Read more Health Care in the States stories from: 2012
The Dramatic Difference: What A Hospital Charges Vs. What Medicare Pays
By Annie Feidt, Alaska Public Radio Network, May 13
For the first time, the federal government has shared what hospitals bill Medicare for the 100 most common diagnoses and treatments.
Competition Spurs 2 Oregon Insurers To Lower Proposed Rates
By Phil Galewitz, May 10
After the state became the fourth to publicly list health insurers’ proposed 2014 rates, two plans moved to cut their suggested prices.
Colorado Exchange Board Spars Over Federal Funding
By Eric Whitney, Colorado Public Radio, May 10
The $125 million request, if granted, would push total federal funding for Colorado's exchange over $185 million.
California Weighs Expanded Role For Nurse Practitioners
By Pauline Bartolone, Capitol Public Radio, May 9
California is one of 15 states expected to consider legislation this year that would give advanced practice nurses more independence and authority.
Colorado Launches $2M Ad Campaign For New Online Marketplace
By Phil Galewitz, May 8
It became the first state to launch a public awareness campaign with television, print, radio and billboard ads that will cost $2 million.
Florida Legislative Session Ends Without Deal On Medicaid Expansion
By Lynn Hatter, WFSU, May 3
Lawmakers closed their session Friday without reaching an agreement to expand access to the program under the Affordable Care Act.
Colorado Weighs Reopening A Psychiatric Hospital To Serve The Homeless
By Eric Whitney, Colorado Public Radio, May 2
The proposal would bring mentally ill homeless to Fort Lyon, a one-time mental hospital, then prison, that’s been shuttered for two years.
Arkansas Medicaid Model: What You Need To Know About The 'Private Option'
By Jay Hancock, May 1
Arkansas may both increase coverage for the poor and create something that looks less like government and more like business.
Yes, Virginia, There Is A Medical Home
By Sandy Hausman, Virginia Public Radio, May 1
Some hope "medical homes" will allow the health law to extend not just health care coverage to the newly insured, but also ensure they have a place to get care.
California Moves To Protect Smokers From Higher Obamacare Insurance Costs
By Stephanie O'Neill, Southern California Public Radio, April 30
The health law allows smokers to be charged up to 50 percent more – but legislation is moving forward in California to stop that.
Colorado Medicaid Expansion Moves Forward With One Republican Vote
By Eric Whitney, Colorado Public Radio, April 29
The Senate is expected to approve a House bill and send it to the desk of Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, who has said he will sign it.
Oregon's Dilemma: How To Measure Health
By Kristian Foden-Vencil, Oregon Public Broadcasting, April 26
The Obama Administration gave Oregon almost $2 billion to come up with its own system to coordinate care better -- but how will the measure success?
Senate President Lays Blame With Sebelius If Florida Fails To Expand Medicaid
By Phil Galewitz, April 26
Most Florida Senate leaders want to accept the federal money and use it to put people into private coverage.
With Time Running Out, Florida Medicaid Expansion Is In Doubt
By Phil Galewitz, April 26
Florida, with nearly four million uninsured residents, is one of more than a dozen still weighing if it will expand Medicaid, by how much and to whom.
Nurses Fighting State-By-State For Minimum Staffing Laws
By David Schultz, April 24
Legislatures in at least seven states and D.C. are debating bills that would require hospitals to have a minimum number of nurses on staff at all times.
States Spend $28M Then Leave Exchanges To The Feds
By Phil Galewitz, April 24
Ten states spent $28 million to decide if they wanted to run their own health insurance marketplaces and then they all decided to leave it to the federal government.
Boston Couple Faces Amputation Rehab, Together
By Martha Bebinger, WBUR, April 22
Patrick and Jessica Downes, who both work in health care, each lost the lower part of their left legs in the Boston bombing.
Mississippi's Lone Abortion Clinic Is Still Open And Still Controversial
By Jeffrey Hess, Mississippi Public Broadcasting, April 17
A judge blocked a state law -- for now -- that would likely have shuttered the state's sole abortion clinic.
