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Daily Rounds: Rate Hikes Approved; Patient Safety Failures; Immigrants Slated To Lose Coverage; Health Law Omission Hurts Children's Hospital

State holds health insurance hikes under 10 percent - The Boston Globe "After rejecting double-digit increases earlier this year, Massachusetts regulators are allowing a more modest round of rate hikes to take effect in January for health insurance policies covering small businesses and individuals." (Boston Globe)

Patient Safety Is Not Improving in Hospitals, Study Finds - NYTimes.com "The study, conducted from 2002 to 2007 in 10 North Carolina hospitals, found that harm to patients was common and that the number of incidents did not decrease over time. The most common problems were complications from procedures or drugs and hospital-acquired infections. "It is unlikely that other regions of the country have fared better,” said Dr. Christopher P. Landrigan, the lead author of the study and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. The study is being published on Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine." (The New York Times)

Thousands of immigrants on track to lose health care » Latest News » EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA "Lawmakers last year cut AWSS immigrants from the rolls of Commonwealth Care, a state-subsidized insurance program, to balance the state budget. But Gov. Deval Patrick proposed funding a scaled-back health insurance program. Eventually, legislators agreed to provide $40 million for limited coverage, about a third of what the governor initially estimated it would cost to fully fund the AWSS population. That limited plan, offered by CeltiCare...excluded coverage for vision, dental, hospice and skilled nursing and came with significant co-pay increases. The CeltiCare plan...was reauthorized at $60 million in this year’s budget, but without additional funds, Patrick administration officials say resources are only available to maintain the program through December." (The Eagle-Tribune | North Andover, MA)

Snag in health care law could cost children’s hospitals millions - The Boston Globe "The error was a simple and unintentional omission in the final, frenetic days of drafting the landmark legislation and reconciling House and Senate versions. Congressional staff intended to allow children’s hospitals continued access to the portion of a federal program that offers below-market prices on 347 specific medicines for rare, life-threatening conditions. But that language was accidentally altered. Senator Scott Brown, Republican of Massachusetts, has filed a standalone bill as a remedy, while Senator John F. Kerry has helped persuade top Democrats to make the change through an amendment to a bill addressing broader tax policies." (Boston Globe)

This program aired on November 25, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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