"Morning CheckUp: October 4, 2011"
States undermine the care of dual eligibles?: A new study from researchers at the Urban Institute suggests that “although states have developed managed care for Medicaid’s younger enrollees, they lack experience in managing dual-eligibles’ medical care, and face continued incentives to substitute federal Medicare for state Medicaid spending, in order to control their expenditures.” It also noted that most Medicaid managed-care plans lack both the experience and capacity to handle dual-eligible patients. [Modern Healthcare]
Parents skip vaccination for kids: “More than 1 in 10 parent parents of young kids follow an alternative schedule of vaccinations that doesn’t fit with the recommendations of doctors and public health officials. The results published in Pediatrics come from a national survey conducted online.” [NPR]
Home health companies cheated Medicare: Three home health care companies manipulated the Medicare system by charging for unnecessary services, according to an investigation released Monday by the Senate Finance Committee. Investigators cited internal memos showing that three of the nation’s largest home health care companies told employees to increase the number of therapy sessions a patient received in a 60-day period. [USA Today]
Burgess wants to reduce the deficit by repealing health reform: “Two of the largest and costliest provisions in the new health care law create unprecedented government mandates, costing a combined total of nearly $1.5 trillion,” Rep. Michael Buergess (R-TX) writes in the Washington Times. “These new mandates give the federal government far too much control over – and taxpayers far too much responsibility for financing – millions of Americans’ health care. Given our deteriorating debt situation over the past year, it’s clearer than ever: We can’t afford this new spending. So why not start there?” [Washington Times]
Minnesota is at war over the exchanges: “Gov. Mark Dayton has secured millions in federal dollars to design a Minnesota health insurance exchange. But whether the Dayton administration has the authority to turn those designs into reality is an open question.” [MPR News]
Insurer to stop covering breast cancer drug: “Blue Shield of California is the first insurer to pull coverage following an FDA advisory committee’s unanimous recommendation in June that the agency revoke Avastin’s approval for breast-cancer treatment. The committee cited two studies that showed the drug wasn’t effective for the cancer and concluded risks outweighed benefits.” [WSJ]
Stay in CLASS: “A coalition including AARP, Service Employees International Union and 10 other groups sent a letter to President Obama imploring him to move forward with the voluntary long-term health insurance program, the CLASS Act, which faces an uncertain future.” [Sahil Kapur]