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February 27, 2008
Is Massachusetts the Way to Go?
Les Masterson, Senior Editor-Managed Care

Massachusetts sparked the American Revolution, founded the first public schools, and led the movement to abolish slavery. Since those heady early years, Massachusetts has been known not as a leader, but for corrupt politicians, bloated public projects, and the Red Sox. It's been a long time since Massachusetts took the lead, but The Bay State has grabbed the reins on the top domestic issue--healthcare. [Read More]

 
Editor's Picks
Obama and Clinton clash on healthcare
Democratic Presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton used the first 15 minutes of their debate at Cleveland State University Tuesday to promote why each's healthcare plan is the best for America. Even when debate co-moderator Brian Williams attempted to move to the next debate subject--NAFTA--the two candidates prolonged the healthcare discussion. The 90-minute debate was the final contest before next Tuesday's primaries in Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Vermont. [Read More]
L.A. sues insurer over cancellations
The Los Angeles city attorney has filed a lawsuit charging that Health Net Inc., of Woodland Hills, CA, one of the state's largest insurers, was involved in a secret and illegal scheme to cancel members who needed expensive treatment. Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo alleges that the company defrauded thousands of policyholders. While state regulators, lawmakers, doctors, and patients have spoken out about cancellation policies, health insurers say in order to contain costs, they need to cancel policies for individuals who did not disclose preexisting conditions. Health Net was fined $1 million by state regulators last year for reportedly lying to investigators about bonus payments. [Read More]
Schwarzenegger's plan would cut Medi-Cal rolls
As a way to control healthcare costs, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently proposed a plan that would require enrollees of state-sponsored medical care to fill out more paperwork. Officials believe that the extra paperwork will result in 122,000 Californians losing their state-sponsored insurance, saving the state $92 million. The announcement comes less than a month after Schwarzenegger's healthcare reform package was stopped in the legislature. A similar proposal was proposed by then-Gov. Gray Davis during a budget crisis in 2003, but it was rejected in the legislature. [Read More]
Governors of both parties oppose Medicaid rules
The Bush Administration's new federal Medicaid regulations are receiving opposition from a number of governors. The rules, which are scheduled to take effect in the next few months, include reducing federal payments for public hospitals, teaching hospitals, and services for the disabled. Federal leaders say the new rules are needed to put an end to states using Medicaid money for services not associated with the federal program. State leaders, assembled for the winter meeting of the National Governors Association, however, claim the new Medicaid regulations will shift billions onto the states, which will, in turn, need to cut other services. [Read More]
Patient call program may not be cost cutter for Healthways
The debate as to whether disease management (DM) actually saves money resurfaced this week. The discussion follows disappointing stock prices for DM organizations and some insurers moving disease management services in-house. Though an increasing number of employers are offering DM, many businesses believe they are not saving money on healthcare utilization. Though there are concerns about cost savings, Healthways Inc., one of the largest DM companies, expects annual growth from DM to remain in the high teens. The company also plans to grow relationships with employers and health plans, provide services to Medicare beneficiaries, and expand overseas. [Read More]
Managed Care Headlines
Illinois governor's health plan blocked again
Chicago Tribune, February 27, 2008
Governor decries U.S. limits on Massachusetts healthcare
The Boston Globe, February 27, 2008
Hispanics worry most about healthcare, study shows
Dallas Morning News, February 21, 2008
Legal move pushes GM retiree plan ahead
AP/Yahoo News, February 25, 2008
Connecticut reaching out to thousands of the uninsured
Hartford Courant, February 25, 2008
States redefine family health policies
AP/Yahoo News, February 21, 2008
Florida plan would cover more kids
Miami Herald, February 25, 2008
Doctors slow to volunteer for MilwaukeeCares
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, February 25, 2008
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Listen Up
MHS in Jeopardy, Part II
Vince Kuraitis, principal and founder of Better Health Technologies in Boise, ID, and Thomas Wilson, PhD, founder and president of Trajectory Healthcare and board chairman of the Population Health Impact Institute in Loveland, OH, discuss the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' recent decision to end the Medicare Health Support project this year. This is the second part of a two-part podcast. [Listen Here]
Consumer Corner
The "Worst" Healthcare Payment Scheme
Many are still skeptical about the potential of consumer-directed healthcare. Cynics see it as a chance for employers to cut costs. Realists say companies will spend as much as they currently do on managed care. [Read More]
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Love Thy Vendor?

HealthLeaders February 2008 Providers and IT suppliers don't get along, right? You can build a partnership of trust with your vendor--and actually get what you pay for. Here's how. [Read More]
   
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