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Jan. 17, 2019: Apple reportedly looking to subsidize Watch with Medicare plans

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Apple reportedly looking to subsidize Watch with Medicare plans Tech Crunch
If nothing else, the addition of ECG/EKG reinforced Apple's commitment to evolving the Watch into a serious medical device. The company has long looked to bring its best-selling wearable to various health insurance platforms, and according to a new report, it's reaching out to multiple private Medicare plans in hopes of subsidizing the product. If Medicare companies bite, the move would make the $279 tracker much more successful for older users. Along with electrocardiograph functionality, last year's Series 4 also features fall detection, an addition that could make it even more appealing to the elderly and healthcare providers.

New York considers adding telemedicine to workers comp guidelines mHealth Intelligence
New York may be taking a look at how telehealth can help the state's worker's comp system. Senate Bill 1042, introduced this week by state Senator Catharine Young proposes establishing a seven-member task force to examine how connected health technology could improve outcomes for workers on worker's comp, increase access to care providers and enable those providers to improve compliance with worker's comp guidelines. The committee would also explore how telehealth and telemedicine could help employers and reduce fraud.

Appeals Court freezes the Texas v. USA Affordable Care Act suit

Think Advisor
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hit pause on an effort by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and other state attorneys general to appeal a ruling that could overturn the Patient Protection and Affordable Care (PPACA). The 5th Circuit granted a stay in proceedings in the case, Texas v. USA, in response to the effects of the recent lapse in federal appropriations that has led to a partial shutdown of much of the federal government. PPACA is the main part of the two-law Affordable Care Act statutory package.

Bill would repeal, replace Medicaid expansion initiative approved by Utah voters Deseret News
The voter-approved ballot initiative expanding Medicaid coverage to some 150,000 low-income Utahns would be repealed and replaced by a more limited plan under a bill being drafted for the 2019 Legislature. "We're going to make the program work within the money the proposition provided," the bill's sponsor, Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden, told the Deseret News. He said the funding provided by Proposition 3 falls short.

Jeff Sopko