KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

First Edition: July 13, 2010

Today's health policy headlines include a report about state preparations to cut Medicaid spending as the federal funding stalemate continues and a status check on the start up of high-risk pools.

Insuring Your Health: How House Calls May Help Frail Elderly
In her latest Kaiser Health News consumer column, Michelle Andrews writes: "In this era of assembly-line appointments, when you're lucky to get 10 minutes of face time with a physician, the idea of doctors making house calls seems old fashioned. But for frail, elderly people with multiple health problems, bringing the medical establishment to the patient makes sense" (Kaiser Health News).

Hospitals Hope to Improve Outlook By Turning For-Profit
Kaiser Health News staff writer Jenny Gold, working in collaboration with USA Today, writes: "For decades, the Detroit Medical Center and its network of eight hospitals have served as a safety net for thousands of poor patients throughout southeastern Michigan. So when its pending sale to a for-profit hospital system was announced in March, pediatrician James Collins began worrying whether the poor would still get the care they need" (Kaiser Health News).

Health On The Hill – July 12, 2010
Kaiser Health News staff writer Mary Agnes Carey talks with KFF's Jackie Judd about President Obama's decision to use his recess appointment powers to nominate Donald Berwick to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services continues to anger Republicans who wanted a public examination of Berwick's record (Kaiser Health News).

Medicaid Stalemate Tests Cash-Strapped States
Several states are preparing to make deep cuts to Medicaid as a federal stalemate over funding for the poor drags on-even as states face mandates to expand the program under the new health-care law (The Wall Street Journal).

High-Risk Pools Off To A Slow Start
A handful of states that have begun accepting applications for their new federally funded high-risk health insurance pools have seen a slow trickle of enrollees but expect a bigger wave as word spreads about the option (Politico).

Administration's New HIV/AIDS Policy Focuses On Lowering Infection Rate
The White House will unveil the first formal national HIV/AIDS strategy on Tuesday, a plan that aims to reduce the number of new cases by 25 percent in the next five years, officials said (The Washington Post).

Obama HIV/AIDS Plan Calls For Reducing Infections
President Barack Obama is announcing a new national strategy for combating HIV and AIDS aimed at helping reduce the number of infections and providing those living with the virus high-quality care free from stigma or discrimination (The Associated Press).

Obama's National Strategy On AIDS Focuses On New Infections, Testing
President Obama will gather AIDS experts at the White House today to launch the first national strategy designed to cut new infections, boost the number of people who get tested and treated, and reduce disparities in access to care (USA Today).

VA Eases Claims Process For PTSD Treatment
For many U.S. troops now serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, coming home from war with post-traumatic stress disorder is hard enough. Once home, it can then take weeks, months, even years to qualify for federal disability benefits and receive treatment (NPR).

Analysis: FDA Vs. Big Pharmaceuticals: Clinical Trials May Not Be Good Enough
There will be more at stake than just one drug's future when the Food and Drug Administration (The Fiscal Times).

Diabetes Drug Maker Hid Test Data On Risks, Files Indicate
In the fall of 1999, the drug giant SmithKline Beecham secretly began a study to find out if its diabetes medicine, Avandia, was safer for the heart than a competing pill, Actos, made by Takeda (The New York Times).

U.K. Will Revamp Its Health Service
The U.K.'s new coalition government, grappling with weak public finances and rising health-care costs, announced an overhaul of the state-funded health system that it said would put more power in the hands of doctors and save as much as £20 billion ($30.12 billion) by 2014 (The Wall Street Journal).

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