April 13: Health Care Reform News

Posted on April 13th, 2010 by

Jeff Korsmo, Executive Director at the Mayo Clinic Policy Research Center

It was set to be Barack Obama's signature legislation... a commitment to provide health insurance to over 30 million Americans. Does the bill, that was finally adopted by Congress really live up to these expectations ? To answer this question, Raphael Kahane spoke to Jeff Korsmo, Executive Director at the Mayo Clinic Policy Research Center.

 

France 24, 4/2010

 

 

The Health Care Budget's Philosopher-King

Douglas Elmendorf, the bespectacled economist who runs the Congressional Budget Office, might seem more like an actuary than a crowd-rouser. His reports typically traffic in dollars and cents analysis, estimating the costs of legislation…

 

Another speaker has helped answer Elmendorf's question. "There’s never been a Medicare pilot program in 30 years that has successfully scaled up," said Denis Cortese, recently retired head of the Mayo Clinic.

 

Forbes, by David Whelan, 4/2010

 

 

Coalition aims to slow rise in health care costs

The Healthcare Quality Coalition didn't run television ads, issue a weekly barrage of news releases or hold regular news conferences. Its members didn't appear on cable television news shows. It has no staff or dues.

 

The coalition consists of more than 40 health care systems, clinics and organizations. More than a fourth of them are from Wisconsin. Members include many of the country's most respected health care systems, such as Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic.

 

The genesis of the coalition came from the late Joan Curran of Gundersen Lutheran, Brent Miller of Marshfield Clinic and Bruce Kelly of Mayo Clinic.

 

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, by Guy Boulton, 4/2010

 

Additional health care reform mentions: Colorado Springs Gazette

 

 

Top stories

 

Healthcare Overhaul Won't Stop Premium Increases

The Los Angeles Times
April 13, 2010

 

The new law doesn't prevent rate hikes such as Anthem Blue Cross' double-digit increase last year. 'It is a very big loophole,' says Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who is pushing regulatory legislation.

 

John Boehner: Repeal Number One Priority

Politico

April 13, 2010

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Monday that repealing the health care law is his “No. 1 priority” as Congress returns from a two-week spring recess.

Andrew Stern, Head of S.E.I.U., Plans to Step Down

The New York Times

April 13, 2010

 

Andy Stern, president of the politically potent Service Employees International Union, has told colleagues he plans to step down, two members of his union’s board said Monday. Related: Officials Say SEIU President is Stepping Down From Post, The Washington Post

 

Insurance

 

COBRA Health Insurance Subsidies Waiting For Senate Action

Kaiser Health News
April 13, 2010

People recently laid off are waiting -- once again -- to hear if they will be eligible to get subsidies to stay on their employer's health insurance. The subsidies are part of an extension of jobless benefits that the Senate is considering. Four Republicans voted with 56 Democrats Monday to take up the bill later this week.

 

Transparency/Safety

 

Study Sees a Slant in Articles on Drug

The New York Times

April 12, 2010

 

A new analysis has found that experts who were paid by Avandia’s manufacturer have been significantly more likely than others to draw positive conclusions about the drug’s safety and efficacy.

 

More Treatment Doesn't Always Mean Better Health

USA Today
April 12, 2010

 

Doctors have long been rewarded for providing more care, though more isn't always better. Three recent studies show that a doctor's instincts are no match for hard science.

 

Data on Fees to Doctors Is Called Hard to Parse

The New York Times

April 13, 2010

 

Pfizer recently became the latest big drug maker to start disclosing payments to doctors who act as consultants or speakers. But many followers of the pharmaceutical industry are still finding it far too difficult to follow the money.

 

Dennis Quaid Takes Aim at Health Care Mistakes

USA Today

April 13, 2010

 

After nearly losing twin newborns to a medical mistake -- adult doses of blood thinners were given to the infants -- actor Dennis Quaid has taken up the cause of shedding light on the often invisible issues surrounding patient safety.

 

HHS: "Very Little Progress" In Eliminating Hospital-Acquired Infections

Minneapolis Star-Tribune

April 13, 2010

 

The Health and Human Services department's 2009 quality report, released Tuesday, finds "very little progress" on eliminating health care infections.

 

Wellness/Chronic Care

 

Could Health Overhaul Incentives Hurt Some?

The New York Times
April 13, 2010

 

The new health care law promises to extend coverage to millions of Americans and to cut costs by cultivating healthy habits and preventive care. But could its emphasis on wellness undermine one of its central achievements: putting an end to the practice of charging sick people more for health insurance?

