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Beware of Medicaid Expansion Pitfalls
Les Masterson, Senior Editor-Managed Care

Medicaid expansion as a vehicle to insure more Americans is seen by many as a compromise to the public insurance plan. Supporters of the move think expanding to the lower middle class is a way to provide coverage to millions of Americans, while not creating a government plan. Plus, Medicaid programs already know how to reach out to at-risk populations, including those who have little or no experience with the healthcare system maze. But expanding Medicaid programs isn't a cure-all—especially if permanent federal dollars aren't involved. [Read More]
  November 18, 2009

Editor's Picks
Insurance market faces shift in power
State insurance commissioners could soon have new powers if certain health reform provisions become law. In the past, commissioners needed to juggle protecting consumers with allowing insurers to set premiums high enough to keep healthy reserves. Under proposed reforms, state insurance directors would have unprecedented powers in helping to decide the benefits and cost of health plans for the proposed government-regulated insurance exchange. [Read More]
Healthcare bills could jeopardize states' consumer protection laws
Federal health reform could weaken some state health laws, such as mandated services and consumer protections. Health reform bills would allow insurers to sell policies across state lines, which concerns states with more stringent health insurance laws. The idea of allowing insurers to sell policies across state lines is popular among Republicans, including Sen. John McCain, who trumpeted the idea during his presidential campaign last year. Opponents of the idea, including Democrats, say allowing interstate sales could allow insurers to avoid stricter states. Another opponent that may surprise you is the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, which argues that the idea would create watered-down policies. [Read More]
Number of insured varies by bill
Though the Senate hasn't taken up its health reform bill yet, Washington watchers say the Senate's legislation will cover fewer Americans than the House bill that was approved earlier this month. The Senate Finance Committee, which approved its own bill, would extend insurance to 94% of legal U.S. residents, while the House version would cover 96%. [Read More]
Study: Injured uninsured more likely to die in ER
Emergency room patients without insurance are more likely to die than those with health insurance, according to a new study. The Harvard University study found that the overall death rate was 4.7% for nearly 690,000 U.S. patients from 2002 through 2006. While those with insurance had a death rate of 3.3%, those without insurance had a 5.7% death rate. The researchers did not provide the reasons behind the differences, but the study will surely provide ammunition for the health insurance industry. [Read More]
Happy Thanksgiving!
From all of us at HealthLeaders Media, have a happy Thanksgiving holiday. Health Plan Insider will not publish next week, but will be back December 2.
Managed Care Headlines
Obama Plans to Sign Executive Order to Target Medicare Waste, Fraud
Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, November 18, 2009
In House, many spoke with one voice: Lobbyists'
New York Times, November 16, 2009
Report details billions lost in Medicare fraud
Washington Post, November 16, 2009
Healthcare bills would boost states' authority on premiums, benefits
Chicago Tribune, November 16, 2009
House health bill includes Medicaid relief for states
Washington Post, November 16, 2009
Chiropractic Care Could Reduce Health Costs, Says Report
Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, November 13, 2009
Insurer plans its own clinic in North Philadelphia
Philadelphia Inquirer, November 16, 2009
Most companies stick with wellness programs
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, November 16, 2009

Webcasts/Audio conferences
December 17: Women's Health: Building a More Profitable Service Line With Existing Assets
On Demand: Service Lines Strategies Workshop 2009: Stroke Care
On Demand: Finding and Keeping Physicians During a Shortage
Listen Up
Reform and Nonprofit Healthcare

Bruce McPherson, president and CEO at the Alliance for Advancing Nonprofit Health Care, speaks about how health reform legislation could affect nonprofit healthcare. [Sponsored by Emdeon] [Listen Now]
From HealthLeaders Media
Swine Flu Vaccine Offers Lessons in Leadership

Recent controversy about the safety of the H1N1 or "swine" flu vaccine has spread to people you'd think would know better, such as healthcare workers. So how does a leader sell an initiative that may be necessary but unpopular? [Read More]
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Blocking the One-Two Punch

Health insurance companies are rightfully concerned about how healthcare reform will affect their companies and offerings, but there is a more immediate threat to their future: the loss of the employer-based health insurance market. Here are ways to survive the fading employer-based insurance market. [Read More]
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