April 1, 2010

April 1: Health Care Reform News


Top stories


Obama to Promote Health Bill's Business Benefits

AP/Yahoo News
April 1, 2010


President Barack Obama is promoting his health overhaul's benefits for small businesses as he tries to rally public support behind the new law scorned by Republicans and protesters.




Pfizer Gives Details on Payments to Doctors

The New York Times

April 1, 2010


Pfizer, the world’s largest drug maker, said Wednesday that it paid about $20 million to 4,500 doctors and other medical professionals for consulting and speaking on its behalf in the last six months of 2009, its first public accounting of payments to the people who decide which drugs to recommend.


University of Miami Database to Reveal Payments to Doctors

Miami Herald

April 1, 2010


The University of Miami medical school has become one of the first in the country to offer an online, searchable database revealing its doctors' relationships with outside businesses.


Health Reform Can Cut Errors

The Albany Times Union

April 1, 2010


The health reform law attacks the problem of medical errors on two fronts: It establishes new payment incentives for safer care, and makes some mistakes public.

Patient-Safety Incidents Accounted for Nearly 100,000 Deaths, $9 Billion

Fierce Healthcare

March 31, 2010

One out of every 10 Medicare patients who experienced a patient-safety incident between 2006 and 2008 died as a result, according to a new HealthGrades report. The errors cost taxpayers $8.9 billion, the healthcare-rating organization found.

Wellness/Chronic Care


Study: Small Soda Taxes Don't Dent Obesity

AP/The Washington Post

April 1, 2010


Small taxes on soda do little to reduce soft drink consumption or prevent childhood obesity, but larger levies probably would, according to new research.


1 in 4 Elderly Need Care Decisions Made for Them

AP/Google News
April 1, 2010


A significant number of the elderly — more than one in four — will eventually need someone to make end-of-life decisions about their medical care, a new study suggests.

The results illustrate the value of people making their wishes known in a living will and designating someone to make treatment decisions for them, the researchers said.

State news


States Hope New Funding From Health Law Will Bolster Unique Programs

Kaiser Health News

April 1, 2010

Starting today, states can choose to take the first steps toward the massive expansion of insurance coverage that is the health overhaul's chief goal. And for some states, that move could have the benefit of reviving funding for state-run programs that insure low-income adults.


FL: Jackson Health System Executives Report on Savings Plans

Miami Herald

April 1, 2010


Executives at Miami-based Jackson Health System talked Wednesday about ways to improve its billing and collection systems.


Florida Senate Pushes Medicaid Reform

The Miami Herald
April 1, 2010


The Florida Senate has passed a budget that would impose sweeping Medicaid reform.


FL: University Community Health, Adventist Health Explore Merger

The Tampa Bay Business Journal
March 31, 2010


Adventist Health System and University Community Health have signed a non-binding letter of intent to explore a possible merger of the two Florida-based systems.




CMS Tells Contractors to Delay Doc Payments for 10 Days Again

HealthLeaders Media

March 31, 2010


Left stranded by Congress taking a two-week holiday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for the second time this month has told contractors to delay reimbursements to physicians and other healthcare providers for 10 business days to temporarily avoid the 21.2% Medicare pay cuts that go into effect on April 1.


Seniors Wary of Health Overhaul Impact on Medicare

AP/Google News

April 1, 2010


While Democrats hail the sweeping legislation as the greatest expansion of the social safety net since Medicare, they also fear that seniors won't see it that way for this fall's elections.


Health Care Law


Democrats Squeezed By Health Care Lawsuit

April 1, 2010


They played almost no role in crafting or passing the new federal health care legislation, but Democratic attorneys general have suddenly emerged as prominent actors in the post-passage drama over the constitutionality of the landmark law.

Outreach Aims for Trouble-Free Health Care Shift

USA Today
April 1, 2010


Four years ago, a law intended to extend prescription drug coverage to millions of seniors temporarily had a reverse impact: hundreds of thousands with government coverage couldn't get medicines or were overcharged because of computer glitches and confusion. With the ink barely dry on this year's comprehensive health care law, the Obama administration and consumer and industry groups are readying education campaigns designed to stop history from repeating itself.


The New England Journal of Medicine

March 31, 2010


Recent NEJM articles related to health care reform include:


Implementation and the Legacy of Health Care Reform, Christopher C. Jennings

Malpractice Reform — Opportunities for Leadership by Health Care Institutions and Liability Insurers, Michelle M. Mello, J.D., Ph.D., and Thomas H. Gallagher, M.D.

Cost Consciousness in Patient Care — What Is Medical Education’s Responsibility?, Molly Cooke, M.D.

The Specter of Financial Armageddon — Health Care and Federal Debt in the United States, Michael E. Chernew, Ph.D., Katherine Baicker, Ph.D., and John Hsu, M.D., M.B.A., M.S.C.E.




Lockheed, Boeing, Others See Health Reform Charges

ABC News

March 31, 2010


Lockheed Martin Corp, Boeing Co, Goodrich Corp and Ingersoll-Rand Plc on Wednesday joined a growing list of companies that plan to book charges related to U.S. healthcare reform.


How the Health Care Law Affects Your Business

The New York Times – You’re the Boss blog
March 31, 2010


Answers to several questions from readers regarding the impact of new health care legislation on small businesses.


Toyota Leads Trend of Employers Bringing Healthcare Onsite

Fierce Healthcare
March 31, 2010

With healthcare reform placing greater onus on employers to provide insurance to their workers, a growing number of companies are bringing health and wellness services right to the workplace. Among recent businesses to do so, car manufacturing giant Toyota has invested $150,000 in a new 1,200-square-foot clinic residing just outside its Buffalo manufacturing plant.

Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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