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 show. Minnesota 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…