Two awesome reports to make you forget my last post
OK, so I may have gotten people's hopes up a bit too much with the 8M by 4/15 thing. Still, 7.6M or higher would still be awesome, and the two reports which were sent my way this AM should more than make up for my lowered projection.
First up is this from the Motley Fool, regarding hospital readmission rates, especially among Medicare recipients:
After hovering around 19% for years, hospital readmission rates began dropping beginning in 2012 and continued to do so into 2013. (The above chart reflects data through August of last year.) The national rate appears to still be falling considerably this year based on the latest data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS.
Readmissions cost U.S. taxpayers a pretty penny. The federal government estimated that hospital readmissions for just Medicare patients has historically added up to $26 billion annually -- $17 billion of which could be avoided.
CMS attributes the remarkable decline in readmission rates to implementation of Obamacare's readmission penalties in 2012. Hospitals must pay financial penalties if they report Medicare patient readmission rates for specific conditions above established thresholds. During the first year of the penalties, over 2,200 hospitals paid around $280 million for too-high readmission rates. CMS expects the fines to drop to $227 million for the fiscal year beginning in October 2013.
Make sure to check out the chart itself at the link. Quite impressive, and a reminder that the ACA is much, much more than just the exchanges (as well as the fact that it's actually been the law of the land since 2010, not just October 2013).
The second story is more directly connected to this site: Gallup has released their latest polling results regarding the overall uninsured level among adults (that's right, this doesn't even include all the kids who have been added to CHIP since last fall):
In the U.S., the uninsured rate dipped to 15.6% in the first quarter of 2014, a 1.5-percentage-point decline from the fourth quarter of 2013. The uninsured rate is now at the lowest level recorded since late 2008.
The uninsured rate has been falling since the fourth quarter of 2013, after hitting an all-time high of 18.0% in the third quarter -- a sign that the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as "Obamacare," appears to be accomplishing its goal of increasing the percentage of Americans with health insurance coverage. Even within this year's first quarter, the uninsured rate fell consistently, from 16.2% in January to 15.6% in February to 15.0% in March. And within March, the rate dropped more than a point, from 15.8% in the first half of the month to 14.7% in the second half -- indicating that enrollment through the healthcare exchanges increased as the March 31 deadline approached.
Well gee whiz, whaddya know? It's Gallup, so of course there's a nice chart there as well; check it out.