State Highlights: Mass. Insurers Back Out Of Disabled Adults Experiment

A selection of health policy stories from Massachusetts and California.

Boston Globe: Health Plan For Disabled Adults Cut Back In Mass.
Massachusetts health insurers' reluctance to join a national experiment to improve care for disabled lower-income adults has forced the state to scale back the program even before it starts. Massachusetts is among the first states to roll out the national program, but half the insurers that were expected to participate backed out because they feared losing money. That will mean fewer options for patients when enrollment opens for the voluntary "One Care" program in October (Conaboy, 7/29).

Boston Globe: The New 21st Century House Call
Keeping track of health measurements at home is pretty simple: Step onto a scale in the bathroom, take a glucose measurement on the way out the door, or strap on a blood pressure cuff while watching television. Now, doctors increasingly want access to those at-home measurements in an effort to keep patients healthier and reduce health care costs. Boston's Partners HealthCare last month launched a system that allows patients to upload information from their medical devices, often wirelessly, directly into their electronic records in doctors’ offices. Patients can use glucometers, blood pressure cuffs, bathroom scales, and pulse oximeters (which measure blood oxygen levels) at home, to take regular measurements and send them to their doctors (Sathian, 7/29).

Los Angeles Times: Burbank Police Department Honored For Mental Health Program
The Burbank Police Department's mental health evaluation team is one of six local law enforcement agencies to be honored for its efforts by the state attorney general. When established roughly a year ago, the Burbank evaluation team was tasked with responding to an uptick in mental health calls citywide, which had jumped from 293 calls in 2008 to 567 last year, officials said (Tchekmedyian, 7/28).

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