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December 19, 2007
Unfinished Business
Brad Cain, Senior Editor-Managed Care

Healthcare was in the political spotlight for much of 2007 as state Legislatures debated coverage expansion, presidential hopefuls released plans for healthcare mandates and/or tax incentives to encourage more Americans to obtain coverage, and Congress continued its fight with President Bush over the reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program. That spotlight is expected to shine bright again next year, as much of the work from 2007 is still unfinished. [Read More]

Editor's Picks
Health savings accounts for poor tested
The popularity of health savings accounts for the poor will be put to the test in Indiana under a program. Through the plan, someone making $20,000 a year could get health coverage for about $19 a week. [Read More]
Doctor ratings revised
Several health-insurance companies have agreed to improve their existing or planned ratings of physicians. The insurers have agreed to rate quality as well as cost and to use independently accepted criteria, instead of just claims data, to rate physicians. [Read More]
Defining government's role in healthcare
At the beginning of 2007, the expectation was that the new Democratic-led Congress and President Bush would make some headway on healthcare for the uninsured and rising medical costs that are squeezing the middle class. Instead, they reached a stalemate. The failure to act underscores how hard the healthcare problem is to deal with. [Read More]
Happy Holidays!
From all of us at HCPro, have a happy and safe holiday. Health Plan Insider will take next week off, but will return with a new issue January 2, 2008.

Managed Care Headlines
California governor, speaker, forge a health plan
Los Angeles Times, December 17, 2007
Massachusetts panel approves changes to subsidized health plan
Boston Globe, December 14, 2007
Poll shows majority supports state-run healthcare in Wisconsin
AP/Minneapolis Star Tribune, December 14, 2007
Bush vetoes kids health insurance bill
AP/Yahoo News, December 13, 2007
Small businesses oppose mandates for health plans
New York Times, December 13, 2007
California accuses Blue Shield of illegal cancellations
Los Angeles Times, December 13, 2007
Insurance expert criticizes Blue Cross rate calculations
Detroit Free Press, December 13, 2007
Upcoming Events
Consumer Corner

Experts expect growth, retailization in 2008: For the second year in a row, CDH experts aren't enthusiastic about the prospects for the new year; nevertheless, their predictions are generally positive. The underlying theme remains consistent: CDHPs are expanding, HSAs will grow in popularity, and more consumers will understand the health/wealth message. Technological advancements and the increasing "retailization" of healthcare will also result in more CDHP options, greater customization, and a more insistent demand for transparency. [Read More]
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Creating an Insurance Giant
Two Pennsylvania payers say their merger will slash costs and reduce uninsured rolls, but some providers remain jittery over the increased concentration of marketshare among a dwindling pool of insurers. [Read More]
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Resources From HCPro

Prove the ROI on your disease management program.
Find how to reach out to cultural populations and address healthcare disparities.
Discover checklists, forms, letters, and clauses to help you with managed care contracts.
Learn why consumer-driven healthcare is like a big hug.
Compare your capitation rates against national averages and help craft workable capitation contracts.
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