State News: Mass. Words To Contain Costs; Ore. Boosts Coordinated Care
A selection of stories about health care from Massachusetts, Illinois, Texas, Florida, Oregon, California, Minnesota and Kansas.
The Washington Post: Wonk Blog: Should Government Regulate Health Care Prices? Massachusetts Weighs The Option.
After passing universal coverage, Massachusetts is now in the throes of a debate about how to bring down its skyrocketing health care costs. And the state's new proposal to regulate how much providers charge for health care could mark a very important and controversial chapter in that fight (Kliff, 11/10).
WBUR's CommonHealth blog: Report: Pricier Hospitals Should Prove They're Worth It
Hospitals in Massachusetts that want to charge more than the median market price for services would have to prove the quality of that service justifies a higher price. That's part of recommendation #6 from the report by the Special Commission on Provider Price Reform. This key recommendation comes closest to the commission's mandate: To address the wide gap between what high and low cost hospitals are paid for the same service (Bebinger, 11/10).
Chicago Tribune: Illinois Mammogram Providers To Be Paid More If They Submit Quality Breast Cancer Data
Starting next year, health facilities and providers in Illinois that perform screening and diagnostic mammograms will receive higher Medicaid reimbursement for the procedures if they voluntarily submit data showing how well they identify small cancers and track women with abnormal mammograms, among other quality measures (Shelton, 11/11).
Kaiser Health News/WFSU: Florida Politics Creating Bumps On Health Information 'Highway'
Florida is one of the first states to help doctors and hospitals adopt a new way of transferring patient information. The idea behind the Health Information Exchange Network, run by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, is 'the exchange is the highway, the electronic record is the car,' according to Heidi Fox, who is directing the effort" (Hatter, 11/10).
The Lund Report: Oregon Looking For Federal Dollars To Fund Transformation Process
Dr. Bruce Goldberg [director of the Oregon Health Authority] is in active discussions with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to see if federal funds are available to jump start the coordinated care organizations (CCOs) which will provide physical, mental health and dental services to more than 630,000 people on the Oregon Health Plan next July (Waldroupe, 11/10).
The Texas Tribune: Dewhurst Tells Committee to Study Veterans' Issues
With Veterans Day approaching, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst on Thursday asked the Veterans Affairs and Military Installations Committee to consider several issues, including the status of mental health services for veterans. ... "Include an assessment of peer counseling programs, 'aftercare' provided for units within their local communities following a trauma within the group, and efforts to address the secondary mental health and substance abuse issues caused by post traumatic stress disorders and other combat-related disorder (Cardona, 11/10).
California Watch: Lawyers, Doctors Team Up To Reduce Health Disparities
On Kate Marr's first day practicing law at The Children's Clinic in Long Beach last week, she met with the mother of an asthmatic 7-year-old. ... The Long Beach program is the latest effort by community clinics and hospitals across the country to add lawyers to their medical teams as a way to resolve issues associated with the "social determinants of health," such as housing, domestic violence and poverty (Yeung, 11/10).
MSNBC/KBJR-TV: Duluth To Spend Almost $4.4 Million Less For Health Care
A 2005 study projected the city would have to pay $12.4 million in 2012, but the latest report show that it will pay $8 million for health care next year. Retiree health care reforms have reduced the city's overall unfunded liability by over $186 million over the next 30 years (11/10).
The Associated Press/Washington Post: Questions Linger Over Shredding Of Records Tied To Kansas Case Against Abortion Clinic
A state-requested investigation could answer questions that persisted Thursday about Kansas officials' shredding of documents that became key evidence against a Planned Parenthood clinic accused of violating abortion laws, after a judge dismissed the most serious charges because the records were destroyed. The Planned Parenthood clinic in Overland Park still faces 58 misdemeanor charges of performing illegal abortions and violating restrictions on late-term procedures, which it denies (Hanna, 11/10) .