First Edition: May 21, 2012
Today's headlines includes reports on a new poll that explores what it is like to be sick in America.
Kaiser Health News: Higher Prices Charged By Hospitals, Other Providers, Drove Health Spending During Downturn
Kaiser Health News staff writer Julie Appleby reports: "Higher prices charged by hospitals, outpatient centers and other providers drove up health care spending at double the rate of inflation during the economic downturn– even as patients consumed less medical care overall, according to a new study" (Appleby, 5/21). Read the story.
Kaiser Health News: Second Guessing Medicare's Star Rating System
Kaiser Health News staff writer Marilyn Werber Serafini, working in collaboration with The Washington Post, reports: "As the federal government pumps billions of bonus dollars into private Medicare health plans to encourage better care, the quality rating system used to award the bonuses is coming under increasing fire" (Werber Serafini, 5/20). Read the story.
Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Sebelius Tells Georgetown Students To Follow Their Own Moral Compass
Now on Kaiser Health News' blog, Christian Torres reports: "About 200 students earned degrees this year from Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute, but most of the attention at Friday's graduation ceremony was focused on one person: Kathleen Sebelius. The Health and Human Services Secretary gave commencement remarks – with only one major interruption – to a largely supportive audience" (5/28). Check out what else is on the blog.
Kaiser Health News also tracked weekend health policy headlines, including reports about how health issues are playing on the presidential campaign trail (5/20) and details of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ appearance at Georgetown University (5/19).
NPR's Shots Blog: Poll: What It's Like to Be Sick In America
In the lull between the Supreme Court arguments over the federal health overhaul law and the decision expected in June, we thought we'd ask Americans who actually use the health system quite a bit how they view the quality of care and its cost (Knox and Neel, 5/21).
NPR: Stories Of Being Sick Inside The U.S. Health Care System
To get a feeling for what being sick in America is really like, and to help us understand the findings of our poll with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, NPR did a call-out on Facebook. We asked people to share their experiences of the health care system, and within 24 hours, we were flooded with close to 1,000 responses (Knox and Neighmond, 5/21).
The Washington Post: Data Trove May Shed Light On Health-Care Uncertainties
How much do hospitals and doctors actually charge insurers for their services? How much and which of those services are privately-insured patients using? And, most significantly, what drives changes in health-care use, costs, and total spending? (Aizenman, 5/21).
Politico: Study: Higher Prices For Care May Be Driving Health-Care Costs
A new study could pose a challenge to the basic premise of President Barack Obama's approach to controlling health costs — that spending will come down if doctors don’t give patients as much unnecessary medical care (Feder, 5/21).
The Associated Press/Washington Post: Republicans Romney, Sen. Brown Play Down Connections As They Face Different Election Fights
The distance between the candidates is more than strategic. Romney and Brown have adopted competing views on several big issues, from a new nuclear weapons treaty with Russia to the fate of the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion. Romney has said Roe v. Wade should be reversed. Brown says a woman should have the right to an abortion, although he opposes federal money for the procedure. Brown voted for the new START treaty with Russia, saying it was important for national security. Romney said the treaty was Obama's "worst foreign policy mistake" (5/21).
NPR: A Dire Sign Of The Obesity Epidemic: Teen Diabetes Soaring, Study Finds
Karlton Hill was only 12 years old when when he found out he had diabetes. Even though he was only in seventh grade, Karlton knew what diabetes was; he had watched the disease destroy his great-grandmother's life (Stein, 5/21).
The Washington Post: 'Radical' Bill Seeks To Reduce Cost Of AIDS Drugs By Awarding Prizes Instead Of Patents
Prizes, not patents. That could be the slogan for a radical idea that leading economists say would lower the price of new drugs for treating HIV/AIDS (Vastag, 5/19).
Los Angeles Times: Backers Of Health Insurance Rate Regulation Edge Closer To Ballot
Supporters of a proposed ballot measure seeking tighter regulation of health insurance rates in California turned in 800,000 petition signatures, confident that they will qualify for the Nov. 6 election (Terhune, 5/19).
The New York Times: Down To One Hospital, Rockaway Braces For Summer Crowds
Summer is coming to the Rockaway Peninsula, the thin strip of land lapped on either side by Jamaica Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. And with the warmth will come the usual hordes who play and bask on its beaches, and, inevitably, suffer heatstroke, volleyball sprains, beach glass lacerations and near-drownings — the sorts of seaside scrapes that send people to the emergency room every season (Nir, 5/20).
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