State Roundup: Fla. To Limit HMO Choices For State Workers
News outlets report on a variety of state health policy issues.
Georgia Health News: Dialysis Deal For Immigrants Nears End
The agreement providing dialysis for immigrants who were former Grady patients expires at the end of August, and it's unclear what will happen next. ... Grady's financial situation has deteriorated recently, and its losses this year could reach $20 million or more. ... Meanwhile, the hospital continues to shoulder an enormous financial burden in caring for uninsured patients, including immigrants, providing more than $200 million in indigent care annually (Miller, 8/1).
News Service of Florida: State To Limit HMOs In State Employee Insurance Program
Florida is changing part of its state-employee health insurance program to offer only one HMO in each county. The state Department of Management Services, which oversees employee insurance, said changes in the program would save an estimated $400 million over two years. The changes also would require thousands of state employees to switch to different HMOs (8/2).
The Boston Globe: State Health Connector Adds Provider Search
People who buy their health insurance through the Massachusetts Health Connector now can search for a plan that includes their family doctor or preferred clinic or hospital system. The Connector, which operates the state's online marketplace for qualifying plans, announced this morning that it has added the provider search function to its website, at www.MAhealthconnector.org. Users can choose a category of plans based on cost and coverage limits and then search within those plans for the ones that include care from their favorite doctors (Conaboy, 8/1).
California Healthline: Exchange Board Handles New Move Quietly
During the most recent board meeting of the California Health Benefit Exchange, board members gingerly approached the last item on the agenda -- would the board stick its toe in political waters? ... But clearly the board felt it was the board's place to get involved in legislative waters -- past the toes and ankle and maybe up to the knee -- as it voted 3-0 on several motions to involve the exchange board's input and opinion on half a dozen legislative bills (Gorn, 8/1).
WBUR's CommonHealth blog: ER Spending: More Is Better, Study Finds
An MIT economist studying tourists rushed to emergency rooms around Florida came to this conclusion: when it comes to emergency care for heart problems, you get what you pay for (or at least what your hospital has paid for). The economist, Joseph Doyle, of MIT's Sloan School of Management found that an increase of about $4,000 per patient in hospital spending led to a 1.4 percent decrease in the mortality rate (Zimmerman, 8/1).
Minnesota Public Radio: Coalition Rewards Clinics For Improved Health Care
The Buyer's Health Care Action Group [a coalition of employers] will pay a record number of clinics this year for making meaningful improvements in their diabetes, depression or vascular disease care. The clinics will share $473,000 dollars in payments. Of the nearly 295 clinics receiving rewards, only three met optimal care requirements in all three of the program's qualifying disease conditions (Benson, 8/1).
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Minnesota Clinics To Share $473,000
Nearly 300 clinics around the state will share a $473,000 award for their work improving health care for people with diabetes, depression and vascular diseases such as high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. The award, announced Monday by the Buyers Health Care Action Group, is meant as an incentive to spur clinics to focus on patient outcomes and begin to move away from the traditional fee-for-service model, which tends to reward caregivers for the number of treatments rather than how well the treatments work(Crosby, 8/1).