January 6, 2010

January 6: Health Care Reform News

By Kelley Luckstein

Top stories


Health Bills Would Shift Medicare Money to Mayo and Other 'High-Value' Hospitals

The Washington Post

Jan. 6, 2010


As House and Senate lawmakers start to reconcile their health-care bills with an eye to final passage, a little-noticed provision is already prompting celebration from a small group of influential hospitals that stand to gain millions in Medicare dollars.


Democrats Holding Final Intraparty Talks on Health-Care Reform

The Washington Post

Jan. 6, 2010

Democratic leaders in Congress began a final round of health-care talks Tuesday, pledging to overcome their remaining differences, with the aim of sending a bill to President Obama before his State of the Union address in late January or early February.

Additional coverage:
Premiums Are Key Issue for Health Care Negotiators, AP/The Washington Post

House Democrats to Pursue Health Bill Changes, The New York Times

Democrats Circle the Wagons as Health Talks Restart, The Wall Street Journal


Obama Prods Congress to Pass Health Bill Quickly

AP/The Washington Post
Jan. 6, 2010


President Barack Obama is prodding House and Senate Democrats to get him a final health care bill as soon as possible, encouraging them to bypass the usual negotiations between the two chambers in the interest of speed.




NQF Endorses Measures to Incrementally Advance Use of Electronic Data for Quality Improvement

Fierce HealthCare

Jan. 5, 2010


As an incremental step toward wider use of electronic data platforms to measure, report, and improve quality, the National Quality Forum (NQF) has endorsed 70 measures that combine data from two or more common electronic sources such as administrative claims, pharmacy and laboratory systems, and registries.


Wellness/Chronic Care


Fight Against Fat Goes High-Tech With New Devices

The Washington Post
Jan. 6, 2010


To get an inside look at eating and exercise habits, scientists are developing wearable wireless sensors to monitor overweight and obese people as they go about their daily lives.


State news


Illinois Gov. Signs Bill Allowing Some Residents to Get 2nd Opinion on Denied Medical Claims

The Chicago Tribune
Jan. 6, 2010


More than 3 million Illinois residents, particularly those who buy health insurance on their own or get it from a small employer, will have the right to get their denied medical claims reviewed by an independent health expert under legislation signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn.




Medicare and the Mayo Clinic

The Boston Globe
Jan. 6, 2010


In an op-ed, Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby wonders if President Obama will give some thought to Mayo’s recent decision to stop accepting Medicare payments at its primary care facility in Glendale, Ariz.


Reform efforts


Where's the Value in U.S. Health Care? A Picture Speaks


Jan. 5, 2010


A nice graphic from the National Geographic blog. The line chart was constructed from statistics gathered by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on health spending, utilization, and life expectancy. With information on health spending versus life expectancy, as well as number of visits to doctors.




Business Lobbying Groups Taking Different Tack in Washington

The Los Angeles Times
Jan. 6, 2010


The National Restaurant Assn. and others have moved toward better relations with Democrats--and are getting a seat at the decision-making table on healthcare reform and other issues.


Health Information Technology


Medical Breakthrough: VA, Kaiser to Share Records

The San Diego Union Tribune
Jan. 6, 2010


Kaiser Permanente and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs today will launch an electronic medical-data exchange program in San Diego that could become the seed for the much touted but equally elusive national health records system.


Current EMRs May Be More Helpful With Billing Than Care Coordination

HealthLeaders Media
Jan. 5, 2010


A gap appears to exist between policymakers' expectations of commercial electronic medical records in supporting care coordination and the way they are actually used by providers and clinicians in the healthcare environment, according to a new analysis by researchers at the Center for Studying Health System Change in Washington, DC.

Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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