KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

First Edition: Aug. 23, 2010

Today's headlines include news about developments related to the nation's medical privacy rules and the power struggle surrounding implementation regulations for a key section of the new health law.

Health law Changes Rules For Docs With In-House Imaging Machines
Kaiser Health News staff writer Phil Galewitz, working in collaboration with USA Today, writes: "For years, John Finkenberg, an orthopedic surgeon in San Diego, sent patients who needed MRIs to outside imaging centers. But last year, he and his five partners bought their own million-dollar machine and now, he says, the doctors can work more closely with the technicians and give their patients immediate results" (Kaiser Health News). Read KHN's related content
Baltimore's New Health Commissioner: Technology Can Help Fix Public Health Challenges
Kaiser Health News staff writer Jessica Marcy talks with Dr. Oxiris Barbot, a pediatrician who will be Baltimore's health commissioner. Barbot has an up-close understanding of many of the city's public health challenges (Kaiser Health News).

KHN's Blog Watch: Debating A Democratic Strategy Shift
Kaiser Health News' Kate Steadman checks the cyber chatter: "An article describing Democrats' 'retreat' from the new health law attracted attention from health policy bloggers" (Kaiser Health News). 

Tighter Medical Privacy Rules Sought
The Obama administration is rewriting new rules on medical privacy after an outpouring of criticism from consumer groups and members of Congress who say the rules do not adequately protect the rights of patients (The New York Times).

Sebelius Faces Pickle On Health Regs
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius could find herself pitted between top Democrats on Capitol Hill and state insurance commissioners over a key section of the health care overhaul (Politico). 

Insurance Agents Fight For Survival In World After Health Reform
Insurance agents and brokers, afraid of being rendered irrelevant in the post-health reform world of simplified insurance shopping, are fighting for their very survival (The Hill's Healthwatch Blog).

Thousands Strain Fort Hood's Mental Health System
Nine months after an Army psychiatrist was charged with fatally shooting 13 soldiers and wounding 30, the nation's largest Army post can measure the toll of war in the more than 10,000 mental health evaluations, referrals or therapy sessions held every month (USA Today).

'Villages' Help Neighbors Age At Home
In Chevy Chase, Md., Betty and Jack O'Connor are part of a growing number of people banding together to help each other grow old at home (NPR). Part one in a four part series.

Legal Pot Advocates Confident In Calif.
The nerve center for this year's highly publicized movement to legalize marijuana is in a neighborhood known as Oaksterdam, where medical marijuana dispensaries - and doctors who sign permission slips to patronize them - have replaced the rundown, riot-ravaged buildings of this city's downtown (Politico).

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