Healthcare News June 26, 2012

  • OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Supreme Court to rule Thursday

    We at least know when the Supreme Court will hand down its historic healthcare decision: Chief Justice John Roberts announced that all remaining cases will be decided Thursday, giving the healthcare world another 72 hours to prepare.

    That preparation is a massive undertaking: stakeholder groups have multiple statements ready to go, hoping to cover all the bases in a case that has myriad possible outcomes.

    Lawmakers are in a stressful and unfamiliar predicament over the healthcare ruling. It’s a momentous political event, but lawmakers and strategists can’t do anything to control or even predict the outcome. All they can do is hope and wait. Be sure to read our story on the nervous anticipation leading up to the historic decision.

    Process: It’s not unusual for the court to push big decisions to the last day of its term. But what, exactly, is going on with the healthcare ruling? It’s probably being proofread and printed, according to National Journal.

    “Everyone is working incredibly hard and long hours to get it polished and ready for prime time,” Kevin Walsh, a law professor at the University of Richmond, told the magazine.

  • Palin revives ‘death panels’ claim ahead of Supreme Court decision

    Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on Monday revived her inflammatory accusation that President Obama’s healthcare law creates “death panels.”

    Palin used her Facebook page to capitalize on the publicity surrounding the Supreme Court’s upcoming healthcare decision. She said she wanted to take the opportunity to stand by comments in a 2009 Facebook post that touched off a firestorm of controversy.

    “I stand by everything I wrote in that warning to my fellow Americans because what was true then is true now, and it will remain true as we hear what the Supreme Court has to say,” Palin said in Monday’s post.

  • Study: Hospital costs drop when infants treated better

    Using an evidence-based approach for treating sick infants ultimately lowers costs for hospitals, according to a new study conducted in Utah.

    Working with faculty at the University of Utah, Intermountain Hospitals found that using an updated care model for treating feverish infants saved four hospitals $1.9 million in 2009.

    The care model included obtaining a complete blood count and urinalysis for every infant and included treatment and discharge guidelines related to those tests.

  • Swing states would see biggest losses in coverage if court strikes health law

    Several key swing states would be hit especially hard if the Supreme Court strikes down President Obama’s healthcare reform law, according to new data from Avalere Health.

    If the court throws out the entire law, about 22.4 million people who would have gotten access to insurance coverage will remain uninsured, Avalere said. About 15 million people who would have been eligible for Medicaid would instead remain uninsured, as would roughly 7.5 million people who would have gotten subsidies to help pay for private insurance.

    Avalere also mapped how many people would remain uninsured in each state, and the biggest impacts would be felt in several key battlegrounds.

    Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Michigan would each see more than 500,000 people lose access to Medicaid or subsidized private insurance.

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