CENTER UPDATE | March 2021

This update features recent policy developments, media reports, and events
supporting continued momentum for multiple V-BID Center initiatives throughout late February and early March.

Upcoming Virtual V-BID Summit 2021: 20 Years of Impact & Innovation

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first V-BID publication, the V-BID Center has assembled a roster of leaders from across the health care spectrum for a webinar on Wednesday, March 10th, from 12 noon to 4 pm ET. Registration is complimentary, but space is limited. Click here to register for the event!
Know someone who would benefit from the V-BID Center Updates? Please forward this message and encourage your colleagues to sign up for our newsletter on our website.

New Guidance: Implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and CARES Act

In accordance with President Biden’s executive order on January 21, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued new guidance removing barriers to COVID-19 diagnostic testing and vaccinations and strengthening requirements that health plans and issuers cover diagnostic testing without cost-sharing.

Medicare Advantage Members Could See High Out-of-Pocket Costs for COVID-19

A new American Journal of Preventive Medicine study indicates that high out-of-pocket costs may lead some Medicare Advantage beneficiaries to forego necessary COVID-19 care. Some payers have started to roll back cost-sharing waivers for COVID-19 treatment, leading study authors to call for legislation to mandate insurers cover COVID-19 hospitalizations.

HSA Spend Report: An Abnormal Year in Health Care - Except for Rising Costs

In their annual report, Lively HSA noted that health care costs continued to rise in 2020, especially for hospital care. HSA funds are being used by high-deductible health plan enrollees to save for expected yearly medical and prescription drug costs. The adoption of a more flexible benefit design could further improve the affordability of care for HDHP enrollees with chronic conditions.

Study Shows Most Patients Don't Price Shop for Care

Despite significant price variation and high cost-sharing for MRIs, out-of-pocket costs had little influence on patient decisions about where to receive care. A recent study indicates that fewer than one percent of patients used the price transparency tool to investigate MRI prices and compute their out-of-pocket costs for different providers.

These Companies Are Paying Their Employees to Get Vaccinated

Eliminating out-of-pocket costs is just one way financial incentives can be used to encourage uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine. A growing number of businesses, including Target, Trader Joe’s, and Kroger, are offering paid time-off and flexible scheduling to motivate their employees to get vaccinated.

Women And Girls Over 13 Can Now Be Screened for Anxiety As Part of A Routine Checkup

Women and girls in the United States are now eligible to receive screening for anxiety as part of a routine checkup or well-woman visit with no additional cost-sharing. These services are now covered by Section 2713 of the Affordable Care Act, which requires non-grandfathered private insurance plans to provide first-dollar coverage for high-value preventive services.

Infographic: Value-Based Insurance Design and the COVID-19 Pandemic

The core V-BID principle of reducing financial barriers to essential clinical care, including testing, treatment, and vaccinations, has been a consistent theme in the federal government’s, states’, and private payers’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about V-BID’s role in pandemic response from our infographic.

Please Help Support the V-BID Center

As a non-profit entity, the V-BID Center relies on fundraising to support our research, education, and policy efforts. Please help us continue our work by donating here. We truly appreciate your consideration.

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