Counting Calories

A proposed federal law will require calorie counts on menus in restaurants with 20 or more locations. While several chains such as McDonalds, Starbucks and Panera Bread already post calories on menus nationally, many restaurants are reworking dishes to lower the count. Some grocery and convenience stores with prepared foods will also need to include calorie counts on the packaging. Studies show that nearly 65% of people favor knowing nutritional facts in restaurants, but only 1/6th consider calories when choosing their meal.

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CT Health IT Investments

As the Obama Administration threatens to penalize healthcare providers that do not use electronic medical records by 2015, hospital officials say the total costs of investing in technology are straining their bottom lines.  According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, CT healthcare providers have been funded $161 million in federal health IT funds since 2011.  While this seems to be a large figure, it does not cover the total costs of investing in technology.

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National Health Insurance Plans May Lack Coverage

The White House announced that there will be national insurance plans in at least thirty-one states for the upcoming year.  The federal health law requires a minimum of two national plans in every state within four years but may not reach its target.  If national coverage is not provided in every state, it could leave consumers with less affordable options that may result in increased premiums.

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Health Reform Series Part V: Young Adults

Earlier this week the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) issued a brief highlighting the young adults who have benefited from one of the most successful provisions of federal health law.  Between September 2010 and the end of 2011, more than 3 million young adults under age 26, who would otherwise have gone without insurance, gained coverage by remaining on their parents’ health plans.

The report found that 75% of U.S. residents ages 19 to 25 are insured, compared with 64% before the provision took effect.

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Individual Insurance Policies Don’t Meet Federal Standards

According to a new study, more than half of all medical insurance policies sold to individuals now fail to meet the standards of coverage set by the federal health care law under review by the Supreme Court.

The study also shower people currently covered through an employer were already in plans that met the federal standards, plans likely to be more generous than individual plans available through the state insurance exchanges.

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