KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

First Edition: February 18, 2010

Today's headlines focus on continuing hopes for health reform as well as various health industry developments.

Community Health Centers Providing Return On Investment
Kaiser Health News staff writer Andrew Villegas writes about a hefty infusion of cash for community health centers in last year's federal stimulus package that may be paying off. A new study, released Tuesday, just before the first anniversary of the stimulus package becoming law, found that $1.85 billion the federal government gave to clinics under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has generated $3.2 billion in economic activity (Kaiser Health News).

KHN Column: Why Are Fewer Patients Enrolling In Hospice
In his latest Kaiser Health News column, Howard Gleckman writes: "Suddenly, many hospices are admitting fewer patients. Others are increasingly caring for people for just days or hours before they die. The result: cash-strapped hospices are cutting back on nurses and aides, and patients are missing out on critical end-of-life care" (Kaiser Health News).

Lame-Duck Republican Senator Harbors Hope Of Bipartisan Deal On Health Care Overhaul
Unlike some of his lame-duck colleagues, Sen. Judd Gregg isn't disillusioned with Congress. Bipartisanship isn't dead, he says, and neither is health care reform (The Associated Press/Los Angeles Times).

Report Cited By Obama On Hospitals Is Criticized
For much of the past year, President Obama lavished praise on a few select hospitals like the Mayo Clinic for delivering high-quality care at low costs, but a pointed analysis published Wednesday in an influential medical journal suggests that the president's praise may be unwarranted (The New York Times).

Use Of MRI, CAT Scans Rising In Hospital Emergency Rooms
The use of high-tech diagnostic imaging in emergency rooms has quadrupled since the mid-1990s, according to a government report released yesterday (The Associated Press/Boston Globe).

Changes At Humana Include Loss Of 1,400 Jobs
The insurance company Humana said on Wednesday that it would cut about 2,500 jobs to adjust to a smaller enrollment, but would add 1,100 positions in growth areas (The Associated Press/New York Times).

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