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October 17, 2007
The Slow Road
Brad Cain, Senior Editor-Managed Care

I wrote a cover story for HealthLeaders magazine earlier this year taking the pulse of the industry on the various healthcare reform ideas that were bouncing around state capitals across the nation. One development in particular, the unveiling of wide-reaching plans by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the leading Democrats in each branch of the Statehouse, seemed especially promising. Well, nine months have passed and scant progress has been made in the Golden State. [Read More]

Editor's Picks
Medicaid managed care seems to fall short
Medicaid enrollees receive lower quality healthcare from managed-care programs than do managed-care patients in commercial health plans, according to researchers at Harvard Medical School. The study examined information on 11 quality measures from all 383 health plans that reported quality-of-care data to the National Committee for Quality Assurance for 2002 and 2003. [Read More]
After audit, insurers vow to improve Medicare service
After they were cited by federal auditors for violations of Medicare standards, the health insurance companies in question said they were addressing the deficiencies and vowed to improve service to patients. [Read More]
Deal over TennCare leaves state $270 million short
The federal government has approved a three-year TennCare waiver extension that will leave Tennessee with about $270 million less than needed to cover growing hospital costs. Under the agreement, there is a $540 million annual cap on how much Tennessee can draw from federal funds to help reimburse hospitals for treating Medicaid and uninsured patients. [Read More]
Wellness vs. privacy: Companies' health surveys get cool reception
A growing number of companies are asking that workers fill out a health questionnaire to identify employees with medical conditions who might benefit from early intervention, but some workers are worrying about how the surveys invade their privacy. [Read More]
Managed Care Headlines
Former Iowa governors present health insurance proposals
Des Moines Register, October 17, 2007
McCain healthcare plan puts focus on spending
New York Times, October 17, 2007
Patients caught between Blue Cross and Illinois hospital
Chicago Tribune, October 17, 2007
UnitedHealthcare signs new accord with Seattle medical center
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, October 17, 2007
Medicaid plan would aid Wisconsin hospitals
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, October 17, 2007
Upcoming Events
Consumer Corner

Avoid the pitfalls of open-enrollment
Open-enrollment season has arrived for many companies, and despite their differences, many have something in common: They will make mistakes that will impair the success of their consumer-directed health plan offerings. [Read More]
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Will There Be Enough Doctors?
With a multitude of baby boom physicians nearing retirement and an aging U.S. population needing ever more care, how bad will the physician shortage really get--and what can you do about it? [Read More]
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