Daily Rounds: Harvard Pilgrim, Tufts Merger; Old Doctors; Watchdog For Nursing Homes; Hacking Away At Health Law

Harvard Pilgrim, Tufts Health Care Plan Merger | WBUR "The second- and third-largest health insurance companies in Massachusetts are looking to merge. Tufts Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care are expected to announce a their plans Tuesday." (WBUR | 90.9 FM)

Worry Grows About Aging Doctors’ Fitness to Practice - "One-third of the nation’s physicians are over 65, and that proportion is expected to rise. As doctors in the baby boom generation reach 65, many are under increasing financial pressures that make them reluctant to retire. Many doctors, of course, retain their skills and sharpness of mind into their 70s and beyond. But physicians are hardly immune to dementia, Parkinson’s disease, stroke and other ills of aging. And some experts warn that there are too few safeguards to protect patients against those who should no longer be practicing. “My guess is that John Q. Public thinks there is some fail-safe mechanism to protect him from incompetent physicians,” Dr. Norcross said. “There is not.”' (

Mass. patient watchdog named to Medicare post - White Coat Notes - "In her job at CMS, which is headquartered in Baltimore, [Alice] Bonner will be responsible for enforcing quality and safety in the nation's nursing homes. "And using the process and the regulations to effectively enforce the standards that consumers want — so that they can go to bed at night and feel that the person they really care about is being cared for well," said Bonner, whose last day with the state is today." (

The Top Five Branches Of Health Law GOP Wants To Prune : NPR Ways and Means Committee "Chairman Dave Camp of Michigan was blunt about the strategy when addressing reporters last week: "If the tree is rotten, you cut it down." If that doesn't work, "we'll prune it branch by branch." Here is a quick look at five "branches" of the health law "tree" Republicans are eyeing." (

This program aired on January 25, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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