Sarah Kliff reports that some states are turning heads with the idea to expand Medicaid using the private insurance market. The idea would be to use Medicaid dollars to buy private insurance coverage for the expansion population. But with this idea come many questions from health policy experts.
Opting out of Medicaid Expansion may Prove Painful for North Carolinians, 3-10-13, Fayetteville Observer
Paul Woolverton reports North Carolina’s decision to reject $2 billion of Medicaid money annually will keep thousands of North Carolinians reliant on charity because they can’t afford health insurance. The decision last week also could drive up costs for people who have health insurance – doctors and hospitals have historically raised their rates on people who have insurance coverage to recover losses on people who don’t.
Judge Blocks New York City’s Limit on Big Sugary Drinks, 3-11-13, New York Times
Michael M. Grynbaum reports a judge struck down New York’s limits on large sugary drinks on Monday, one day before they were to take effect, in a significant blow to one of the most ambitious and divisive initiatives of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s tenure.
Medicaid Expansion Is Rejected in Florida, 3-11-13, New York Times
Lizzette Alvarez reports that after rebuffing Gov. Rick Scott’s support of Medicaid expansion, a Florida Senate committee on Monday rejected the idea, all but ending the possibility that the state would add more poor people to Medicaid rolls.
Lawmakers: Surgery Centers Would Provide Alternatives to High Hospital Bills, 3-12-13, Charlotte Observer
Ames Alexander reports hospitals could face significantly more competition for routine surgeries under a bill that proponents say could save N.C. patients and taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. The bill would make it easier for physicians to open same-day surgery centers, offices that typically charge far less than hospitals for outpatient procedures.
Carolinas HealthCare Income Jumps 302%, 3-12-13, Charlotte Business Journal
Jennifer Thomas reports Carolinas HealthCare System netted nearly $501.2 million last year at facilities across its system, a 302 percent increase from the $124.5 million it earned in 2011. The Charlotte-based health-care system owns, leases or manages 38 hospitals in the Carolinas.
UNC-CH Medical School Ranks No.1 in Primary Care, 3-12-13, Triangle Business Journal
Jason deBruyn reports The UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine ranks as the No. 1 school in the nation in terms of primary care, but the Duke University School of Medicine beats out UNC-CH in research and internal medicine.
Small Businesses Pursue Health Law ‘Loophole’, 3-15-13, Kaiser Health News
Jay Hancock reports that small businesses, that could be expected to buy medical insurance for workers under sweeping health-act rules taking effect in 2014, are choosing to avoid the health act’s requirements through self-coverage and small-business marketplaces intended to cover millions of Americans could break down and become unaffordable.
Hospital Ratings are in the Eye of the Beholder, 3-18-13, Kaiser Health News
Jordan Rau reports on how evaluations of hospitals are proliferating, giving patients unprecedented insight into institutions where variations in quality can determine whether they live or die. The ratings can sometimes provide as much confusion as clarity for consumers. Some hospitals rated as outstanding by one group are ignored or panned by another. Ratings results from an individual group can change significantly from year to year.