Good morning. I can now blame my inability to function on less than 8 hours of sleep on my parents, who love naps just as much as I do.
Today's word count is 780, or ~3 minutes.
A doctor visits an older adult at his home. Photo: Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
The health insurance industry again is attacking federal proposals that would more aggressively audit Medicare Advantage claims for improper coding — audits that would save taxpayers upwards of $4.5 billion over the next decade, Axios' Bob Herman reports.
Between the lines: The audits, called "risk adjustment data validation," have created paranoia among insurers for years. The federal government created the audits as a way to make sure insurers' records of patients' diagnoses matched up to their medical records.
Driving the news: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services gave the industry until the end of August to send in more comments on a beefed-up auditing process. Insurers still hate everything about it.
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission again stood alone as a supporter of the government's auditing process.
What's next: Federal officials will make a final call on the auditing changes later this year, with the entire industry pressuring them to kill or substantially scale back their changes. It's possible insurers would take this to court if the changes go through.
Most of vaping's negative headlines have been about the rise in teen vaping, but the recent lung illnesses around the country have raised broader questions about its health impact, the New York Times reports.
Driving the news: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning on Friday to teenagers and other consumers, cautioning them against buying bootlegged and street cannabis or e-cigarette products in the wake of the lung illnesses.
The rationale for e-cigarettes is that they're a healthier alternative to cigarettes. But while the health consequences of smoking cigarettes are well-documented, we don't yet know the long-term effect of vaporizing ingredients and then inhaling them.
The bottom line: "The outbreaks have created a crisis for two emerging industries — e-cigarettes and legal cannabis — that have pitched themselves as beneficial to public health," NYT writes.
Even as medical advances have both prolonged and enhanced the lives of people with disabilities, the care they need can be prohibitively expensive, the L.A. Times reports.
The Times profiles Sylvia Colt-Lacayo, an 18-year-old with a degenerative neuromuscular disease who received a full ride to Stanford University.
The big picture: While federal and state insurance will pay for people with disabilities to live in a nursing home, if they choose to live elsewhere in the community, care is often underfunded.
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
Plenty of patients don't call ahead to receive estimates of how much their care is going to cost, but even those who do may not receive an accurate quote, as evidenced by Kaiser Health News and NPR's latest Bill of the Month story.
Why it matters: This is an example of, in KHN's words, the "perfect health care consumer," and shows that even the most active patients can easily become victims of the health care system's billing practices.