State News: N.Y. Insurers To Update Provider Directories
News outlets cover a variety of state health policy stories.
The Associated Press/Wall Street Journal: NY Insurers Agree To Update Provider Directories
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says his office has reached settlements with eight health insurance companies that require them to ensure the accuracy of provider directories on their websites. The attorney general's office says the companies will remove names of doctors and other providers who no longer participate and correct listing errors for others (1/19).
The New York Times/Chicago News Cooperative: The Pulse: Low Health Revenues Afflict County Budget
Cook County’s revenues fell $166.3 million (7.1 percent) short of expectations in the fiscal year that ended Nov. 30, with nearly all of the shortfall attributed to lower-than-expected patient fees from the county's health system, the county's interim comptroller said Wednesday (Lu, 1/19).
The New York Times/The Bay Citizen: When The Nursing Home Resident In The Next Room Is A Convicted Criminal
Today Mr. Holcomb lives in the Idylwood Care Center, a private 172-bed nursing home in a leafy suburban neighborhood in Sunnyvale, near a park and a private school. He and three other medical parolees from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation — murderers, drug dealers and burglars, ranging in age from 40s to 70s — are watched by medical staff instead of by prison guards. The four are among the first 29 prisoners to be granted medical parole under a 2010 California law intended to save the state tens of millions of dollars in medical and guarding costs for permanently, medically incapacitated prisoners (Mieszkowski, 1/19).
The Washington Post: Washington Adventist Denied Same-Sex Visitation; Hospital Apologizes
A Takoma Park woman has filed complaints with federal health authorities and the main hospital accreditation commission after staff at Washington Adventist Hospital denied her permission to visit her same-sex partner, who was taken there after suffering a seizure. Such a denial would violate federal hospital visitation regulations and Maryland law (Sun, 1/19).
California Healthline: Financial Flexibility Could Be Key To Helping Seniors
About two-thirds of the [San Mateo County] Senior Care Center's patients are eligible for benefits under Medicare and Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program. That's precisely the population California health care officials are targeting with a demonstration pilot effort to begin the transition of about 1.1 million dual-eligible Californians into managed care (Gorn, 1/19).
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Minnesota Sues Consulting Firm Over Lost Health Data
The consulting firm that lost a laptop computer with medical data on 23,500 Minnesotans last summer has been sued by Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson, who says it violated health privacy laws and state consumer protections. Swanson said Accretive Health Inc., hired by two Twin Cities hospitals, was compiling individual medical checklists that included a "frailty'' evaluation, a "complexity" score of patients' physical condition and a prediction of whether a person would be hospitalized (Kennedy, 1/19).
WBUR's CommonHealth blog: Mass. 'Culture Of Coverage' Is Key To Near-Universal Children's Health Insurance
It's not the sexiest label for a state to have, clearly, but Massachusetts' 'culture of coverage,' is one of the main reasons that 99.5% of children here have health insurance (as of 2010), the highest rate in the nation ... One interesting point is that even though Massachusetts ranks Number One in children's health coverage, it hasn't exploited some of the simplest, most obvious strategies to get there (Zimmerman, 1/19).
WBUR's CommonHealth blog: Behind The News That Partners And Tufts 'Ripped Up' Their Old Contract
It is very unusual, both here and across the country, for a hospital to voluntarily say give me less money than you were planning to. And it demonstrates the pressure that Partners, in particular, but other hospitals, too, are under from Beacon Hill and from the federal government to cut health care spending. Hospitals are worried that if they don’t cut costs themselves, the state will do it for them (Bebinger, 1/19).
Minnesota Public Radio: Blue Cross And Blue Shield Names New Chief
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota has named former UnitedHealth Group executive Kenneth Burdick to be its new president and CEO. ... Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the largest commercial health insurer in Minnesota (Stawicki, 1/19).