Daily roundup: Feb. 2, 2012

Bite-sized hospital and health industry news

  • California: State officials are urging Californians to visit a new website designed to educate people about buying long-term care plans to assist with the cost of health services they may need in the future. The five-month-old website, RUReadyCA.org, is managed by the California Partnership for Long-Term Care, a joint venture of the state Department of Health Care Services and several health plans that sell long-term care insurance. According to HealthyCal, most adults do not consider purchasing long-term care insurance because of the cost or because they think they will not need coverage in the near future (Sample, HealthyCal, 1/31).
  • Colorado: University of Colorado Hospital and Poudre Valley Health System this week announced that they will form a new system called University of Colorado Health. The system—which will be one of the region's largest locally owned health organizations—will have an annual net revenue of about $1.5 billion and employ approximately 10,000 people (Pankratz, Denver Post, 1/31).
  • Massachusetts: The state Senate on Thursday is scheduled to vote on a bill that would require physicians to check an online database before prescribing certain prescription painkillers. The measure seeks to reduce "doctor shopping" among those who misuse powerful prescription drugs such as morphine and oxycodone. According to AP/CBS News, increased use of the online database could help physicians screen patients for a history of drug misuse. It also could help law enforcement and public health officials investigate potential fraud (Conaboy/Bierman, Boston Globe, 2/1; Salsberg, AP/CBS News, 1/31).
  • Texas: A new state law will allow Texas physicians who are named in complaints to have their cases resolved with a "remedial plan," which could include a fine or mandatory classes, instead of requiring an admission of wrongdoing (Robeznieks, Modern Physician, 1/23 [subscription required]).

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