State News: Mammogram Rates Did Not Rise Under Expanded Mass. Coverage

Topics: Delivery of Care, Health Costs, Quality, Health Reform, States

Aug 10, 2012

News outlets report on health care news in California, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin.

The Dallas Morning News: Leadership Failures Tied To New Cases Of Patient Harm At Dallas’ Parkland Hospital
Federal safety monitors produced a harsher critique of Parkland Memorial Hospital‘s reform efforts than recently portrayed by the hospital, finding ongoing dangers to patients from a botched surgery, medication errors and emergency care failures. Those problems, cited in a June compliance report obtained by The Dallas Morning News, were not disclosed in a Parkland summary released to The News two weeks ago. Nor did the summary reveal the monitors’ finding that such problems flow from weak leadership (Moffeit and Egerton, 8/8).

The Dallas Morning News: Texas Left False Information About Women’s Health Program In Legal Documents
State officials have allowed an outdated and false assertion about how they intend to pay for the Women’s Health Program to stand uncorrected in several legal documents, including those submitted to the public and an appeals court.  State health officials in the published notice of the program’s proposed rules stated that the federal government would pick up the annual cost of the program, estimated to be about $30 million, starting in 2014 through the Affordable Health Care Act. The attorney general’s office submitted that same language to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on July 9, the same day that Gov. Rick Perry and Health and Human Services Commissioner Tom Suehs said the state would reject funding under the Affordable Health Care Act (Hoppe, 8/9).

The Associated Press: House Speaker: SC To Likely Get Sued, Lose
House Speaker Bobby Harrell said Thursday he expects South Carolina to be sued over a panel’s decision to disregard the state budget and increase employees’ health insurance costs anyway. And he expects the state to lose. Harrell, R-Charleston, said the Budget and Control Board likely lacked the authority to split the cost of premium hikes between workers and employers after the Legislature passed a budget that fully funded the increases (Adcox, 8/9).

Reuters: Mass. Health Reform Hasn’t Boosted Mammography Rates
The 2006 Massachusetts health overhaul didn’t boost the state’s mammography rates or lead to more breast cancers being caught early, despite rising insurance rates, new research shows. Researchers had expected to see an increase in breast cancer screening as the number of insured women went up, because earlier work had suggested women without insurance were less likely to get mammograms (Joelvin, 8/9).

WBUR: Study: Maybe Mass. Doesn’t Know It All On Health Reform
(A) new report just out from the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University suggests that perhaps we should be a bit less provincially, pridefully myopic. … The report reviewed several health-reform policies in other states and concludes that there is much worth emulating (Goldberg, 8/9).

Minneapolis Star Tribune: Patient Transport Switch A Worry
The Department of Health Services expects some glitches next month when a new company begins providing transportation to doctors and other health care providers for people covered by state health programs, such as BadgerCare Plus, in southeastern Wisconsin. That concerns advocates given the complaints raised about the service provided by the new company, LogistiCare, in the state over the past year. “We would have liked to see them slow down” the transition to LogistiCare, said Barbara Beckert, director of the Milwaukee office of Disability Rights Wisconsin (Boulton, 8/9).

California Watch: Report: Major Cities Not Prepared For Growing Retiree Health Costs
Most major California cities are failing to address the growing health care costs of government retirees, which have ballooned to more than $1 billion in some areas and soon could threaten municipalities’ ability to pay other expenses, according to a recent financial analysis by a nonprofit research group. Eleven of 20 California cities with the biggest budgets do not set aside funds for future health care costs, the study by California Common Sense found (Johnson, 8/10).

Crain’s Detroit Business/Modern Healthcare:  Three Detroit-Area Hospitals Improve Emergency Care Under National Program
DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland and McLaren Macomb improved care in their emergency departments through a national program made possible by the Greater Detroit Area Health Council.  Here are the highlights: DMC Sinai-Grace decreased average length of stay in its emergency department by nearly one hour over a six-month period; St. Joseph Mercy Oakland decreased ambulance diversion hours from 41 to zero in a four-month period and cut the percentage of patients who left its emergency department without being seen from 4 percent to 1 percent. Ambulances are diverted from ERs because of overcapacity issues; McLaren Macomb reduced the average time between patients’ arrival in its ER to admission by 19 minutes (Greene, 8/9).

California Healthline: Including PACE In Dual Eligible Options
Legislators are about to weigh in on one detail of the state’s dual-eligible pilot program known as the Coordinated Care Initiative:  An Assembly bill calling for the inclusion of a popular program for Californians at-risk of nursing home care is up for a vote on the Senate floor. AB 2206 by Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) would require the Department of Health Care Services to include  PACE  — the Program of All-Inclusive Care For The Elderly — as one of the alternatives to Medi-Cal managed care in the eight counties where the CCI pilot is starting (Gorn, 8/10).

Kansas Health Institute News: Pilot Project Would Speed DD Program Exposure To KanCare
The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services has begun the process for putting together a pilot project aimed at letting programs for the developmentally disabled contract with the KanCare managed care companies next year instead of waiting until 2014. Earlier this week, the agency issued a formal ‘request for information’ on how the project might work (Ranney, 8/9).

This is part of Kaiser Health News’ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.


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