U.S. News will add the Hospital of Tomorrow conference next month. U.S. News, which ceased its print edition in December 2010, began its lists in 1983 with its ranking of the nations best colleges. The magazine followed it up with lists of the best law schools, business schools and hospitals. The company has been able to stay alive while other print publications have fallen by the wayside. Newsweek, for example, once owned by The Washington Post Co., has been sold twice since 2010 and is now owned by IBT Media. This week, The Washington Post flagship completed the sale of its newspaper to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. And earlier this year, locally owned media empire Allbritton Communications sold its eight broadcasting properties for nearly $1 billion. Allbritton is investing heavily in digital media, including the political Web site Politico. U.S. News employs 150 journalists, staffers and producers at its Georgetown offices. There are an additional 40 or so employees on the business side. The company is believed to turn a profit of between $5 million to $10 million, according to sources.
‘Obamacare’ and Mental Health
Department of Health and Human Services. Much of this will stem from the requirement that small group and individual insurance plans offer coverage for mental health issues and substance abuse services. Most large insurance plans already include such coverage. In addition, “parity has been written into the law so mental health coverage ostensibly should be much easier to access,” said Susan Lindau, a licensed clinical social worker and associate adjunct professor at the University of Southern California School of Social Work in Los Angeles. Parity means that coverage for mental health issues, for instance, must be comparable to the coverage provided for general medical and surgical care. The Affordable Care Act expands the limited parity that was first introduced into law in 2008. However, Andrew Sperling, director of legislative advocacy for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), is somewhat circumspect about the upcoming changes. “We’re still waiting for the final regulations,” he said, noting that the government has promised that information by year’s end. “And, because of the Supreme Court decision, the Medicaid expansion is optional, and a large number of states are talking about not participating.” Because some benefits vary depending on where people live, he explained, people in some states won’t see the full benefits accorded by the law. However, changes that should help those seeking mental health care include: Coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. No longer can insurers deny coverage to someone with a diagnosis of depression or bipolar disorder, for instance, nor can they cancel coverage if an insured person gets such a diagnosis.