HCPro Health Plan Insider - December 30, 2009 | Remembering an Eventful Year in Healthcare View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Remembering an Eventful Year in Healthcare
Les Masterson, Senior Editor-Managed Care

This time of year, journalists, writers, and editors try their hands at playing Nostradamus. We think back on the current year, and predict what the next year will bring. Usually we offer these predictions at the start of the year and never look back at them. But this year I decided to look back to see how right—and how wrong—I was about 2009. [Read More]
  December 30, 2009

Editor's Picks
10 Issues that Congress will Need to Resolve in Final Reform Bill
The Senate approved its health reform bill, but that doesn't mean the debate has ended. Representatives from both houses of Congress will now need to come together to reconcile the different bills that were approved. A new bill will then have to come back for vote in each chamber. Though the bills have a lot in common, there are still plenty of issues that legislators will need to resolve. This article features 10 of them. [Read More]
Florida AG Calls for Legal Review of Mandate in Federal Healthcare Legislation
Speaking of issues legislators will have to resolve, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum announced his office will conduct a legal review of the healthcare bills in Congress to determine the constitutionality of the individual mandate that would make acquiring health insurance a requirement for U.S. citizens. Democrats dismissed McCollum's review as political theater. But McCollum—a former Congressman who is also a Republican candidate for governor in 2010—says he has asked attorneys general in other states to join his review, and he suggested that a court battle would be waged if the reforms as they are now written become law. [Read More]
The Five Best Things and Five Worst Things About Healthcare in 2009
This year was a big one for healthcare, both positively and negatively. My colleague, Cheryl Clark, writes about the five best things and five worst things about healthcare this year. One positive is the popular belief that Americans need health coverage and that health insurers should be held accountable for the care they provide. A negative: Americans' lacking health literacy and personal responsibility. [Read More]
Success Story: Sisters of Mercy Health
Learn how the Sisters of Mercy implemented changes to improve service quality through IBM Service Management solutions. These solutions facilitate a business process transformation that fosters a culture of productivity and continuous improvement. Download the free copy of Success Story: Sisters of Mercy Health. (This headline is sponsored by IBM.) [Read More]
Managed Care Headlines
Expanding health coverage and shoring up Medicare: Is it double-counting?
New York Times, December 29, 2009
Doughnut hole in Medicare eyed
Washington Post, December 28, 2009
Insurers brace for sweeping changes to industry landscape
Wall Street Journal, December 28, 2009
When the health changes could take effect
Wall Street Journal, December 24, 2009
Health fight shifts to insurer shopping
Boston Globe, December 23, 2009
Is the Public Insurance Option Gone for Good?
Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, December 22, 2009
10 Weird Healthcare Stories of 2009
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 22, 2009
Stocking stuffer: Health gift card
Associated Press/Boston Globe, December 24, 2009

Webcasts/Audio conferences
January 22: Joint Replacement Service Lines: Alignment and Business Strategies for a Changing Environment
On Demand: Service Lines Strategies Workshop 2009: Stroke Care
On Demand: Finding and Keeping Physicians During a Shortage

Sponsored Headlines
Harnessing effective asset management in an uncertain economy from IBM

Building a successful validation process and compliance support with IBM Maximo solutions

Managing healthcare assets and optimizing asset utilization with IBM asset management tools

Learn how Sisters of Mercy Health achieved its asset management goals in partnership with IBM

Listen Up
Reform's Effect on Health Insurance

Alan Katz, principal at the Alan Katz Group, past president of the National Health Underwriters, and blogger who writes about healthcare reform, talks about how reform could impact the health insurance industry. [Sponsored by Emdeon] [Listen Now]
Listen Up
HealthLeaders 20: Cleve Killingsworth

An interview with Cleve Killingsworth, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, who was one of our 2009 HealthLeaders 20. Find out how his company is working with physicians to bring better quality to the healthcare system. [Listen Now]
Listen Up
HealthLeaders 20: A. Mark Fendrick

An interview with A. Mark Fendrick, of the University of Michigan, who is one of the creators of value-based insurance design. Fendrick was one of our 2009 HealthLeaders 20. Find out about how VBID could affect healthcare. [Listen Now]
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Debate Pits Families Against Insurers

Many health insurers have historically covered medical and mental health-related services, but autism advocates and states are pushing for insurers to also pay for behavioral treatment, such as applied behavioral analysis (ABA), which teaches children social, motor, and verbal behaviors and reasoning skills. Activists say that autism is one of the top 10 most common neurological disorders, but is the only one that some health insurers don't cover. For health insurers, there is the question as to whether therapies like ABA should be considered within the scope of health insurance. The key phrase for insurers like WellPoint is whether the services are "medically necessary." [Read More]
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