Return to Advocacy > ACNM Policy Updates

ACNM Policy Update - 12-3-2015

Federal Issues
 
1.  Increasing Membership to Strengthen Advocacy
2.  CMS Releases National Health Spending Figures
3.  HRSA Publishes Calendar of Application Dates for Workforce Development Programs
4.  USPSTF Report on High-Priority Evidence Gaps for Clinical Preventive Services Highlights Women’s Health Issues
5.  AHRQ Publishes List of  Tools to Address Disparities in Women’s Health

Federal Issues


1.  Increasing Membership to Strengthen Advocacy


Don't forget to take advantage of the opportunity offered through ACNM’s new “Member get a Member” campaign to get some free CEUs.  This is a fantastic way to win a great prize and strengthen ACNM.  In doing so, you strengthen our association AND make our advocacy efforts more powerful.  So grab your midwifery colleagues and friends and sign ‘em up! Then tell them to use ACNM’s Action Center to write their legislators about issues important to midwives.


2.  CMS Releases National Health Spending Figures


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of the Actuary has released its annual report on national health care spending.  Their estimate is that in 2014, spending grew by 5.3%, toping $3.03 trillion.  The average per-person amount was equivalent to $9,523 and healthcare spending represented 17.5% of the nation’s gross domestic product in 2014, up from 17.3% in 2013.

The 5.3% annual growth rate was the highest since 2008.  Many observers believe that the main reason for the low rates of growth since that time has been the recession and high rates of associated unemployment, which impacts demand for care.

Factors impacting the growth of spending include increasing numbers of people obtaining coverage under the Affordable Care Act and the very high price of new prescription drugs.


Since the ACA’s first annual enrollment period in 2013, more than 23 million people have gained coverage either through the exchanges of Medicaid.  Consequently, Medicaid expenditures rose 11% last year.  Spending in Medicare increased 5.5% in 2014, totaling $619 billion, accounting for 20% of all US healthcare spending. 


It is unclear whether provider efforts to remove wasteful processes and increase quality as they shift from fee-for-service to value based reimbursement methodologies are being successful. 


It is expected that spending in 2015 will grow even faster, as some preliminary analysis show 6% rates of growth in the first two quarters of this year and 5.8% in the beginning of the third quarter.
 

3.  HRSA Publishes Calendar of Application Dates for Workforce Development Programs


The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has published a calendar showing its various health workforce development programs, who is eligible, when these programs are open for applicants and providing a link to each program for more information. 


4.  USPSTF Report on High-Priority Evidence Gaps for Clinical Preventive Services Highlights Women’s Health Issues


The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF or Task Force) has released its “Fifth Annual Report to Congress on High-Priority Evidence Gaps for Clinical Preventive Services.”

The USPSTF’s mission is to make available to providers and the public evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screening tests, counseling about healthy behaviors, and preventive medications.  These recommendations help primary care clinicians and patients to decide together whether a preventive service is right for each patient's needs.  When their recommendations reach a specified evidentiary threshold, the screening and preventive services they identify are required to be covered by most insurers without cost sharing of any kind.


In this annual report, the USPSTF has prioritized evidence gaps related to women’s health. Research in these areas would generate much needed evidence for important new recommendations to improve the health and health care of women in the United States.


Prioritized evidence gaps for improving the health of women through research on clinical preventive services include:
•  Screening for Intimate Partner Violence, Illicit Drug Use, and Mental Health Conditions
•  Screening for Thyroid Dysfunction
•  Screening for Vitamin D Deficiency, Vitamin D and Calcium Supplementation to Prevent Fractures, and Screening for Osteoporosis
•  Screening for Cancer
•  Implementing Clinical Preventive Services


5.  AHRQ Publishes List of  Tools to Address Disparities in Women’s Health

In a new publication, the Innovations Exchange, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has issued a list of tools put together by the agency that contain innovation profiles and quality tools specific to women’s health topics, including access to care, cancer screening, health and wellness, and reproductive care.  The intent of these publications is to help providers and the public address disparities in care for women.  





 
Not an ACNM member?  You can access all of the member benefits, including receipt of every ACNM Policy Update, by joining today.  

Want to take action or get involved?  Contact ACNM's Government Affairs Committee.

Don't have the time or energy to get involved, but still want to contribute?  Support the Midwives-PAC.


American College of Nurse-Midwives.
8403 Colesville Rd, Suite 1550 | Silver Spring MD 20910
Phone: 240-485-1800 | Fax: 240-485-1818
Follow Us


space