HCPro Health Plan Insider - February 25, 2009 | Twelve Rounds with Medicare Advantage View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Twelve Rounds
with Medicare Advantage

Les Masterson, Senior Editor-Managed Care

Foes have pummeled Medicare Advantage over the past year with sharp lefts and dizzying rights. The latest blow came not from a politician but CMS. [Read More]
  February 25, 2009

Editor's Picks
Study: Massachusetts Health Reform is a Failed Model
Two single-payer proponents released a study last week that rejected the Massachusetts reform as a failure. The Massachusetts model is based on the individual mandate that requires residents to purchase insurance and fines businesses that do not offer coverage. The study's conclusion wasn't surprising because single-payer activists, which conducted the study, view the individual mandate as a way to increase health insurers' business and tax the uninsured. Instead of developing a system based on the Massachusetts model, the two groups suggested Medicare for all. [Read More]
Complete Economic Stimulus Coverage
The biggest healthcare story of 2009 so far has been the stimulus package and the $150 billion headed to healthcare. Though there is little money going directly to health insurers, the package includes Medicaid funding, COBRA premium help, health IT, and prevention, which will affect insurers indirectly. HealthLeaders Media and HCPro have covered the stimulus package extensively over the past week. [Read More]
Obama reaffirms commitment to healthcare reform
President Barack Obama wants healthcare reform this year. The president, speaking to a joint session of Congress Tuesday, called for extending health insurance to many of the 46 million uninsured Americans and containing costs, which will help stimulate the economy and reduce the $1 trillion budget deficit. Obama said he will hold meetings focused on healthcare next week and presidential aides said the president wants to work on healthcare separately rather than build a larger overhaul plan that includes Social Security and Medicare. The president wants major healthcare reform, but he may need to take Mick Jagger's advice: you can't always get what you want—you get what you need. [Read More]
Costs for individual health plans soar
The safety net that protects 17 million Americans from losing health coverage is fraying. Individual health insurance is a way for people to get coverage after they lose their jobs or their employers drop coverage, which is increasingly important in this economy. Individual policies are on the rise, but so are rate increases. While group health insurance premiums rose about 5% in 2008, health insurers have increased individual premiums by more than three times that amount. [Read More]
Broward County wants out of Florida Medicaid pilot
The controversial managed Medicaid pilot in Florida may lose the largest county in Florida. Broward County officials, who say the program is compromising medical treatment, drafted a resolution that supports ending the pilot in Broward and opposes expanding the program into other counties. State officials launched the managed Medicaid program as a way to contain costs, but critics have complained about physician access and program bureaucracy. The largest HMO in the pilot, WellCare, recently announced it was leaving the program in May, which will leave about 80,000 patients looking for a new insurer. The managed Medicaid program will have trouble rebounding from those two decisions. [Read More]
Managed Care Headlines
Shining a light on HHS secretary favorite
AP/Yahoo News - February 23, 2009
Massachusetts health system is being tested by recession
AP/Yahoo News - February 24, 2009
WellPoint will help fund insurance database
Wall Street Journal - February 19, 2009
Accord gives Ford flexibility in paying healthcare costs
New York Times - February 23, 2009
Connecticut insurers propose health reform plan
Hartford Courant - February 20, 2009
Study cites obstacles for poor in New York to renew health insurance
New York Times - February 25, 2009

Webcasts/Audio conferences
March 16: Solving Your Nurse Shortage: Long-Term Strategies That Work
March 20: 5 Ways to Improve the Patient Experience at Your Hospital
On Demand: ED Overhaul 2009: Five Improvements to Make Today
On Demand: Form 990H: Act Now to Protect Your Reputation
From HealthLeaders Media
Evidence-Based Medicine and the Return of Harry & Louise
Evidence-based medicine will prompt the fiercest and most vitriolic debate on the role of government in medicine since the plug was pulled on the Clinton plan. In fact, the debate has already started. [Read More]
From HealthLeaders Magazine
The CDHP Trickle

A lack of consumer understanding has contributed to the glacial growth of consumer-driven plans. Can better information from health plans help CDHPs take hold? [Read More]
Listen Up
Industry Survey 2009:
HealthLeaders Editor Round Table

HealthLeaders Media Editors react to the findings of the Industry Survey 2009. [Listen Now]
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Resources From HCPro

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