Daily Rounds: Steward Gets State OK; Dangerous Device Overload; The Readmission Paradox; Questioning Health Law's Affordability

This article is more than 9 years old.

Steward Health Care gets OK to market health insurance - Quincy, MA - The Patriot Ledger ( "Steward Health Care System has been given clearance from state regulators to begin marketing a health insurance plan that would limit coverage for most ailments to Steward hospitals and doctors.
Steward spokesman Chris Murphy said the state Division of Insurance approved the Steward Community Choice limited network plan on Monday. Steward will work with Watertown-based Tufts Health Plan, the state’s third largest health insurer, to administer the plan."

As Doctors Use More Devices, Potential For Distraction Grows (The New York Times) "This phenomenon has set off an intensifying discussion at hospitals and medical schools about a problem perhaps best described as “distracted doctoring.” In response, some hospitals have begun limiting the use of devices in critical settings, while schools have started reminding medical students to focus on patients instead of gadgets, even as the students are being given more devices. “You walk around the hospital, and what you see is not funny,” said Dr. Peter J. Papadakos, an anesthesiologist and director of critical care at the University of Rochester Medical Center in upstate New York, who added that he had seen nurses, doctors and other staff members glued to their phones, computers and iPads."

Hospitals Torn On Reducing Repeat Admissions : Shots - Health Blog : NPR ( "Repeat customers to hospitals are seen as a big problem. But it's complicated. Sometimes the hospitals themselves may profit from some patients' frequent visits. But it costs a lot money for the people who pay hospitals: Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers. As with many other problems in the health care system, unnecessary hospital readmissions are associated with worse treatment and health outcomes as well as higher costs to taxpayers — as much as $17 billion a year by one estimate."

The Affordable Care Act’s ‘affordability’ paradox - The Washington Post "We know that the health reform law requires “affordable” insurance to cost less than 9.5 percent of a worker’s household income. But here’s a crucial detail it left out: What counts as the “premium”? Is it the cost of providing insurance for just the employee, or for the workers’ entire family? There’s a huge difference between the two: the average premium for an individual last year was $921 per year, compared to the average $4,129 for a family policy, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. In other words, health insurance premiums of $4,129 send a company past the affordability target a lot faster than just providing an individual policy would.This has huge implications for the health reform law." (The Washington Post)

This program aired on December 15, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.