KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

State Roundup: Insurers Fight Fla. Decision On State Workers’ HMO

News outlets report on a variety of state health policy issues.

The Boston Globe: Patrick Still Asks Change On Health Payments
The Patrick administration is still angling to get the Legislature to pass a sweeping overhaul of the state's health care payment and delivery system by the end of 2011, Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray said yesterday. The overhaul is part of the administration's agenda to create jobs, Murray said. The governor has been on that very consistently, publicly and privately, saying that's a major priority. The governor's bill remains under review by the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing (8/9). 

Politico Pro: Florida Insurers To Fight HMO Decision
Health insurers in Florida will fight to overturn a decision that would establish, in effect, county-level HMO monopolies for state employees. Florida UnitedHealthCare, Coventry, Aetna and Florida Health Care Plans will ask the Florida Department of Management Services to reconsider a contract award at a settlement hearing Tuesday that would shut them out of state employee health insurance business in dozens of Florida's 67 counties, POLITICO has learned (Norman, 8/8). 

Minnesota Public Radio: Nonprofits Help States Implement Health Care Reform
The State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) at the University of Minnesota is the creation of health economist Lynn Blewett who founded the research center in 2000 as a professor in the university's School of Public Health. The center's mission is to help state policymakers make health care coverage decisions based on hard data rather than anecdotal evidence. Many times officials don't know what kind of information exists, where it is, or what it means (Stawicki, 8/8). 

Kansas Health Institute News: Kansas Not Pursuing Federal Prevention Dollars
The federal government is poised to start spending $900 million nationwide over the next five years in an effort to battle costly chronic ailments such as obesity and diabetes. The initiative is considered the single largest push to date by the national government to encourage disease prevention. But Kansas likely won't see a dollar of that money. ... [Kansas Department of Health and Environment] Secretary Robert Moser decided the state would not apply. KDHE spokeswoman Miranda Myrick said the decision was not based on opposition to the Affordable Care Act or because of the federal budget debate (Shields, 8/8). 

California Healthline: New Transition Plan, New ADHC Options
There's an interesting phrase in the state's new transition plan for the adult day health care program: "ADHC-like services." It's one of the care options listed in the state's recently released transition plan. ... The state will eliminate the Medi-Cal benefit for ADHC services on Dec. 1, and a judge will deliberate on the state's transition plan in a court hearing Nov. 1. DHCS needs to come up with a plan to handle roughly 37,000 senior and disabled patients who use ADHC services during the day so that they can remain living at home (Gorn, 8/8). 

New Orleans Times-Picayune: Two Companies Sue State For Share Of Medicaid Privatization Contracts
Aetna Inc. and Coventry Health Care Inc. have challenged a decision by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals to deny their subsidiaries a share of a $2.2 billion Medicaid privatization program. [They] say that Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration did not follow its own rules in scoring 10 firms' proposals for managed-care networks that will serve more than two-thirds of Louisiana's 1.2 million Medicaid recipients (Barrow, 8/8). 

Denver Business Journal: CU Report: Lack Of Primary-Care Doctors Will Make Colorado ERs Busier Under Health Reform
Even more Coloradans are expected to visit the state's overcrowded emergency rooms after the full implementation of federal health care reform in 2014 because of a lack of primary care doctors, according to a study released Monday by the University of Colorado School of Medicine. The report is not the first in the nation to reach this conclusion, following on one released earlier this year by the National Center for Public Policy Analysis of Dallas. However, it is the first time that a Colorado organization has sounded such an alarm in a state that is expected to add more than half a million people to the rolls of its insured in three years (Sealover, 8/8).

Fox News: South Carolina Pushes For Medicaid Overhaul After Man Denied Breast Cancer Coverage
South Carolina health officials are petitioning the federal government to overhaul its "discriminatory" Medicaid rules after a local construction worker was denied coverage for breast cancer treatments because he is a man. Raymond Johnson, 26, found out about his cancer last month. ... Tony Keck, director of the state health department, said in a statement that the federal position is "discriminatory" and urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to show some flexibility. ... CMS said Monday that it is weighing its options (Berger, 8/8).

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