Morning CheckUp: November 9, 2011

Mississippi personhood amendment defeated: Mississippi’s effort to outlaw abortion, some forms of contraception, and invetro fertilization went down in flames yesterday, after voters rejected the initiative in a decisive vote of 42 percent to 58 percent. [AP]

Ohio’s anti-mandate amendment passes: “Ohioans passed an amendment to the state constitution that says Ohio residents cannot be forced to buy health insurance. The amendment, however, will likely do very little to prevent Ohio residents from being forced to buy health insurance.” [The Hill]

WalMart wants to dominate primary care: “Walmart — the nation’s largest retailer and biggest private employer — now wants to dominate a growing part of the health care market, offering a range of medical services from basic prevention to management of chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease, NPR and Kaiser Health News have learned.” [KHN]

Georgia secures MLR waiver: “HHS granted Georgia a break from part of the healthcare law that governs insurers’ spending. Plans must spend 80 percent of their premiums on medical costs, leaving the remaining 20 percent for profit and administrative costs. But states can ask for an adjustment if immediately enforcing the 80 percent standard would drive insurers away and leave consumers without options.” [Sam Baker]


Florida falling behind on ACA implementation: “During a town hall hosted by Florida health advocates today, policy experts warned that the state is falling woefully behind on plans for a state health insurance exchange program. By law, the state is required to have a fully operational exchange program by January 2013.” [Florida Independent]

Kansas governor announces Medicaid privatization plan: “Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback announced a major overhaul of the state’s Medicaid program today, which would put nearly all Medicaid recipients into private, managed-care plans. While low-income families are currently in such plans, elderly and disabled Kansans receive care through a fee-for-service system. “ [KHN]

Health info exchanges net savings: “When hospital emergency departments use data accessed through health information exchanges, it results in “net societal saving” with corresponding financial savings as well — mostly through reduced hospital admissions, according to a report posted on the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association’s website.” [Modern Healthcare]