State Roundup: Conn.’s New Insurance Commissioner Getting Noticed
News outlets report on a variety of state health policy issues.
The Connecticut Mirror: A Rookie Insurance Commissioner Plays On A Global Stage
Checking his watch, Thomas B. Leonardi worked quickly through his dense defense of this nation's state-by-state approach to insurance regulation. ... [T]his small New England state generates more insurance business than all but a half-dozen nations. ... [H]e sided with consumer advocates in March at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, helping to delay a federal regulation designed to protect fees for health insurance brokers. Advocates said the regulation would have driven up the costs of insurance to consumers (Pazniokas, 9/26).
The Miami Herald: Miami-Dade County Fires Deloitte Consulting Over Health Care Benefits Feud
Miami-Dade County, frustrated over what it asserts is an inability to get a straight answer, fired Deloitte Consulting LLP as its employee-benefits consultant Monday, alleging breach of contract. The spiraling dispute stems from Miami-Dade's request — amid heated labor contract negotiations — for a legal opinion from Deloitte on whether the county can, under federal tax law, offer to deduct 10 percent of employees' pay for health-care premiums (Brannigan, 9/26).
Kaiser Health News: Demise Of Pa. Plan For Low-Income Adults Leaves Many Uninsured
Six months after Pennsylvania terminated adultBasic, the state-funded health plan for low-income adults, many of the nearly 41,000 former enrollees who lost their coverage at the end of February likely have been left uninsured (Gold, 9/26).
Georgia Health News: Public Health Cites Progress Despite Problems
The recently created Department of Public Health, like other state agencies, is feeling the squeeze from 2 percent across-the-board budget cuts ordered by Gov. Nathan Deal. ... Last year, the state had 1,424 public health nurses, down from 1,700 in 1990, even though Georgia's population grew by more than 3 million during the 20-year interval (Miller, 9/26).
Denver Post: Proposed Sale Of Colorado Foundation's Interest In Denver Area Hospitals Draws Criticism
Colorado's largest hospital system will keep patient care and community service as the prime goals even after HCA/HealthONE takes full control in a $1.45 billion buyout, backers of the deal said at a public hearing Monday. But a group of former board members said selling the Colorado Health Foundation's stake in the key hospitals risks a "legacy of disservice" to the public at a time of great turmoil in health care (Booth, 9/27).
Kansas Health Institute News: Kansas Gains New Safety-Net Clinics
The new Pratt clinic will be a fresh example of local response to the ongoing and growing problem of uninsured Kansans in all parts of the state who lack access to basic health care. The problem is considered particularly acute in rural counties (Ranney, 9/26).
California Healthline: Misreporting Of Health Billing Down
Bruce Lim was pretty happy. He's the deputy director in charge of audits and investigations for the Department of Health Care Services. A biannual review of potential fraud in fee-for-service medical billing found that — across the board — there were far fewer financial red flags than in the past. ... The outlier, Lim said, was the adult day health care program, which he said had trouble making sure patients fit "medical necessity" criteria (Gorn, 9/27).
The Lund Report: Legislators Ponder the Rural-Urban Divide Facing Coordinated Care Organizations
At the State Capitol in front of a packed house last Thursday, legislators got their first progress report on the formation of Coordinated Care Organizations (CCOs), which are expected to provide health care to more than 600,000 Oregonians starting next July. ... To reach consensus on the criteria for these new CCOs and iron out details about global budgets, outcome measurements and services for the dual eligibles (people who receive both Medicare and Medicaid), Governor Kitzhaber has tapped 133 people to serve on work groups which are holding monthly meetings (Thomas, 9/26).