Health Care Headlines, Business News & Trends

CDC Updates COVID-19 Masking and Monitoring Guidance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated its framework to monitor the level of COVID-19 in communities. CDC leaders also announced that this data will inform recommendations on prevention measures like masking. They have updated their masks webpage to provide guidance based on the COVID-19 Community Level and personal risk factors. Read the full media briefing transcript.

Race and Ethnicity Matter in Accessing Medical Care

The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) recently released an issue brief on Experiences in Accessing Medical Care by Race and Ethnicity. The brief uses data from the 2015-2018 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to assess Medicaid members’ access to care by race and ethnicity. Notably, the study found that Black, Hispanic, and Asian Medicaid members had significantly lower rates of receiving some preventive health screenings as compared to white non-Hispanic members and that Black and Hispanic Medicaid members were less likely than white non-Hispanic members to receive primary care and mental health care visits.

$88 Billion in Medical Debt on Consumer Credit Reports

Consumer credit reports contained $88 billion in medical debt as of June, a problem the federal agency that enforces financial protection rules vows to crack down on. Medical debt is far and away from the most common type of liability on credit reports. On Tuesday, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) officials questioned whether it belongs there at all. As of last year, 58% of all third-party debt collections were for medical debt, the agency determined in a new report. The CFPB found that about 20% of U.S. households owe a medical debt, which appears on 43 million credit reports.