 

State news

 

Healthcare Reform 'Baton' Passes to States

Reuters/The Washington Post

April 13, 2010

 

Now that the U.S. healthcare reform plan is law, the federal government is turning to states to institute key components -- some of which have never existed before -- and do so in a tight timeframe.

 

States Fret Over Health Insurance Scams

USA Today
April 13, 2010

 

Bogus health plans that advertise comprehensive coverage at bargain prices are on the rise, luring desperate consumers to pay for policies that won't cover their medical bills, state insurance commissioners say.

 

FL: Medicaid Managed-Care Moves Ahead

Sunshine State News

April 13, 2010

Two Medicaid reform bills cleared a key legislative hurdle Monday, and a new research study gave them another push forward. Building on pilot programs already under way in five Florida counties, the new bills would expand managed-care initiatives to Miami-Dade County next year and implement a statewide program over five years.

FL: Medicaid Overhaul: What's Going On?

Health News Florida

April 13, 2010

 

In a surprising turnaround from last week, a top Senate health chairman Monday called off two meetings that had been scheduled to scrutinize a House proposal for overhauling the Medicaid system.

 

MA: Judge Blocks Insurers on Rates

The Boston Globe

April 13, 2010

 

A Suffolk Superior Court judge yesterday denied a request that would have let six Massachusetts health insurers go forward with double-digit rate hikes for tens of thousands of small businesses and individuals, setting up a protracted battle that could become a test of government’s role in controlling health care costs.

 

Illinois Hospital Death Rates Published by State

The Chicago Tribune
April 13, 2010

 

Patients die of common medical conditions more often at some of the Chicago area's best-known hospitals than at other institutions with less sterling reputations, according to a new Illinois report.

 

Implementing the Legislation

 

Healthcare Law to Sock Middle Class With a $3.9 Billion Tax Increase in 2019  

The Hill
April 12, 2010

 

Taxpayers earning less than $200,000 a year will pay roughly $3.9 billion more in taxes — in 2019 alone — due to healthcare reform, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress's official scorekeeper. 

 

Medical Schools Can't Keep Up

The Wall Street Journal
April 12, 2010

 

Under the new federal healthcare law, experts warn there won't be enough doctors to treat the millions of people newly insured. At current graduation and training rates, the nation could face a shortage of as many as 150,000 doctors in the next 15 years.

 

Health Bill Provision On Long-Term Care Will Affect Baby Boomers

Kaiser Health News
April 13, 2010

 

An interview with National Council on Aging President and CEO Jim Firman about a specific part of the new health law -- one of the lesser-known provisions that may have one of the biggest and longest-lived impacts.

 

Baffled by Health Plan? So Are Some Lawmakers

The New York Times
April 12, 2010

 

In a new report, the Congressional Research Service says the law may have significant unintended consequences for the “personal health insurance coverage” of senators, representatives and their staff members.

Employers

 

Tending to Brooklyn Center School Workers On-Site, Online

Minneapolis Star-Tribune

April 13, 2010

 

The Brooklyn Center district hopes to cut staff health-care costs by bringing a doctor and high-tech tools to school.

 

Health Information Technology

 

Consumers and Health Information Technology: A National Survey

California HealthCare Foundation
April 13, 2010

 

Americans who have access to their health information through personal health records (PHRs) report that they know more about their health, ask more questions, and take better care of themselves than when their medical information was less accessible to them in paper records. These findings are contained in a new national survey of consumer attitudes toward using online tools to manage their health, released today by the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF).

 

Breaking Down the Barriers

The Wall Street Journal

April 13, 2010

 

Three leading health-care providers in Colorado's Front Range region recently teamed up in an electronic health-record exchange program that will allow them to share data on more than a million Colorado residents.

 

Miscellaneous

 

Competitive Care

The Wall Street Journal
April 13, 2010

 

As the U.S. debates the proper roles for the public and private sectors in health care, Italy's Lombardy region suggests a way that encouraging competition between the two can improve health care overall. For the past 10 years, public and private hospitals in Lombardy have competed directly for patients, and in doing so have created what is considered by many to be one of Europe's most efficient health-care systems.

 

Avatar II: The Hospital

The Wall Street Journal
April 13, 2010

 

Health-care facilities are discovering that practicing in the virtual world can have major benefits in real life

Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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