KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Providers Brace For Health Overhaul, Seek To Improve Quality

The (Torrance, Calif.) Daily Breeze: "With health care reform on the way -- bringing with it scores of new Medi-Cal patients -- community clinics that treat mostly low-income and uninsured patients are looking at ways to transform into primary care medical hubs. South Bay Family Health Care, based in Redondo Beach, will get help doing that from Los Angeles County's only public health insurance plan, L.A. Care. The nonprofit health plan has hired a consulting firm to help 11 clinics improve their treatment model over the next two years" (Evans, 10/28).

The St. Petersburg Times: "Reversing a vote taken last week, the [Tampa] City Council on Thursday approved a plan to open three health care clinics for 10,000 city workers, their dependents and retirees. Mayor Pam Iorio proposed the idea to cut expenses by giving people covered by the city's insurance plan a lower-cost treatment alternative" (Zink, 10/29).

Baltimore Business Journal: "Maryland hospital leaders and state health regulators agree that bringing hospital readmissions down could help accomplish the industry-wide goal of reducing health care costs. What they disagree on [is how] to track readmissions and reward hospitals that lower them." Hospitals say, for one thing, they would need more money to do this, which in the short term, at least, sort of defeats the purpose (Mullin, 10/28).

The Connecticut Mirror: "The patient-centered medical home has become a favored topic in health policy circles. Insurers and large employers are experimenting with--and in some cases, embracing--the model. The federal government is offering funds for demonstration projects on the concept, and Connecticut has applied to conduct one, proposing a medical home pilot for close to 77,000 state employees and Medicaid and Medicare recipients" (Becker, 10/27).

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