April 14th, 2010

April 14: Health Care Reform News

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National Healthcare Quality Report

AHRQ

April 14, 2010

 Published by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the report calls the country's healthcare quality "suboptimal" and says "the gap between the best possible care and that which is routinely delivered remains substantial" across the country.

 

Insurance

 

Thousands of Anthem Blue Cross Customers Await Decision on Rate Hikes

The Los Angeles Times
April 14, 2010

 

Thousands of worried Californians who buy individual insurance policies from Anthem Blue Cross will soon learn whether they face rate increases of up to 39% that were put on hold for two months amid a public outcry that helped revive national healthcare legislation.

 

Insurance Concerns May Delay Heart Attack Patients From Seeking Treatment

The Los Angeles Times

April 14, 2010

 

A study links the insurance status of people suffering heart attack symptoms to the time they take to get to the hospital. Both the uninsured and underinsured tend to delay going.

 

Senate Dems Say Jobless Benefits Bill on Track

AP/Google News

April 14, 2010

 

Democrats are trying to get Republicans to extend jobless benefits -- including a program to subsidize health insurance coverage for laid-off workers -- through Memorial Day

 

Transparency/Safety

 

Study: 1 in 4 Cardiologists Order Tests Due to Malpractice Fears
USA Today
April 13, 2010

 

A substantial number of U.S. cardiologists — about one in four — say they order medical tests that might not be needed out of fear of getting sued, according to a new study.

 

Obama Spurs Harvard Hiring For Comparative Effectiveness Research

Business Week
April 14, 2010

In response to the recent wave of interest in so-called "comparative effectiveness research," Harvard Medical School has hired five new faculty members to study prescription drugs after receiving new grants since July that were nearly three times the normal annual budget for such research.

Wellness/Chronic Care

 

An Insurer’s New Approach to Diabetes

The New York Times
April 14, 2010

 

A clinically tested program, in which losing 5 percent of body weight cut the risk of Type 2 diabetes by more than half, will be expanded to Y.M.C.A.’s in seven cities.

 

State news

 

FL: Health Care Reform Critic Running for Governor

CNN

April 14, 2010

A wealthy former hospital executive who became one of the most visible opponents of President Obama's health care reform effort is launching an upstart bid for governor in Florida. Rick Scott, the founder of Conservatives for Patients' Rights, will challenge Attorney General Bill McCollum for the Republican nomination as a "conservative outsider."

FL: Medicaid Proposals Misguided
St. Petersburg Times
April 14, 2010

The paper’s editors write that “the Legislature's rush to overhaul Medicaid in the waning weeks of this session is misguided at best and dangerous at worst.”

FL: Senate Panel Rejects Gov. Charlie Crist's Healthcare Chief

The Miami Herald
April 14, 2010

Senate panel Tuesday unexpectedly rejected Gov. Charlie Crist's hand-picked chief to oversee the state's $19 billion Medicaid program.

Ga. to Skip Premium Help Under New Health Law

The Washington Post
April 12, 2010

Georgia's insurance commissioner will keep the state out of the first phase of a new federal health care law that would offer subsidized premiums to people with health problems.

Illinois Hospitals Open a Window on Their Performance

The Chicago Tribune
April 14, 2010

The Illinois Hospital Association on Wednesday will debut an information-packed Web site, the first of its kind in the U.S., with extensive data about quality of care, patients' satisfaction and the type and volume of services hospitals provide.

 

Seven California Hospitals Fined Over Patient Care

The Los Angeles Times
April 14, 2010

 

California public health officials have imposed the first $100,000 fine under a new escalating system of penalties for hospitals that put patients at risk of death or serious injury.

MA: Partners Offers $40m to Ease Rates

The Boston Globe
April 14, 2010

 

Partners HealthCare, whose Boston teaching hospitals have been blamed for helping to drive up medical spending, is offering $40 million toward reducing double-digit health insurance rate increases for small businesses, part of a broader package that will be unveiled today by Senate President Therese Murray.

 

Medicare/Medicaid

Down to the Wire Again With Medicare Payment Cuts for Doctors
The Wall Street Journal
April 13, 2010

Congress is getting ready for another episode of its recurring doctor drama: Block the Medicare Payment Cuts If You Can!

New York Medicaid Fraud Collections, Convictions Hit Record High
Fierce HealthCare
April 14, 2010

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's Medicaid fraud office recovered a record $283 million and obtained 148 criminal convictions in 2009, according to a report released yesterday.

Implementing the Legislation

 

Doctor Shortage? 28 States May Expand Nurses' Role

The Washington Post
April 14, 2010

 

A nurse may soon be your doctor. With a looming shortage of primary care doctors, 28 states are considering expanding the authority of nurse practitioners. Click here for the list of states considering expansion.

 

Health Information Technology

 

Can Technology Cure Healthcare?

The Wall Street Journal

April 13, 2010

 

How hospitals can make sure digital records live up to their promise. Because so far, they haven't.

 

Miscellaneous

 

Docs Still Say Malpractice Fears Often Add to Health-Care Costs

The Wall Street Journal
April 14, 2010

 

A study now reinforces the long-held belief of many doctors that malpractice — or fear of same — is really pretty important on the cost front after all.

 

CVS to Double In-Store Clinics After Health-Care Law

Business Week
April 13, 2010

 

CVS Caremark Corp. will double the number of in-store medical clinics it operates within five years because of new healthcare legislation and the aging U.S. population.

 

The Power of Compassion

The Wall Street Journal – editorial
April 13, 2010

 

A doctor's bedside manner may be the simplest innovation—and one of the hardest to find.

Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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