In The News – April 3, 2013

In today’s health news, web-based tools designed to help people figure out if the federal health care law impacts them are proliferating; death rates rise at geographically isolated hospitals; and lawmakers want a local focus for Mayo Clinic expansion plan.

 

Online tools aim to help Minnesotans with federal health law (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

A number of online tools are cropping up to help people figure out how the federal health care law will affect them in 2014, when the most significant provisions of the law kick in. Two of the biggest changes will require that all citizens have insurance and that insurers no longer reject those with pre-existing conditions.

The latest website launched Wednesday, and aims to help Minnesotans figure out how the law will change health insurance coverage. The site — myhealthcarefuture.org — was funded by a coalition of the state’s major health insurance companies and is a collaboration with the Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota, Citizens League, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and MN Community Measurement.   Read More…

 

Death rates rise at geographically isolated hospitals, study finds (MinnPost.com)

For 15 years, Congress has bestowed special privileges to some small remote hospitals, usually in rural areas, to help them stay afloat. Medicare pays them more than it pays most hospitals and exempts them from financial pressure to operate efficiently and requirements to reveal how their patients fare. Nearly one in four hospitals qualifies for the program.

The states with the most critical access hospitals are Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Texas and Nebraska, all with between 65 and 83 such facilities, federal data showMinnesota has 79.   Read More…

 

Key lawmakers want greater local bent to Mayo plan (Duluth News Tribune)

Key Minnesota lawmakers on Tuesday signaled a coming makeover to the Mayo Clinic expansion plan that would reduce the state’s burden and increase the amount derived locally.

The bill was detoured Tuesday to give the House Capital Investment Committee a chance to examine it while the Taxes Committee figures out the critical financing piece. The proposal has been stalled in the tax panel for weeks, making supporters nervous as the session clock ticks down.   Read More…

In The News – Feb. 20, 2013

Today’s health news summary:

  • MN Community Measurement report says state is doing better with health
  • The rate of c-section births vary by up to 50% depending on the clinic
  • An oral health plan designed to reduce kids’ cavities
  • North Memorial named to “50 best” list

Minnesota makes progress in health treatment (Duluth News Tribune)

Minnesota progressed toward better statewide health in a number of areas last year, according to the annual Minnesota Health Care Quality Report.

In its ninth year, the report is presented by MN Community Measurement, a nonprofit agency, to compare the performances of clinics and medical groups across the state in treating 19 conditions.   Read More…

 

C-section rates in Minnesota vary dramatically reports show (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

If you’re a first-time mom, your chances of having a Caesarean section could vary dramatically depending on which medical clinic you choose.

A survey of Minnesota clinics found that C-section rates varied from as little as 3 percent of births to more than 50 percent across the state last year. The state average was 26 percent for first-time mothers, according to the report by MN Community Measurement.   Read More…

 

Minnesota creates its first-ever oral health plan (with video at KARE 11 TV)

It turns out more than half of Minnesota third graders have cavities, according to state health officials.

That’s slightly higher than the national average, but the state has a plan to fight back.

The Minnesota Department of Health has developed its first ever comprehensive oral health plan. It said the state could save 49 million dollars a year in hospital costs if it had better oral health care for residents.   Read More…

 

North Memorial makes list of nation’s best hospitals (WCCO-TV)

North Memorial Medical Center announced Tuesday that it has been placed in HealthGrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals.

This is the second year in a row that the hospital has made the list. The distinction places the hospital – the only Minnesota hospital – in the top 5 percent of all hospitals nationwide. Read More…