The Morning CheckUp: June 27, 2011

Welcome to The Morning CheckUp, ThinkProgress Health’s 7:00 AM round-up of the latest in health policy and politics. Here is what we’re reading, what are you?

Mystery patients to snoop on doctors: “Alarmed by a shortage of primary care doctors, Obama administration officials are recruiting a team of “mystery shoppers” to pose as patients, call doctors’ offices and request appointments to see how difficult it is for people to get care when they need it.” [NYT]


Personalized care leads to better outcomes: “Physicians who engage in personalized discussions with patients and urge them to take a more active role in their own treatment — known as “patient-centered care” — produce better outcomes and fewer frivolous and costly tests and specialist referrals, researchers at the University of California at Davis said.” [Modern Healthcare]

Arizona Supreme Court refuses to halt Medicaid cuts: The justices “rejected the petition by several public interest law firms to forbid the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System from changing eligibility standards effective this coming Friday, a move that eventually would leave about 150,000 who otherwise are eligible without care.” [East Valley Tribune]

Huntsman’s mixed health care record: “Huntsman’s goal hasn’t been realized: The state’s uninsured rate remained steady at 11 percent in 2010, meaning 300,000 Utahns went without coverage.” [Utah News]

Rick Scott signs two anti-abortion measures: one “will require ultrasounds before women can receive abortions” and the other would tighten “the state law that requires parents to be notified before their minor daughters can have abortions.” [North Escambia]


6 states ban late-term abortions: these states “ban abortions at the 20th week after conception, based on the theory that the fetus can feel pain at that point — a notion disputed by mainstream medical organizations in the U.S. and Britain.” The laws directly “conflict with the key threshold set by the Supreme Court: that abortion cannot be banned until the fetus becomes viable.” [Times Union]

Romneycare worked: A detailed Globe review finds “the overhaul has achieved its main goals without devastating state finances. The remaining worry is future costs.” [Boston Globe]

347 million: the number of adults with diabetes worldwide has more than doubled in three decades. [Associated Press]

The high cost of dual eligibles: patients eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid “account for 16% of Medicare’s enrollees, but 27% of its spending. And they make up 15% of Medicaid’s enrollment, but 39% of Medicaid spending.” But how the bills are split between the two payers causes the federal government and the states, who share in the cost of Medicaid, to mismanage care and waste money on inefficient treatment. [WSJ]

AMA seeks to repeal the IPAB: “The so-called Independent Payment Advisory Board was one of several “defects” in the law that representatives of the American Medical Association voted against at their annual meeting in Chicago.” [Fox News]