Healthcare Roundup—Patients to have more—and more expensive—options on ACA exchanges

Affordable Care Act highlighted
Affordable Care Act plans are expected to be more expensive next enrollment season. (Getty/Ellenmck)

2019 rate filings for ACA plans show most choices, higher costs

An analysis by Avalere Health shows proposed 2019 exchange premiums for the most popular plans to be sold on Affordable Care Act marketplaces are about 15% higher than 2018 premiums.

The study looked at individual market proposed rate filings released by 10 states and the District of Columbia. If those rates are ultimately approved by state regulators, average premiums for silver-level plans on the exchanges will increase about $98 a month to $740 in 2019, Avalere experts said.

In 2019, Avalere said they expect consumers will have more silver plan options to choose from than in 2019. “The rate filings suggest we may see increased competition and plan choice in many exchanges in 2019," said Kelly Brantley, vice president at Avalere. (Release)

Sorry. That postvacation buzz will wear off quickly

The benefits of taking a vacation—including increased energy and less stress—vanish within days for the majority of workers after returning to work, according to a survey released by the American Psychological Association. 

APA's 2018 Work and Well-Being survey, which surveyed more than 1,500 adults who work either full-time or part-time or are self-employed, found that for about a quarter of workers, the positive effects of vacation time disappear immediately.

The findings are a sign that employers need to focus on broader stress-relief benefits to assist workers. 

“People need time off from work to recover from stress and prevent burnout,” said David W. Ballard, Psy.D., who heads APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence. “But employers shouldn’t rely on the occasional vacation to offset a stressful work environment. Unless they address the organizational factors causing stress and promote ongoing stress management efforts, the benefits of time off can be fleeting." (Release

Allscripts seeks arbitration in class-action ransomware suit

Allscripts has asked an Illinois district judge to dismiss a class-action lawsuit filed after a ransomware attack took down the EHR vendor’s servers for a week, adding that the dispute belongs in arbitration.

The lawsuit revolves around a January cyberattack involving a new variant of the SamSam virus. The attack brought down the company’s servers in North Carolina and knocked out access for nearly 1,500 physician practices. Several of those providers reverted to paper records and reported lost revenue and canceled procedures due to the disruption.

In a court filing (PDF) last week, Allscripts argued that Surfside Non-Surgical Orthopedics, the specialty practice that filed the lawsuit, intentionally sued the parent company of Allscripts Healthcare, known as Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc., to avoid the arbitration clause outlined in its contract with the vendor. (FierceHealthcare)