Wait For Obamacare Price Tags Could Be Months
By Jay Hancock, April 12
Deadlines in many states for filing proposed rates in the individual health insurance market aren't until late May. And some have no plans to publish results quickly.
Colorado's New Business Pitch: Healthy, Lean Workers Cost Less
By Eric Whitney, Colorado Public Radio, April 10
Colorado, which has the lowest adult obesity rate in the nation, is pitching companies looking to relocate or expand with its "culture of health."
Study: States Lag On Tracking Potential Obamacare Loophole
By Jay Hancock, April 8
Some see self-insurance, which is exempt from the health law's taxes, benefit rules and price restrictions taking effect next year, as a loophole opportunity.
Texas Legislature Weighing 5 Key Proposals To Limit Abortions
By Carrie Feibel, KUHF, April 4
The bills favor policies that would impose more regulations on abortion clinics, rather than policies meant to change women’s minds.
Minn. Vows To Have Small Business Options On New Health Exchange
By Elizabeth Stawicki, MPR News, April 3
Workers at small businesses that buy health insurance on Minnesota’s new marketplace will have access to features delayed in other states.
New Med School Aims To Train Primary Care Docs
By Jeffrey Cohen, WNPR, April 2
Quinnipiac University is spending $100 million on a new primary care school, and it is one of about a dozen new medical schools on the horizon.
No Rate Shock Seen In Proposed 2014 Premiums In Vermont
By Phil Galewitz, April 1
Vermont became the first state to publish proposed 2014 individual health insurance rates under the federal health law.
Oregon Shows Costs Of Putting Medicaid Enrollees In Private Coverage
By Phil Galewitz, March 29
Many states are considering enrolling Medicaid recipients into private plans, but Oregon has had mixed results.
Obamacare Is No Stumbling Block For Taxpayers This Year
By Eric Whitney, Colorado Public Radio, March 29
If you haven’t done your taxes yet, ads from H&R Block might make you feel even more anxious about just what the health law has in store for you.
Audit Finds Shortcomings In Minn. Verifications Of Income, Other Information
By Elizabeth Stawicki, MPR News, March 27
An audit shows Minnesota’s Department of Human Services has not been adequately verifying the eligibility of some in assistance programs.
Officials Unveil More Details Of Colo. Exchange Funding
By Eric Whitney, Colorado Public Radio, March 22
A week after approving a tax on health insurance policies, Colorado officials are offering more details of their plans to fund the exchange after federal money runs out in 2014.
In The Emergency Department, Gunshot Fatalities Often 'Hard To Forget'
By Eric Whitney, Colorado Public Radio, March 21
In Colorado, where more people die from gunshots than car crashes, the victims have a profound effect on the physicians who treat them.
Minnesota Governor Signs Bill Creating Health Insurance Marketplace
By Elizabeth Stawicki, MPR News, March 21
Starting in October, more than a million Minnesotans, including 300,000 uninsured, are expected to sign up for health plans using MNSURE.
Health Law Covers Breast Pumps, But Not All Moms Get The Best
By Kristian Foden-Vencil, Oregon Public Broadcasting, March 20
Under the health law, insurance plans are required to give new mothers equipment and services to enable them to breast feed -- but it doesn't specify what type.
Grieving Doctor Regrets He Didn’t Ask Depressed Patient About Gun
By Eric Whitney, Colorado Public Radio, March 20
Some are pushing to raise awareness to have doctors question patients about gun ownership in an attempt to curb suicides.
Midnight Drama As Minnesota House Passes Exchange Bill
By Elizabeth Stawicki, MPR News, March 15
State House lawmakers sent the exchange bill, which had a bumpy ride through that chamber, to the state Senate after a dramatic midnight vote.
Minnesota Exchange Bill Moves Forward Without Abortion Restrictions
By Elizabeth Stawicki, MPR News, March 14
Abortion restrictions have been cut from a final version of the health insurance exchange bill, and lawmakers will also work on funding it.
Colorado Sets Its Exchange Fee
By Eric Whitney, Colorado Public Radio, March 13
The price of policies in Colorado’s health insurance exchange will include a 1.4 percent fee to help fund exchange operations.
