December 15: Health Care Reform News

Posted on December 15th, 2009 by Kelley Luckstein

Gawande and Berwick on Why Reform Legislation Cannot Lay Out a “Master Plan” – Part 2

Boston surgeon Atul Gawnde and Don Berwick, the president of the Institute for Health Care Improvement, understand that we can create a sustainable, universal U.S. healthcare system only if we reduce costs. And they recognize that by spending less, we can, in turn, lift the quality of care. As Berwick puts it: “The best health care is the very, very least healthcare that we need to gain the long and full and joyous lives that we really want.”…

 

“We have our models, to be sure,” Gawande writes. “There are places like the Mayo Clinic, in Minnesota; Intermountain Healthcare, in Utah; the Kaiser Permanente health-care system in California…

 

Health Beat Blog with Maggie Mahar, 12/15/09

 

Additional Mayo Clinic health care reform coverage: LA Times-Opinion, Medscape Today, National Journal, Post-Bulletin-Letter to the Editor

 

 

Top stories

 

Democrats Drop Plan to Expand Medicare

The Wall Street Journal
Dec. 15, 2009

 

Senate Democrats on Monday evening dropped a plan to expand Medicare, winning the support of moderates and the reluctant acquiescence of liberals, in another major step toward building enough support to pass a health-care overhaul.

 

Related:
Obama: 'Last Chance' for Health Reform, Politico

Senate Health Bill Unlikely to Include Medicare Buy-In, The Washington Post

Obama to Work to Solidify Support for Health Bill, AP/The Washington Post

Senate Democrats Likely to Drop Medicare Expansion, The New York Times

 

Transparency/Safety

 

Overuse of CT Scans Will Lead to New Cancer Deaths, a Study Shows

The Los Angeles Times
Dec. 15, 2009

 

Widespread overuse of CT scans and variations in radiation doses caused by different machines are subjecting patients to high radiation doses that will ultimately lead to tens of thousands of new cancer cases and deaths, researchers reported.

 

Patient Photos Help Reduce Hospital's Medication Errors

HealthLeaders Media

Dec. 15, 2009

At JPS Health Network in Fort Worth, TX, the Department of Psychiatry has reduced medication errors by using photographs of patients as a second identifier when distributing medications.

Wellness/Chronic Care

 

Chronic Care Has Major Impact

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Dec. 14, 2009

 

An op-ed by Paul Serini, executive vice president of XLHealth, which operates Special Needs Plans for Georgia Medicare beneficiaries with chronic conditions.

 

State news

 

MN: Indigent Care Crisis Looms

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Dec. 15, 2009

The Pawlenty administration confirmed Monday that moving thousands of people from a health program for the indigent to MinnesotaCare next year would result in funding problems for MinnesotaCare as early as 2011.

Medicare/Medicaid

 

US Senate Democrats: Health Bill To End 'Doughnut Hole'

Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal

Dec. 14, 2009

 

Leading Senate Democrats on Monday said that a House-Senate compromise on health-care legislation would close a "doughnut hole" in Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.

 

Reform efforts

 

Lieberman Gets Ex-Party to Shift on Health Plan

The New York Times
Dec. 14, 2009

 

Joe Lieberman could not be happier. He is right where he wants to be -- at the center of the political aisle, the center of the Democrats' efforts to win 60 votes for their sweeping health care legislation. For the moment, he is at the center of everything -- and he loves it.

 

Move Afoot to Reward Consumer Thrift

The Wall Street Journal

Dec. 15, 2009

The health-care bills moving through Congress contain little to reward consumers for lowering their health costs, an omission prompting some lawmakers to press for more such incentives.

Mayo CEO Joins ASU to Lead Health Care Policy Program
ASU News
Dec. 8, 2009

The link to this story was down yesterday; reposting for anyone who had trouble accessing.

Prescription drugs

 

Drugmakers Fight Plan to Allow Imports

The Washington Post

Dec. 15, 2009

 

Drugmakers intensified their lobbying push Monday against a popular proposal to allow Americans to buy cheaper drugs from other countries, one of several heated disputes that have bogged down negotiations over a health-care reform bill.

 

Senate Democrats Split On Prescription Drug Imports

NPR
Dec. 14, 2009

 

When it comes to revamping health care, Senate Democrats are having trouble holding their caucus together. They're split on the public option, on abortion — and now, on prescription drug imports.

Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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