OVERNIGHT HEALTH: White House vow on Medicaid wins praise

"During her tenure, [Clancy] led AHRQ in supporting groundbreaking research at medical schools and teaching hospitals to improve patient safety, eliminate health disparities, and analyze health services. Her dedication and vision will be missed and we thank her for her dedicated service," said AAMC President Darrell Kirch in a statement. Read Healthwatch's 2011 profile of Clancy here

Waste, fraud, abuse: Six senators, including the leaders of the Finance Committee, made recommendations Thursday for reducing waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid. After input from healthcare stakeholders, Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) called for changing the way audit contractors operate within the Medicare and Medicaid agency; overhauling problematic payment policies; and increasing federal funding of state anti-fraud work in Medicaid.

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"This report incorporates ideas and recommendations from 164 health care experts from across the country and provides a strong foundation to build on as we work on legislative solutions to make Medicare and Medicaid work better," Hatch said in a statement. The report is here.

Bundled care:
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced 500 groups that will participate in a bundled-payments initiative as part of the Affordable Care Act. The program includes four models for bundling, and works to induce providers to collaborate in order to improve patient health and reduce the cost of care.

"Organizations of providers participating in the initiative will agree to provide CMS a discount from expected payments for the episode of care, and then the provider partners will work together to reduce readmissions, duplicative care, and complications to lower costs through improvement," the announcement said.

The American Medical Association praised the program and called on CMS to expand it.

Working late: More than half of workers plan to postpone retirement longer than they would like in order to maintain health coverage, according to new research. The Employee Benefit Research Institute found that about one in four (27 percent) of workers said they would retire earlier if health coverage were guaranteed. That figure has nearly doubled since 2003, according to EBRI. The findings came as part of the firm's 2012 Health Confidence Survey. Read the report here.


Friday's agenda

Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) and actor Bradley Cooper will discuss the stigma of mental illness at the Center for American Progress. 



State by state

Idaho lawmaker compares insurance exchange to Holocaust

Kasich drops hints about Medicaid expansion

All states except Oregon now limit abortion access

N.C. House OKs financial help for group homes

Ala. House to consider bill to legalize cannabis


Lobbying registrations

Nathanson+Hauck / Montefiore Medical Center

Kountoupes Denham / Consumer Healthcare Products Association


Reading list

Administration misses some health law deadlines

Mental health solutions alone can't thwart gun violence, experts say

AMA joins brief opposing 'pay-for-delay' deals [free reg. req'd]


What you might have missed on Healthwatch

Former Rep. Largent: Government should let NFL address head injuries

Device-makers slam Medicare competitive bidding expansion 



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