Mississippi Legislature Passes 'Anti-Bloomberg' Bill
By Jeffrey Hess, Mississippi Public Broadcasting, March 11
A bill would bar counties and towns from enacting rules that require calorie counts to be posted, that cap portion sizes, or that keep toys out of kids' meals.
Minnesota Senate Passes Exchange Bill
By Elizabeth Stawicki, MPR News, March 8
The Minnesota Senate followed the House in passing legislation to create an online health insurance marketplace under the federal health law.
What's The Price? Simple Question, Complicated Answer
By Martha Bebinger, WBUR, March 8
How much does Medicare pay a particular hospital in Boston for a colonoscopy? One reporter wanted to know, and got a complicated response.
Medicaid Expansion Divides Florida GOP
By Lynn Hatter, WFSU March 7
The dispute over the Medicaid expansion sanctioned by the federal health law has engulfed the state Republican Party.
Idaho, Utah, N.M. Running Out Of Time To Set Up State Exchange
By Phil Galewitz, March 7
Three states which had gotten tentative go-aheads to run their own health insurance websites may not be ready for an Oct. 1 launch.
In Conservative Arizona, Government-Run Health Care That Works
By Sarah Varney, March 7
Arizona is occupying an unusual place: as a model for how a generously-funded, tightly regulated government program can aid low-income patients.
Minnesota Legislature Hammers Out Exchange Bill
By Elizabeth Stawicki, MPR News, March 6
The Democratic-majority Minnesota House has passed a key part of the Obama administration's health care law.
Got A Health Care Puzzle? There Should Be An App!
By Elana Gordon, KCUR, March 5
Kansas City, Mo., is looking to boost its health-tech cred. So the city that's home to several health IT firms hosted a health innovation competition.
Florida House Panel Opposes Medicaid Expansion
By Lynn Hatter, WFSU March 4
The Florida House has signaled it won’t go along with Gov. Rick Scott to expand Medicaid coverage to more than a million low-income Floridians.
Mass. Weighs Governor's Plan To Tax Candy And Soda
By Martha Bebinger, WBUR, March 1
Candy and soda are considered food and are exempt from the state's 6.25 percent sales tax. But Gov. Deval Patrick wants to change that.
Hospital Consolidation Dance Heats Up In NYC
By Jenny Gold, Feb. 28
The Mount Sinai Medical Center and Continuum Health Partners announced that they have reached a tentative agreement on a possible merger.
Some States Will Rate Health Plans On Quality This Fall
By Julie Appleby, Feb. 28
Some states, among them Minnesota and California, are opting to do ratings early, before the federal health law requires them to do so in 2016.
Plans To Expand Florida Medicaid Welcomed And Feared
By Phil Galewitz, Feb. 24
If state lawmakers back Gov. Rick Scott's plan to expand Medicaid, it will be an experiment with a determinedly free-market twist.
D.C. Hospitals And Nurses Fight Over Staffing Ratios
By David Schultz, Feb. 22
Hospital and nurses are fighting over a bill modeled on a California law that would require them to maintain a minimum nurse-to-patient ratio at all times.
Hospitals Hook Up With Drugstore Giants To Lower Readmissions
By Eric Whitney, Colorado Public Radio, Feb. 20
The government is dinging hospitals whose patients come back too soon, that hospitals teaming with drugstores to keep patients healthier.
Waiver In Hand, Florida’s Rick Scott Backs Medicaid Expansion
By Diane Webber, Feb. 20
Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced that he would back expansion of the Medicaid program under the federal health law.
In Arizona, Poorest, Sickest Patients Get Coordinated Care
By Sarah Varney, Feb. 20
Arizona has long resisted federal health programs, but private companies have for many years been caring for those on both Medicare and Medicaid.
Study: Expanding Medicaid Cheaper Than Not In Colorado
By Eric Whitney, Colorado Public Radio, Feb. 13
A new analysis says expanding will save Colorado government $133.8 million compared to the cost of not expanding between 2014 and 2025.
California Sets Standard Deductibles, Copays For Insurance Plans
By Julie Appleby, Feb. 13
California became the first state to standardize health insurance plans under the federal health law.
