A selection of stories from California, North Carolina and Minnesota.
Kaiser Health News: Branding Health Insurance Exchanges To Make The Sale
As states work to comply with the federal health care law, many are designing their insurance exchanges, where people will be able to shop for coverage. But just the word 'exchange' sounds to many like off-putting government-speak, and some states are eager to come up with a more appealing name for these new marketplaces. Peter Lee, who directs California's Health Benefit Exchange, says it's up for a new name, and he says they want it to sound fresh, dynamic and innovative (Bartolone, 9/25).
California Healthline: Oversight Hearing Examines CBAS Concerns
A member of the Assembly Committee for Aging and Long-Term Care asked that the state Legislative Counsel look into variation in eligibility approvals for the state's new adult day care program. That was one of many concerns raised during an Assembly oversight hearing yesterday examining the state's pending Oct. 1 implementation of much of its Community Based Adult Services program. Toby Douglas, director of the Department of Health Care Services, which is overseeing implementation of the CBAS program, answered a number of questions from legislators about the state's new program designed as part of a settlement of a lawsuit challenging the state's plans following elimination of the Adult Day Health Care program (Gorn, 9/25).
California Healthline: Developmental Center Bills On Governor's Desk
Two bills calling for changes in the way the state runs its developmental centers are waiting for the governor's signature. Both bills expedite a developmental center's report of any incident of resident harm or death and more clearly define the internal protection agency's responsibilities. The bills, by state Senators Mark Leno (D–San Francisco) and Carol Liu (D–Los Angeles) went to the governor's desk days after the release of a critical inspection report on the Sonoma Developmental Center. The report, made by the Department of Public Health, cited incidences of abuse, neglect, and lapses in care, according to Leslie Morrison of Disability Rights California (Nick-Kearney, 9/26).
North Carolina Health News: Nurses Embrace Evidence In Their Daily Practice
As recently as a decade ago, health care workers in intensive care units assumed that some patients would get life-threatening bloodstream infections from the centrally inserted intravenous lines that delivered their lifesaving medications. … But in the past five or six years, new guidelines on caring for those IV lines have reduced infection rates around the country and decreased deaths and injuries caused by the infections, as workers in many ICUs started heeding evidence on how to prevent the infections. That need to embrace evidence-based practices in health care is what was behind a symposium for several hundred nurses earlier this month at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro. The meeting was the first daylong symposium in the state aimed at getting working nurses to start questioning whether what they've been taught to do is based on evidence (Hoban, 9/26).
Minnesota Public Radio: Study: More Minnesotans Burdened By High Health Care Cost
A new study says Minnesota has a higher percentage of residents with a high health care cost burden than the national average. The report from the non-partisan Robert Wood Johnson foundation says 21 percent of Minnesotans are underinsured compared to the national average of 18 percent. The foundation defines under-insured as people spending more than 10 percent of their annual income on health care premiums and out-of-pocket costs. A higher portion of Minnesotans are enrolled in high-deductible health plans and that contributes to the underinsured levels, said Lynn Blewett, University of Minnesota health care economist (Stawicki, 9/25).