News outlets report on a variety of state health policy issues.
Kaiser Health News: HCA May Face Big Revenue Hit If Feds Approve Texas Medicaid Plan
Private Texas hospitals, including at least 21 facilities owned by the publicly traded Hospital Corporation of America, could see a plunge in supplemental Medicaid payments if a state proposal to revamp its health care program for the poor is approved by the federal government. HCA, the nation's largest for-profit hospital chain, drew $657 million in supplemental Medicaid payments from Texas in 2010, making it especially vulnerable (Weaver, 10/3).
Arkansas News/Stateline: GOP, State Chamber At Odds On Health Insurance Exchange Grant
The head of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce says the business organization is disappointed that the state declined to apply for a multimillion-dollar federal grant to fund planning for a state health insurance exchange. The deadline to apply for the grant was Friday. Gov. Mike Beebe said the state did not apply because of opposition from Republican state legislators (Lyon, 10/2).
Arizona Republic: Civic Leaders Says Mayo Medical School Will Be Boon For Valley
Scottsdale civic and health-industry officials lauded plans announced this week for a future Mayo Clinic medical school that is expected to bring more physicians and educational opportunities to the city and state. The Mayo Medical School-Arizona Campus could open as early as 2014, offering small class sizes and innovative curriculum at the Mayo Clinic's Shea Boulevard campus east of Loop 101 (Duckett and Gately, 10/3).
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Health Benefit Costs To Rise 6.7% In Milwaukee Area
Large employers and their employees in the Milwaukee area are projected to spend 6.7% more on health benefits next year, according to an analysis by Aon Hewitt released Monday. The estimate is roughly in line with the projected increase of 7% for large employers nationally. The 6.7% projected increase for the Milwaukee area comes after an 8.4% increase in costs this year (Boulton, 10/3).
Connecticut Mirror: Simplifying The Instructions For Patients And Their Caregivers
Helping to care for her 94-year-old mother, Shelley Dietz noticed a problem, one with implications for much of the health care system…. Now Dietz is part of an effort to standardize the information given to patients with heart failure and those who care for them, using short instructional films that will soon be available free on the Internet. The team behind them hopes the films will be used by hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies and physician practices statewide, and possibly, across the country (Levin Becker, 10/3).
Mercury News / Palo Alto Daily News: Stanford Hospital & Clinics Vows To Fight $20M Class Action
Stanford Hospital & Clinics vowed Monday to "vigorously defend" itself against a $20-million class-action complaint filed in the wake of a data breach that saw the medical records of 20,000 patients posted on a commercial website for nearly a year. Shana Springer filed the complaint on Sept. 28 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, on behalf of fellow patients treated in Stanford's emergency room between March 1, 2009, and Aug. 31, 2009. She is seeking $1,000 per patient, as well as other penalties, damages and attorneys' fees (Green, 10/4).