Feds Blame Mississippi Governor For Exchange Denial
By Phil Galewitz, Feb. 8
An HHS official says the marketplace can't go forward without his support for coordination among state agencies.
HHS Denies Mississippi's Bid To Run Its Own Exchange
By Jeffrey Hess, Mississippi Public Broadcasting, Feb. 8
After the denial, Mississippi is now the only state to have its exchange blueprint nixed by the federal government.
Medicaid Transformation Watched Closely In Florida
By Lynn Hatter, WFSU, Feb. 8
The federal government signed off on the first part of a plan that could eventually steer more than 3 million low-income Floridians on Medicaid into managed care.
HHS Delays Basic Health Plan Option Until 2015
By Phil Galewitz, Feb. 7
It delayed by one year the rollout of a health program aimed at low to moderate-income people who won’t qualify for the expanded Medicaid program.
Kansas' Great Hope: Managed Care Will Tame Medicaid Costs
By Bryan Thompson, Kansas Public Radio, and Jim McLean, KHI News, Feb. 6
Many are watching to see if it will meet the goal of controlling costs while ensuring quality health care.
Feds Help States Qualify For More Medicaid Dollars
By Phil Galewitz, Feb. 1
They gave guidance to states on how they can increase their Medicaid funding by eliminating copays for certain preventive services, including immunizations.
State Action Needed To Guarantee Health Law Protections, Says Report
By Julie Appleby, Feb. 1
A report by the Commonwealth Fund shows only 11 states and the District of Columbia have passed rules needed to implement the law.
Post-Sandy, NYU Langone Has Reopened, But Can It Regain Market Share?
By Jenny Gold, Feb. 1
Some 500 NYU docs found refuge at other hospitals while it was closed following Sandy. Now, will patients and doctors will return?
Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital Is Back, But Changed, After Sandy
By Fred Mogul, WYNC, Jan. 30
Doctors, staff and administrators have had to improvise as they both restore partial service and repair the historic hospital’s damaged infrastructure.
TurboTax, Not Travelocity, May Be Better Analogy For Health Exchanges
By Eric Whitney, Colorado Public Radio, Jan. 25
Like paying taxes, buying insurance is complicated, rife with jargon and high stakes: Errors can cost big money and run afoul of the law.
Report: States Making It Easier To Apply For Medicaid
By Phil Galewitz, Jan. 23
Residents of 37 states can now apply online for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. And 28 states allow families to renew online.
Despite Incentives, Doctors’ Offices Lag On Digital Records
By Eric Whitney, Colorado Public Radio, Jan. 22
A state system used to track children's immunizations isn't compatible with most of the systems doctors use, so most don't use it.
Utah, HHS Quibble Over Best Way To Run State Insurance Market
By Phil Galewitz, Jan. 15
Although the Obama administration conditionally approved Utah’s insurance exchange, it’s unclear if the state will make sufficient changes to win final approval.
Is California Headed For State Vs. Counties Health Budget Battle?
By Sarah Varney, Jan. 11
California’s counties, which are required to provide health care to the "medically indigent" could administer their own programs or the state could do it -- for a price.
Governors’ Group Highlights Health Care In 2013 Outlook
By Shefali Kulkarni, Jan. 10
The Democratic and Republican leaders of the National Governors Association spoke Wednesday about the broader policy challenges facing all states in 2013.
Connecticut, The Insurance Capital, Moves Ahead With Exchange Plans
By Phil Galewitz, Jan. 8
Five health plans — including major insurers in the state’s individual market — plan to offer policies in the new online marketplace this fall.
Republican-Led Utah Gets Thumbs Up From HHS
By Phil Galewitz, Jan. 3
The Obama administration’s announcement that it has given Utah a conditional OK to run its own health insurance marketplace came as a surprise to many.
Colorado Will Expand Medicaid, Governor Announces
By Eric Whitney, Colorado Public Radio, Jan. 3
The state will expand its Medicaid program as much as the federal health care law calls for, and it won’t have to spend any extra money to do so, the governor said.