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Jan. 20, 2010  
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Obesity Rates Hit Plateau in U.S., Data Suggest
from The New York Times
Americans, at least as a group, may have reached their peak of obesity, according to data the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released. The numbers indicate that obesity rates have remained constant for at least five years among men and for closer to 10 years among women and children — long enough for experts to say the percentage of very overweight people has leveled off. More

California Sets Rules for Seeing Doctors Faster
from San Francisco Chronicle
California is set to become the first state in the nation to require that patients covered by managed-care plans be seen by their doctors within a specific time frame. The state Department of Managed Health Care, which regulates California's health maintenance organization plans, released long-awaited rules recently spelling out how quickly patients must be seen. More

Health Care Bill May Curtail Doctor-owned Hospitals in Texas
from The Dallas Morning News
With a booming health care market and no check on hospital growth, Texas looked ripe for more rehabilitation hospitals. But Dallas-based Reliant Healthcare Partners' plan to build 13 of the niche hospitals in Texas might turn out to have one major problem: It recruited physicians as investors. More

U.S. Stocks Climb As Health Care Expectations Rise
from The Wall Street Journal
U.S. stocks have climbed as health care stocks soared on hopes that Congressional legislation may be subject to new compromises following the recent special election in Massachusetts. More

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Medicaid's Managed Care Costs Too High
from The Salt lake Tribune
Utah's Medicaid program isn't providing enough oversight of its managed care plans, a problem that is costing the state as much as $19 million, according to a Legislative audit recently released. More

Advocate Guides Patients, Families in Hospital
from CBS News - Baltimore
These days, the health care system can prove difficult to navigate, sometimes leaving patients and families confused. Maryland's Washington County Hospital patient advocate Carolyn Carder helps guide patients through what can seem to be an obstacle course. More

Hospitals Stuck When Indigent Victims Need Pricey Care
from Las Vegas Sun
Two hours before sunrise on Nov. 30, a police officer and a police dog stumbled upon 60-year-old James Paul Schmidt suffering from a severe head injury in a Central Las Vegas alley. Schmidt, a homeless man, had been beaten. He was taken to University Medical Center, where police said he suffered a brain injury and was in a coma. Due to federal law intended to protect patient privacy, hospital officials won’t say how high the medical bills are for Schmidt or whether he has insurance, which is unlikely, but, given the circumstances, his hospital bill is bound to be huge. It begs the question: Can whoever caused his injuries be held responsible for his hospital bills so that taxpayers aren’t? More

Doctors Must Embrace Patients' Backgrounds
from The Dartmouth
The audience reacted with intermittent bursts of laughter as Danielle Ofri, professor of medicine at New York University School of Medicine and internist at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, recounted her experiences with cultural rifts between doctors and patients in her recent lecture "Journeys With Our Patients: Multiculturalism in a Two-Person Canoe." In order to treat their patients more effectively, doctors should work to be more cognizant of the cultural backgrounds of their patients, Ofri said. More

Why Does Health Care Cost So Much?
from The New York Times
People like to live too much. This is my favorite, only half-kidding, response when people ask why health care in America is so expensive. That question — why medical care, and insurance to cover medical care, cost so much – is at the core of the legislative debate in Washington. And as Congress gets closer to approving a final bill, it is being asked by smart observers everywhere. Let’s ask two experts, from opposite sides of the political spectrum. In a nutshell: why is health care in America so expensive and will the Democrats’ bill sufficiently help to control those costs? More

City Hospital Chief Calls for Coverage of Immigrants
from The New York Times
The leader of New York City’s massive public hospital system recently warned that the health care bills in Congress would burden safety net hospitals by failing to provide coverage for uninsured immigrants while also reducing federal payments for indigent care. More

Don’t Blame the Hospitals
from NPR - Boston
Rising health care premiums are placing an increased burden on Massachusetts small businesses, and the Massachusetts Hospital Association agrees with Senator Richard Moore (D-Uxbridge), the Retailers Association of Massachusetts and other health care stakeholders that action needs to be taken to give these businesses and their employees some relief. More

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