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At DocSpot, our mission is to connect people with the right health care by helping them navigate publicly available information. We believe the first step of that mission is to help connect people with an appropriate medical provider, and we look forward to helping people navigate other aspects of their care as the opportunities arise. We are just at the start of that mission, so we hope you will come back often to see how things are developing.

An underlying philosophy of our work is that right care means different things to different people. We also recognize that doctors are multidimensional people. So, instead of trying to determine which doctors are "better" than others, we offer a variety of filter options that individuals can apply to more quickly discover providers that fit their needs.

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Assessment of Affordable Care Act

Kaiser Health News published a piece on the near-term outlook for the Affordable Care Act. Its assessment seems reasonably positive ("insurers are on track to be profitable and the market appears to be stabilizing in the country overall"), although it notes that there are markets that are "fragile." Of course, the related headlines dominating the news tend to be about insurers that are retreating from the exchanges because of losses and how a number of counties have been left without options (here's a map of the number of options each county is expected to have in 2018) . Also of note is that 83% of people buying their own coverage on the exchanges receive subsidies.

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Readmission penalties estimated near half billion

Medicare continues its polices of penalizing hospitals who re-admit patients too quickly if they were treated for certain conditions. The push embodies the effort to change reimbursement to become more value-based: paying for what works instead of simply paying for procedures performed. Kaiser Health News reported that Medicare expects to save $564 million from this program this year.

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Medical groups oppose price transparency

Kaiser Health News reported on an ongoing clash in the state of Ohio, which passed a law to make "good-faith" estimates of medical procedures available to patients before they select a provider. This seemingly straightforward law has met resistance from the medical community, including from Ohio Hospital Association, which claims that compliance would delay patient care.

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Senate Republicans' health bill encounters another obstacle

The Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act encountered yet another obstacle. The effort was already widely unpopular, with Democrats firmly opposing it. Two Senate Republicans also publicly declared their opposition to the Republican proposal, leaving a tenuous path to passing the bill by relying on a tie-breaking vote. Adding to all of that, Kaiser Health News reports that the Senate Parliamentarian has advised that several clauses require more than a simple majority to become law. Current Senate rules are that a super-majority of 60 votes are required for legislation to not be filibustered.

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Controversy over California's cardiac reports

Along with a few other states, California publicly reports the performance of individual cardiac surgeons. Los Angeles Times reported on the contrasting reactions of two surgeons rated as worse than average. The first surgeon raised a long standing argument of critics of these transparency efforts: that surgeons will be discouraged from taking on patients who have more complicated conditions. The other surgeon welcomed the public reporting, but noted the short duration covered.

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