State Roundup: Mass. Insurance Co-Ops To Launch; Fla. Hospital Commission Ponders Nonprofits
A selection of stories from Texas, Florida, Massachusetts, Iowa and Georgia.
The Associated Press/Houston Chronicle: Court To Review Ruling On Texas Abortion Law
A federal appeals court will review a judge's decision to temporarily block the state of Texas from enforcing a law requiring doctors to show sonograms to patients and describe the images before an abortion. In August, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks in Austin, Texas, ruled that several provisions of the law violated the free-speech rights of abortion-performing doctors (1/4).
The Associated Press/MSNBC: Scott Panel Cannot Compare Florida Hospitals
A panel appointed by Gov. Rick Scott, who once headed the nation's largest for-profit hospital chain, told him on Tuesday that it could not determine whether Florida's public hospitals provide better or worse care than private ones. ... [The Commission on Review of Taxpayer Funded Hospital Districts'] report did conclude that patient expenses are up to 12 percent higher in public hospitals. ... Scott created the panel last March to determine if it's in the public's best interest to continue having government-operated hospitals (Kaczor, 1/3).
Georgia Health News: Emory, St. Joseph's Tie The Knot
The two Atlanta health care systems announced Tuesday that they have formed a joint operating company, effective Monday. The arrangement gives Emory Healthcare a majority ownership of St. Joseph's Hospital, with a 51/49 percentage split. ... The deal is part of a recent wave of consolidations among hospital systems across the state (Miller, 1/3).
Boston Globe: First Insurance-Buying Cooperatives Get State OK
Sixteen months after Governor Deval Patrick signed a law clearing the way for small businesses to band together to buy health insurance ... the Retailers Association of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives [can] begin talking with the state’s commercial health plans about new lower-cost insurance products that they hope will attract tens of thousands of members to their cooperatives (Weisman, 1/4).
Des Moines Register: Wellmark's Rate Increase For 86,000 Policyholders 65 And Under Approved
Iowa has approved a 9.3 percent rate increase by Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield for individual health insurance premiums. ... The decision means rate increases of up to $45 a month beginning April 1 for 86,000 individual Wellmark policyholders ages 65 and under (1/3).