August 10th, 2009

August 10: Health Care Reform News

By Kelley Luckstein

Democrats Weigh the Calculus of Public Insurance

As Congress breaks for its August recess, the debate back home will center on Democratic proposals to create a government-run insurance option, which insurers and Republicans are casting as a step toward socialized medicine…Joining the resistance against the public option have been providers held up as models by Obama, such as the Mayo Clinic, which argues that rates linked to Medicare would be too low and fail to reward cost-effective care…But Mayo chief executive Denis Cortese said the government should try such payment reforms with Medicare first…"I don't see why they have to create a new public plan to start paying for value," he said.  

 

Washington Post by Alec MacGillis, 8/7/09

 

Additional Mayo Clinic health care reform coverage:

Health Beat Blog

Inside NoVA

North County Times

Morning Call

Culpeper Star Exponent

 

Additional Health Care Reform News

 

Top stories

 

Poll: Americans Divided on Health Care Overhaul

USA Today
Aug. 10, 2009

 

As supporters and opponents of overhauling the healthcare system try to shape public opinion, public opinion on the issue is complex. Analysis of a recent USA Today/Gallup Poll finds views on what priority to emphasize, how fast to act and what's important to protect vary and sometimes conflict depending on a person's age and region of the country, whether he or she has insurance, and is healthy or ailing.

 

Tumultuous Environment Makes a Health Care Compromise More Unlikely

The New York Times
Aug. 9, 2009

 

Spontaneous or contrived, the shouting, shoving and other shenanigans at lawmakers’ town-hall-style meetings point to one probable outcome: the demise of bipartisan health care negotiations.

 

Related coverage:
Emerging Health-Care Bill Facing Partisan Backlash, The Washington Post

In Health Fight, Government and Insurers Are Cast as Villains, The Wall Street Journal

 

Durbin: Health Bill 'Doesn't Have to Be Perfect'

The Hill
Aug. 9, 2009

 

Two highly influential senators suggested on Sunday that key provisions in their chamber’s health insurance reform legislation may be in jeopardy after they return from recess.

 

Transparency/Safety

 

Dead by Mistake: Within Health Care Hides Massive, Avoidable Death Toll

Hearst/Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Aug. 9, 2009

 

Experts estimate that a staggering 98,000 people die from preventable medical errors each year. In addition, a federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study concluded that 99,000 patients a year succumb to hospital-acquired infections. Almost all of those deaths, experts say, also are preventable.

 

Quality Focus Reduces Deaths in US Hospitals

Reuters
Aug. 10, 2009

 

Hospital systems that focus on quality care lower death rates and have healthier patients, according to an analysis released on Monday.

 

Safety Net Hospitals Improved Quality with Pay-for-Performance Incentives

HealthLeaders Media

Aug. 10, 2009

On quality measures, hospitals treating larger numbers of the poor did not perform as well as hospitals serving more affluent populations back in 2003. But by 2006 that changed.

Wellness/Chronic Care

 

Expanding Preventive Care May Add to Costs, CBO Says

The Washington Post

Aug. 8, 2009

 

Expanding preventive medical services may well improve public health, but it is highly unlikely to save the government money, the Congressional Budget Office representatives said in a letter to leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

 

Reform efforts

 

A Primer on the Details of Health Care Reform

The New York Times
Aug. 9, 2009

 

A guide to the main fight points in the health care debate.

 

Seniors Remain Wary of Health-Care Reform

The Washington Post
Aug. 9, 2009

 

Senior citizens are emerging as a formidable obstacle to President Obama's ambitious health-care reform plans.

 

Tax on High-End Health Plans Threatens Wider Group
The Wall Street Journal

Aug. 10, 2009

A proposal to tax generous health plans could ensnare a broader swath of employers and workers whose benefits aren't necessarily gold-plated.

Health Insurance Reform Reality Check

The White House
Aug. 10, 2009

 

New site from the White House features videos of administration officials and a list of FAQ.

 

Health Information Technology

 

Five Lessons From Seattle On Adopting Electronic Medical Records

Kaiser Health News
Aug. 10, 2009

 

In its most recent installment in an occasional series on health information technology, Kaiser Health News reports from Seattle about lessons learned.

 

Doctor Is In – Online

The Wall Street Journal
Aug. 9, 2009

More doctors are using the Web to treat patients for minor ailments as a growing number of health insurers cover online medical consultations.

Tags: Health Policy, Health Policy

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