Daily roundup: April 9, 2012

Bite-sized hospital and health industry news

Topics: Around the Nation

April 9, 2012

  • California: Aetna will proceed with an insurance premium rate hike that took effect April 1, despite criticism from California's insurance commissioner and several state consumer groups that the increase is excessive. Insurance Commissioner David Jones (D) says it is the first time a California insurer has continued to implement a rate hike that was deemed excessive by the insurance department (Buck, Sacramento Bee, 4/6; Lifsher, Los Angeles Times, 4/6).
  • Massachusetts: Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) has drafted a proposal to more tightly regulate hospital and physician prices. Under the proposal, providers and insurers would be required to offer detailed pricing information to patients prior to a procedure. The proposal also would grant the state Division of Insurance and Department of Public Health authority to limit prices and market power (Kowalcyzk, Boston Globe, 4/6).

                 A deeper look: Mass. weighs more oversight of hospital prices

  • New Hampshire: Dartmouth College last week renamed Dartmouth Medical School after the late Theodor Geisel, a 1925 Dartmouth graduate better known as Dr. Seuss, and his wife Audrey in recognition of their philanthropic contributions to the school. According to a news release, the school now will be known as Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth (Pierce, New Hampshire Union Leader, 4/5).
  • Texas: A new study by Texas State University-San Marcos' department of health information management found that Texas will need 6,500 more health IT workers than previously estimated. According to the study, the state will need 10,000 more health IT workers by 2013, while previous estimates said the state would need 3,500 additional health IT workers between 2010 and 2015 (Austin Business Journal, 4/4). 

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