Two cheers for house health financing reform bill (Health Stew - The Boston Globe) - "For rookie Health Financing Co-Chair Steve Walsh (D-Lynn), it is an impressive debut for his first major health proposal, advanced with the backing of House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop) and 11 health economists. Two reasons this is good news. First, the serious and public legislative process on how to achieve meaningful and long-term health care cost control is now fully engaged...With leaders in both chambers releasing bills, we now have a high degree of likelihood that legislation will reach the Governor's desk in the summer. Expectations matter on Beacon Hill, and failure to produce a meaningful law now would be viewed as a major failure leading up to this fall's state legislative elections. Second, the House leaders' proposals are potentially far-reaching and game changing."
Blue Cross plan targets abuse of painkillers (The Boston Globe) - "Amid a rising sea of addictions to prescription painkillers, Massachusetts’ largest health insurer is launching a policy to curb abuse by significantly limiting the amount of pain medication most patients can receive without prior approval from the insurer. The program by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, scheduled to start July 1, will allow patients to fill a 15-day prescription and one additional 15-day supply of the most common opioid drugs, such as Percocet and Vicodin, before the insurer hits the pause button."
Steward responds to 'red flags' in Rhode Island; Hospital chain forecasts profits this fiscal year (Commonwealth Magazine) - "A consultant hired by the state of Rhode Island is raising “red flags” about the financial health of Steward Health Care System, but the Boston-based hospital chain says its business plan is on target and the company is expecting to turn a profit this year...Steward normally doesn’t release its financial results, but it provided a copy of its audited consolidated financial statements for fiscal 2011 to Rhode Island as part of the state’s regulatory review. Rhode Island officials hired Enterprise Management Corp., a Connecticut consulting firm, to review the financial statements, and Enterprise in a letter highlighted a number of what it called red flags. The statements themselves were not released."Black Women and Fat (The New York Times) - "Four out of five black women are seriously overweight. One out of four middle-aged black women has diabetes. With $174 billion a year spent on diabetes-related illness in America and obesity quickly overtaking smoking as a cause of cancer deaths, it is past time to try something new. What we need is a body-culture revolution in black America. Why? Because too many experts who are involved in the discussion of obesity don’t understand something crucial about black women and fat: many black women are fat because we want to be."
This program aired on May 7, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.