State Roundup: Mass. Doctors Not Keen On New Payment Methods
News outlets report on a variety of state health policy options.
Boston Globe: Doctors: We Aren't Ready For Global Payments
A new survey from the Massachusetts Medical Society reveals interesting divisions among doctors over plans to hold down health care spending -- and perhaps some words of warning for lawmakers. More than half -- 58 percent -- of the 1,100 doctors who responded to the society's survey this year said they would not voluntarily agree to treat patients under so-called global payments (Kowalczyk, 9/28).
WBUR's CommonHealth blog: Survey Finds MA Doctors 'Hesitant' On Payment Reform, Particularly Specialists
For the past 10 years, a random selection of Massachusetts doctors have been surveyed on how they're feeling about certain aspects of their profession. This year, for the first time, they were asked about new payment models and health care delivery strategies. More than 1,070 practicing physicians responded, and here, according the 2011 Massachusetts Medical Society Annual Physician Workforce Survey, is what they said … Primary care physicians (61.4%) are more likely to participate in a voluntary global payment system than specialists (32.2%). ... Of all respondents, 49 percent said they were likely, and 51 percent said they were not likely to participate in a voluntary ACO (Zimmerman, 9/28).
California Healthline: Legislative Hearing Looks At Rural Health
The list of rural health issues is a long one, according to Steve Barrow of the California State Rural Health Association. But it can be summed up by one statistic, he said. "In the rural areas, we have 30% of the state's Medi-Cal patients, and we have 10% of the state's population," Barrow said. … That high concentration of Medi-Cal patients, Barrow said, translates into a lack of primary care physicians, specialists and other providers for all rural residents, and he said that's the driving concern in rural medicine (Gorn, 9/28).
(Arizona) Cronkite News: Arizona Education Organizations Hoping Lawsuit Will Block New Law
The Arizona School Boards Association and Arizona Education Association have sued to block a new law that provides publicly funded scholarships that allow children with disabilities to attend private schools (Ingram, 9/27).
Chicago Sun-Times: Preckwinkle, Hospital Board Still $35 Million Apart On Budget
The independent governing board of Cook County's health and hospital system gave first-round approval Wednesday to an $827.6 million spending plan for 2012 that isn't exactly getting the seal of approval from Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. That's because the health system is asking for $283 million in county taxpayer money, and Preckwinkle and the County Board hold those purse strings. But Preckwinkle has told the governing board she's only willing to consider, at most, a $248 million subsidy to help cover costs at the health system, which includes two hospitals and 16 clinics that serve the poor and uninsured (Donovan, 9/28).
Connecticut Mirror: Insurance Department Reduces Anthem's Rate Hike
The Connecticut Insurance Department has turned down a request by the state's largest health insurer to raise premiums by 12.9 percent for more than 25,000 individual-market policies, instead granting the company a 3.9 percent increase. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield had said that the higher increase was needed to account for rising claims costs, increased use of services by members, and state and federally mandated benefit changes (Levin Becker, 9/28).
Arizona Republic: Arizona Seeks Court's OK To Trim Health Benefits To State Workers
Arizona is asking that the full 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allow the state to go forward with a plan to eliminate health-care benefits for domestic partners of state workers. Gov. Jan Brewer filed the petition Tuesday, less than a month after a three-judge panel of the appellate court upheld a temporary injunction blocking a 2009 state law from taking effect (Rough, 9/29).
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Jail Health Care Change Denounced
Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr.'s planned privatization of medical care for jail inmates is inadequate and should be stopped, according to the court-appointed overseer of the jail. "Dramatically reduced staffing" under the privatization plan would likely result in "further deterioration" of services at the jail, said Ronald Shansky, who has served as court monitor for the jail under a settlement of a 1996 lawsuit over crowding and other problems at the jail (Schultze, 9/28).
Kaiser Health News: Capsules: N.C. Insurer Invests $15 M In Doc's Health IT
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina planned to announce Wednesday that the insurer will spend $15 million to arm as many as 750 physicians in the state with state-of-the-art electronic medical records (Weaver, 9/28).