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Daily Rounds: Coakley On Costs; Mass. Inmates Sue On HIV Drugs; ER Visits Fall For Tots; 'Frenzy' Of Health Mergers; 2 Million Boomers Expected To Opt For Part D

Mass. And Minn. Officials Struggle With Controlling Health Costs, Guaranteeing Quality - Kaiser Health News "Coakley said a so-called 'global payment' system, which the state is moving toward as a way to contain costs, simply won’t work without other reforms." (kaiserhealthnews.org) (For the full text of Ms. Coakley's remarks, please see the post below.)

Inmates sue over HIV drug-rule change - The Boston Globe "Massachusetts prisons have changed how they dispense medication to inmates infected with HIV in a calculated effort to discourage them from taking life-saving drugs that cost the state millions of dollars a year, according to a federal civil rights lawsuit." (Boston Globe) ER visits fall for tots after cold, cough medicines pulled - USATODAY.com "The number of babies and toddlers who go to the emergency room because of cough and cold medicines fell by more than 50% after manufacturers stopped selling products labeled for children under 2, a study shows." (USA Today) Consumer Risks Feared as Health Law Spurs Mergers - NYTimes.com "...Eight months into the new law there is a growing frenzy of mergers involving hospitals, clinics and doctor groups eager to share costs and savings, and cash in on the incentives...Consumer advocates fear that the health care law could worsen some of the very problems it was meant to solve — by reducing competition, driving up costs and creating incentives for doctors and hospitals to stint on care, in order to retain their cost-saving bonuses." (The New York Times)

More Baby Boomers Enroll In Medicare Part D Plans : NPR "It's open enrollment time and seniors will find changes this year when they sign up for Medicare prescription drug benefits, called Part D plans. About two million new baby boomers are expected to enroll this year." (npr.org)

This program aired on November 22, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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