State News

Maine | October 6, 2017 | News Story

Maine among top 10 states with 'highest-rated health insurance plans'

According to MaineBiz, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)'s 2017-18 Health Insurance Plan Ratings ranks Maine as the third-best state in the country for the quality of its health insurance plans.

Wisconsin | October 3, 2017 | News Story

Wisconsin 2nd in country in use of electronic health records

Wisconsin has the second highest number of physicians using electronic medical records, according to a report from a federal agency, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. The Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) said 92 percent of Wisconsin's office-based doctors use electronic health records, compared to a 60 percent average across the country.

Louisiana | September 27, 2017 | Blog

Healthcare Is Local. Why Aren't Accountable Care Benchmarks?

In the American Journal of Managed Care, Travis Broome leads rapid and detailed analysis of new regulations pertaining to Medicare and affecting Aledade ACOs. He argues that CMS should move from a national benchmark for Medicare Shared Savings Program ACOs to a regional one to improve quality measures of healthcare value.

District of Columbia | September 19, 2017 | News Story

Mayor Unveils New Healthcare Plan for D.C.

The mayor of Washington, D.C. announced a new blueprint to address health inequity in the capital, based on a wide-ranging report detailing barriers to healthcare that are specific to resident demographics across the District’s eight wards, reports The Washington Times. The report, called the District’s Health System’s Plan, complements the Department of Health’s earlier proposed “D.C. Healthy People 2020 Initiative,” which outlined 150 objectives to address health issues in the city, both preventive and chronic. According to the Department of Health’s director, the report will better inform the department when considering proposals by healthcare partners, where their services are most needed and what will make the most impact throughout the city.

Vermont | September 17, 2017 | News Story

After Single Payer Failed, Vermont Embarks on a Big Healthcare Experiment

Vermont is setting an ambitious goal of taking its alternative payment model – which reimburses doctors and hospitals lump sums and financially rewards them for keeping people healthy – statewide, reports The Washington Post. By 2022, the state plans to apply the reimbursement strategy to 70 percent of insured residents, in an effort to limit the growth in overall annual healthcare spending to 3.5 percent each year. The current initiative is Vermont’s second attempt to revolutionize healthcare; it was the first state in the country to embrace a government-financed universal healthcare system, but abandoned the plan in late 2014 because of concerns over costs.

New York | September 13, 2017 | News Story

Nonprofit launches a health-pricing website for New Yorkers that lets consumers compare costs

Fair Health, a Midtown nonprofit that says it has the largest medical-claims database in the country, is unveiling a health care cost-transparency website for New Yorkers called, according to Crain’s New York Business. The site is launching ahead of the state’s all-payer database, a potentially similar resource that has been in development for six years. Perhaps the most useful feature is the ability to compare costs by provider for some common procedures, including those associated with obstetrical care and orthopedics. However, users will have to go elsewhere for quality ratings. Fair Health’s database includes access to more than 24 billion billed claims for medical and dental procedures.

Virginia | September 11, 2017 | News Story

Virginia picked for healthcare pilot program

Virginia has been picked as one of three states for Catalyst for Payment Reform's (CPR) state scorecard which will analyze how well health-care payment reform is working, according to an article in Virginia BusinessVirginia Scorecard 2.0 will be co-sponsored at the state level by the Virginia Center for Health Innovation (VCHI) and the Virginia Association of Health Plans. Scorecard 2.0 will measure how much payment reform there is in Virginia, as well as what type, as well as the impact that payment reform is having on the healthcare system. To calculate the healthcare system impact, CPR has added 12 metrics to the Scorecard that, together with the original measurements, gauge the economic signals that insurers are sending to health-care providers, how the health-care system is changing and whether there is an impact on outcomes.

Maine | September 11, 2017 | News Story

Maine Health Network Pitches Unification as Lifeline for Local Hospitals

Additional public forums are continuing to give Maine and New Hampshire residents the chance to voice their opinion about a plan that would have MaineHealth hospitals and medical organizations governed by one statewide board of trustees, including Maine Medical Center in Portland and Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford and Sanford, according to the Bangor Daily News.

Wisconsin | September 11, 2017 | News Story

Aging population presents double challenge in health care

Wisconsin's growing worker shortage presents a particularly difficult challenge for the health care industry, especially in rural areas and at facilities that care for the elderly and disabled. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Wisconsin's baby boomers retire in greater numbers over the coming decades and live longer than previous generations; therefore, there will be more consumers of health care while the working-age population that provides those services is projected to stay about the same.

Delaware | September 7, 2017 | News Story

Delaware Works to Reduce Healthcare Spending

Delaware’s governor signed legislation on Thursday which authorizes the state’s Health Secretary to work with stakeholders to develop a statewide healthcare spending benchmark, according to Delaware Public Media. The goal of the benchmark is to better control Delaware’s rising healthcare costs, currently ranked the third highest in the nation. As part of the initiative, the state will host a series of summits to address various aspects of the benchmark’s design.