for overstating patients’ illnesses without adequate documentation to obtain more federal money. The report found that almost half of the insurers received higher payments for patient illnesses, although there was no documentation that medical care for those conditions had been provided.
NJHA STUDY: HERE ARE N.J.’S MOST VULNERABLE ZIP CODES WHEN LOOKING AT HEALTH
The most vulnerable communities in terms of health are centered around New Jersey’s largest cities, according to a new study and database by the New Jersey Hospital Association. The not-for-profit trade organization said it examined 20 factors including access to health services, chronic conditions, lack of prenatal care, housing, food access, education, income, employment and more to determine the most and lease vulnerable zip codes in the Garden State.