First Edition: January 9, 2013

Published on January 9, 2013 at 8:11 AM · No Comments

Today's headlines include a number of health policy developments on the state level. 

Kaiser Health News: Doctors And Dentists Lure Patients With Saving Deals Online
Kaiser Health News staff writer Ankita Rao reports: "While most health-related deals on sites like Groupon and Living Social are for cosmetic procedures like Botox, providers also offer everyday medical, vision and dental services. Health and medical deals make up about 5 to 10 percent of the online coupon industry, according to Unaiz Kabani, data product manager at Yipit, a service that aggregates companies' daily deals" (Rao, 1/8). Read the story.

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: A Regional Analysis Of Which Hospital Got Rewards, Penalties Based On Quality
Now on Kaiser Health News' blog, Jordan Rau reports: "In Medicare's new program that ties about $1 billion in payments to quality of care, hospitals in Fort Wayne, Ind., are faring the best on average while hospitals in Washington, D.C., are doing the worst, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis of the country's 212 major health care markets" (Rau, 1/9). Check out what else is new on the blog.

Politico: Berwick Eyeing Run For Massachusetts Governor
Former Obama administration Medicare chief Don Berwick -; vilified by Senate Republicans who made his confirmation impossible -; is considering a run for Massachusetts governor in 2014, he told POLITICO late Tuesday (Kenen, 1/8).

The Wall Street Journal: Whistleblowers At Center Of States' Medicaid Fraud Action
Whistleblowers are becoming an increasingly important source of settlements from Medicaid fraud prosecutions  as states try to raise revenue and eliminate waste and abuse (DePietro, 1/7).

Los Angeles Times: California Regulator Scolds Anthem, Praises UnitedHealth On Rates
California's insurance commissioner scolded Anthem Blue Cross for raising rates for small businesses while praising industry rival UnitedHealth Group Inc. for cutting worker premiums (Terhune, 1/8).

Politico Pro: Mass. May Shift Health Coverage Penalties
In a step toward bringing Massachusetts in compliance with the federal health law, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick Tuesday proposed legislation that would ease some of his own state's coverage requirements for small business. The landmark Massachusetts reform law, signed by Gov. Mitt Romney in 2006, requires all businesses with 11 or more workers to offer a certain portion of their workers coverage or else face a "Fair Share" penalty of $295 per worker. But the federal Affordable Care Act has coverage requirements for businesses with 50 or more employees. That led to concerns among small businesses in Massachusetts about double-penalties and burdensome regulation (Cheney, 1/8).

The New York Times: Maine: Medicaid Purge Is Rejected
The Obama administration rejected Gov. Paul R. LePage's request to drop thousands of people from Medicaid rolls. Mr. LePage, a Republican, had sought to eliminate Medicaid coverage for nearly 15,000 parents with incomes between the federal poverty level ($23,050 for a family of four last year) and 133 percent of that level ($30,657 for a family of four). He also wanted to end coverage for more than 6,000 19- and 20-year-olds (Goodnough, 1/8).

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