September 10th, 2009

September 8: Health Care Reform News

By Kelley Luckstein

Cleveland Clinic gets health care correct

When President Obama visited the Cleveland Clinic in July, he lauded its innovative approach to low-cost, high-quality health care: "They've set up a system where patient care is the No. 1 concern, not bureaucracy," he said. "Those are changes that I think the American people want to see."

 

To understand the Cleveland story, I spoke last week to Cosgrove. He explained some basic ideas he hopes Obama will embrace this week. His proposals are similar to those of Dr. Denis Cortese, the chief executive of the Mayo Clinic, whose thoughts I outlined in a recent column.

 

Washington Post by David Ignatius, 09/06/09

 

Data Fuel Regional Fight on Medicare Spending

For years, health policy experts have said health care spending is much higher in New York City and Boston because doctors and hospitals there provide more services, practicing medicine in a more intensive way.

 

But new government data show that Medicare costs per patient in those cities are slightly below the national average when the numbers are adjusted for the cost of living and other factors.

 

Dr. Denis A. Cortese, president of the Mayo Clinic, based in Rochester, Minn., said Medicare wasted billions of dollars a year because it “pays the most to health care providers and geographic areas that provide the lowest-quality care at the highest costs.”

 

New York Times, by Robert Pear, 09/07/09

 

Obama must seize his chance to give health care debate clear direction-editorial

President Barack Obama plans to wade back into the nation's health care debate this week, possibly during a Labor Day speech in Cincinnati and certainly during a televised address to Congress Wednesday evening. Most reports suggest that he hopes to bring some clarity to a discussion that has lost focus amid a flurry of competing congressional bills, wild talk of death panels and other distortions by his opponents and, quite frankly, Obama's failure to enunciate clearly what he wants in any reform.

 

They also need to look at integrated delivery systems -- like those at the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic -- that have demonstrated the potential to save money and improve care.

 

Plain Dealer by The editors, 08/06/09

 

Who Will Care for the Newly Insured?

2013. That’s the year everyone would have to have health insurance under the House version of the health care bill. It may seem like the far distant future — especially if you don’t have insurance now — but many experts say it’s not nearly enough time to beef up the supply of physicians necessary to care for the tens of millions suddenly entering the health care system.

 

Compare that to integrated health systems like Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic or Geisinger Health System in rural Pennsylvania, where most of the doctors work in staff positions, supported by systemwide electronic medical records that lead to better communication among providers and improved coordination of patient care.

 

New York Times, by Michelle Andrews, 09/05/09

 

Top stories

 

Data Fuel Regional Fight on Medicare Spending

The New York Times
Sept. 8, 2009

 

Efforts to reward providers of higher-quality, lower-cost care prompted a duel between urban and rural Democrats over Medicare payments, a major new hurdle for health overhaul.

 

Obama Readies Reform Specifics

The Washington Post

Sept. 7, 2009

 

Looking to rescue his signature domestic policy initiative with a prime-time address to Congress on Wednesday, President Obama for the first time is poised to "draw some lines in the sand" over the size and shape of legislation to remake the nation's health-care system, top advisers said Sunday.

 

Health Care Dominates as Congress Returns

AP

Sept. 8, 2009

 

Debate over a national health care overhaul dominates the agenda as Congress returns from a summer break.

 

Related:
Its Recess Over, Congress Has Hands Full, USA Today

Deeply Divided House Democrats Return to Work -- and the Same Set of Problems, The Washington Post

 

New Fee on Health Insurance Companies Is Proposed to Help Expand Coverage
The New York Times
Sept. 8, 2009

 

A proposal from Senator Max Baucus would impose new fees on some sectors of the health care industry and offer younger people a low-cost option.

 

Additional coverage:

Time Running Out For Bipartisan Health Compromise, The Washington Post
Max Baucus Sends Health Bill Proposal, Politico

 

Insurance

 

A Market 'Fundamentally Changed': How Health Proposals Could Affect Americans Who Buy Their Own Insurance

Kaiser Health News

Sept. 8, 2009

 

Who will benefit - and who won't - if Congress overhauls America's health-care system?

 

When Your Insurer Says You're No Longer Covered

The Washington Post

Sept. 8, 2009

 

Rescission has become central to the healthcare debate as President Obama tries to tap into dissatisfaction with the insurance industry to build support for reform efforts.  Insurance company officials say they need to be able to cancel policies to control fraud, which by some estimates reaches $100 billion annually.

 

Transparency/Safety

 

Better Care, Pay Less: Some Communities Find a Way

AP/The Washington Post

Sept. 8, 2009

 

Around the country are hospitals and health systems that President Barack Obama calls "islands of excellence," places quietly trying innovative changes to improve patient care at below-average prices.

 

Improving Quality and Value in the U.S. Health Care System

The Brookings Institution

August 2009

 

A review of the evidence on a range of payment and delivery system reforms designed to improve quality and value.

 

State news

 

AZ: 10,000 Working Parents to Lose Health Insurance

The Arizona Republic
Sept. 8, 2009

Nearly 10,000 working parents will lose their health insurance this month in the wake of state budget cuts, leaving some families with nowhere to turn as they seek affordable coverage.

SCHIP

 

SCHIP's Fate May Hang in Balance

Politico
Sept. 8, 2009

President Barack Obama rarely passes up the chance to assure his audiences that if they like their insurance, they will be able to keep it under a reformed health care system. But there is one group that could become an asterisk to his pledge: lower-income children.

Reform efforts

 

President Says His Critics Lack Health-Care Answer

The Washington Post
Sept. 8, 2009

 

President Obama attempted to reinvigorate support for his struggling health-care agenda on Monday by giving a stirring, campaign-style speech to thousands of union members celebrating Labor Day.

 

A Medical Revolution Via the Cleveland Clinic

The Washington Post

Sept. 6, 2009

 

When President Obama visited the Cleveland Clinic in July, he lauded its innovative approach to low-cost, high-quality health care: "They've set up a system where patient care is the No. 1 concern, not bureaucracy," he said. "Those are changes that I think the American people want to see."

 

Already, 23 Dems Have Said They Will Vote ‘No’ on Healthcare Reform

The Hill

Sept. 8, 2009

 

At least 23 House Democrats already have told constituents or hometown media that they oppose the massive healthcare overhaul touted by President Barack Obama.

 

Guest Column: Mayo Suggests Many Changes in Nation's Health Care System

The Florida Times-Union
Sept. 8, 2009

 

A question-and-answer column, written by William Rupp, CEO of Mayo Clinic Jacksonville.

 

A Medical Mystery: Why Health Care Is So Expensive

NPR

Sept. 4, 2009

 

As lawmakers look for ways to trim costs and extend insurance coverage to more people, one of their greatest challenges has been pulling apart the many layers of expense.

10 Things I Hate About Health-Care Reform

The Washington Post

Sept. 6, 2009

 

Opinion piece by Arthur M. Feldman, a cardiologist and chair of the department of medicine at Jefferson Medical College. He is the author of "Pursuing Excellence in Healthcare: Preserving America's Academic Medical Centers."

 

The Pros and Cons of Reconciliation

Politico
Sept. 8, 2009

 

Is reconciliation really the silver bullet that some seem to think it is?

How Will Comprehensive Reform Improve Health Care for Americans? A Resource for Journalists from The Commonwealth Fund

The Commonwealth Fund
Sept. 8, 2009

 

A Commonwealth Fund supplement to the September/October 2009 issue of the Columbia Journalism Review provides an evidence-based context for understanding how both lack of coverage and spiraling health care costs directly affect American families and businesses, and how comprehensive health reform can address these problems.

 

Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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