Predictions For Top 10 Healthcare Stories For 2014

by Akerman LLP - Health Law Rx

The past year was one of the most eventful in recent memory for healthcare policy. As the Affordable Care Act ("ACA") continued its inexorable, albeit at times wobbly, march towards implementation, the headlines became more and more sensational. 2014 promises to be even more fascinating. We provide for you our prediction, in no particular order, of the biggest healthcare stories that we believe will have the greatest impact on our clients in 2014.

1. ACA Implementation, Generally. Healthcare providers and insurers have already begun to act as if the ACA and health reform are here to stay. There are politicians in Washington who vehemently disagree with that position, but the providers and insurers most directly involved with the implementation have modified their approaches to business to take into account the ACA implementation. Additionally, over 2 million Americans have already benefited from ACA by obtaining health insurance either through a federal or state-run exchange, or through the expansion of Medicaid. As more citizens derive benefits from ACA, the harder it will be to repeal or curtail it. Look for the continuing opposition to ACA in the face of wider participation to continue to generate interesting stories this year.

2. Federal Exchange Website Woes. The initial rollout of the federal exchange website was an embarrassing (for the Obama administration) example of how not to manage a large project. It was, from the American public's perspective, a fiasco. If the enrollment numbers continue to go up, and the patient mix continues to improve, this story will fade by election day next November. Should the enrollment continue to struggle, look for this story to reappear and play a prominent role in news cycles this year.

3. Private Insurance Exchanges. The headline grabbers of late have been the federal and state run insurance exchanges. However, more employers continue to turn to private exchanges as an economical way to provide healthcare to employees. Look for private exchanges’ enrollment to increase dramatically in 2014.

4. Employer Mandate. In 2013, the Obama administration delayed by one year the Employer Mandate in the ACA. The Employer Mandate requires that employers with more than 50 employees provide health insurance to their full-time employees or face a penalty. There have been reports of employers shifting some employees to part-time status, to avoid the looming insurance obligation. As that deadline, January 1, 2015, approaches, expect more media coverage of this issue.

5. HIPAA. In the last year we saw significant revisions to the requirements for both covered entity and business associate compliance with HIPAA. Additionally, the government has been promising greater auditing and enforcement of the HIPAA standards by providers and insurers. This year will bring more stories about HIPAA non-compliance and the resulting fines.

6. Price Transparency. Last March, Time Magazine ran an in-depth article regarding pricing for healthcare services in the US. A pundit recently espoused the position that paying for healthcare should not be like negotiating the price on an automobile purchase. As 2014 moves forward, look for more vocal discussion in the media and by the government on the issue of healthcare pricing. 

7. Rules, Rules, Rules. Expect that in the first quarter of 2014 there will be a bombardment of new rules and regulations as part of implementation of the ACA. Many pundits already predict that the first quarter will be stretched to the end of May 2014. As these rules are published, they will become discussion points in the media.

8. Electronic Medical Records. 2014 is the deadline for all Medicare participating providers to have begun electronic medical records in offices, medical centers, etc. The last time period that a provider may report meaningful use to the federal government and not face a penalty starting in 2015 is the period July – September 2014. During this calendar year, there will be significant reporting on the effect that EMR implementation has had on the healthcare industry. Has the implementation of EMR delivered increased efficiencies and better quality of care, or is it too early to tell? Either way, this will likely be a headline in 2014.

9. Consolidation. Providers will continue to find safety in numbers in the changing landscape of healthcare delivery, and insurers will continue to limit the number of providers in their networks, creating new competition in the healthcare industry. The pattern of mergers and market limitation by insurers and providers will continue.

10. Fraud and Abuse Investigations. As the government continues to ramp up its more stringent oversight of its healthcare programs, expect a continuation of the investigations that make providers and insurers nervous. In addition to a stronger focus by the government, generally, the ACA contains significant requirements for new government investigation and oversight. Providers and insurers should review their compliance programs in 2014 and redouble compliance efforts already implemented.

As eventful as the prior year was for healthcare, 2014 will bring new and greater challenges for us all. We at Akerman stand ready to assist you as the year unfolds.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Akerman LLP - Health Law Rx | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Akerman LLP - Health Law Rx

Akerman LLP - Health Law Rx on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.