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April 16, 2008
Think Beyond the Mail
Les Masterson, Senior Editor-Managed Care

Simply sending physicians newsletters, clinical guidelines, and audiovisual materials is easy, but don't expect it to improve medication use or reduce drug costs. It's just not effective. Physicians are already stretched for time and there is a good chance your communication won't reach their desks. And even if it gets there, they probably won't read it. That logic seems simple, but managed care companies commonly use educational material dissemination as a stand-alone intervention. A new study suggests managed care try something else. [Read More]

 
Editor's Picks
Oregon Health Plan cutbacks sent more to ER
Cuts to the Oregon Medicaid program five years ago led to a 20% increase in uninsured emergency room visits and a nearly 50% increase in hospital admissions of uninsured emergency patients, according to a recent study. Emergency rooms have also seen a huge increase in uninsured patients with psychiatric illnesses. The Medicaid expansion program, which is called Oregon Health Plan, cut 52,000 people from its program in 2003. [Read More]
House pushes Medicaid change for additional FL counties
The revamping of the Florida Medicaid program could be expanded into nine additional counties. The state's House of Representatives supports expanding the program, which places patients into care networks like health maintenance organizations. The program has been criticized by advocates for the poor and even the agency that runs the state Medicaid program. While supporting the expansion, the House also defeated an amendment that would have exempted Miami-Dade County, which has a large Medicaid population, from the expansion. [Read More]
Bill advances to suspend Medicaid cost-shift rules
The House Energy and Commerce Committee's health panel supported federal legislation that would put a moratorium on seven rules, including ending federal payments for physician training, until 2009. Supporters of implementing the seven rules say the federal government would save $1.65 billion for fiscal 2008 and 2009. Opponents, including a number of state governors, counter that the rules will cut Medicaid funding and place a larger burden on states. The Bush administration supports implementing the seven rules and opposes the moratorium. [Read More]
New Orleans healthcare revamp faces Senate criticism
Health insurance vouchers for uninsured New Orleans residents are being promoted as a way to help low-income people purchase managed care coverage. The plan, which was presented to the state Senate Health and Welfare Committee, calls for moving 61,000 uninsured adults into managed care medical homes. Committee members, instead, suggest that the healthcare overhaul not solely benefit New Orleans, but reach throughout the state. [Read More]
Studies show it's often cheaper to let people get sick
Though presidential candidates and many in healthcare promote the cost benefits of improving people's health, there are those who think it's cheaper to just let people get sick. Even by reducing future costs, the overall costs to the healthcare system typically increase when disease prevention is implemented, according to some experts. [Read More]
Managed Care Headlines
The health insurance mafia
Wall Street Journal (subscription required), April 14, 2008
WellPoint data may have been accessed via Internet
Chicago Tribune, April 16, 2008
Ruling thwarts IL governor's plan to expand healthcare
Chicago Tribune, April 16, 2008
Costs soar for Massachusetts healthcare law
AP/Yahoo News, April 14, 2008
Healthcare affordability figures updated in Massachusetts
Boston Globe, April 11, 2008
Judge OKs plan for healthcare trust at Chrysler
Chicago Tribune, April 10, 2008
Study: Boomers to flood medical system
Associated Press, April 14, 2008
Project gives safety net for healthcare that can't wait in NC
Raleigh News & Observer, April 14, 2008
Upcoming Events
5/13/08: Legal and Tax Implications of Incentive Program Designs
Sponsored Headlines from IBM

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Listen Up
Calculating the Costs of Healthcare
Troy Adams, vice president of WellSteps, talks about his company's online worksite wellness ROI calculator and what goes into calculating an ROI for healthcare costs. [Listen Here]
Developments in DM
PHRs for Medicare Population
Senior citizens and computers are not usually thought of as allies, but a new CMS pilot project is testing personal health records (PHR) in the Medicare population. The pilot project will offer PHRs to 100,000 beneficiaries in Medicare's fee-for-service program in South Carolina. [Read More]
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Faith in the Hospital

HealthLeaders April 2008 In a shifting healthcare world, faith-based systems face a new set of challenges in their quest to stay true to their mission. [Read More]
   
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Resources From HCPro

Prove the ROI on your disease management program.
Find how why value-based insurance design improves medication compliance.
Discover checklists, forms, letters, and clauses to help you with managed care contracts.
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Learn about disease management and wellness offerings and uncover what your competitors are doing.
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