Morning CheckUp: August 23, 2011

Fewer doctors offering abortions: “Ninety-seven percent of OB-GYNs have encountered patients wanting an abortion, but only 14 percent of the doctors perform them, according to a study published today in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology. That finding suggests a smaller percentage of OB-GYNs may be offering abortion services than previous studies have estimated.” [NPR]

Arkansas to pay for ‘episodes’ of care in Medicaid: “Arkansas officials have identified nine areas that they want to focus on as they look at changing the way Medicaid pays for services, including neonatal care and developmental disabilities.” [Houston Chronicle]

Cutting payment is not rationing: “Smart cuts eliminate spending on medical tests, treatments and procedures that don’t work — or that cost significantly more than other treatments while delivering no better health outcomes. And they can be made without shortchanging patients.” [Ezekiel Emanuel]

Business association to launch exchanges: “The Independent Association of Business will launch as early as January state-based insurance exchanges across the country.” The IAB does not see their exchange as direct competition with the health law’s state based exchanges that will be created under the law, but says they will provide an alternative to businesses. [Amy Lotven]

Doctors see uphill climb for malpractice reform in super committee: “Despite the uphill climb, numerous physician groups are pushing forward with lobbying efforts to shore up support for malpractice reform. The AMA has declared it a leading priority (along with replacing the current physician payment formula) in upcoming super committee advocacy efforts, which were detailed in a recent memo.” [Sahil Kapur]

The crisis of drugs shortages: “It’s a problem that’s crept up on us. All of a sudden we started hearing from hospitals and physicians that they were having drug shortages with a wide range of drugs, but in particular, drugs that are used to treat a narrow niche of childhood cancers, ” Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) tells the Washington Post. [Sarah Kliff]