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Actual earthquake v. health policy earthquake

Yes, the Justice Center did shake quite a bit this hour.  Chris Fitzsimon thought it was just the NC General Assembly lurching more to the right, but then breathed a sigh of relief when twitter confirmed the firmly geologic and not political tremor.

Lost in the shake is this AP tidbit – a 5.9 health policy change for all health policy wonks:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services officials told Montana legislators Tuesday that the agency is working on a new partnership model to let state agencies help run the exchange without the need to get legislative authorization.

If this actually happens, it could mean that NC might run a health care exchange where people and small businesses would buy affordable health coverage under the new federal health care law without having to get the health insurance industry-dominated General Assembly involved.  This would be a huge win for consumers who could turn to an acutal independent NC-run agency to look for coverage rather than a group set up by and for the health insurance and health industry.

3 Comments


  1. Alex O'Connor

    August 23, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    That would be good since it is hard to find a NC legislator who does not get campaign contributions from BCBSNC. Plus BCBSNC is a leading NC industry. There is a little to much conflict of interest for the Legislature setting up anything with Health Insurance in NC. I have no option now and would like an affordable option when the Exchanges come on board.

  2. francesjenkins

    August 23, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    Taking campaign contributions from BCBSNC is like being a nonprofit that can not be political but is the arm of the Democrat Party.

  3. What The Hell Is An ACO?

    August 24, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Physician practices, especially the small practices with just one or two physicians that are common in the United States, incur substantial costs in time and labor interacting with multiple insurance plans about claims, coverage, and billing for patient care and prescription drugs. We surveyed physicians and administrators in the province of Ontario, Canada, about time spent interacting with payers and compared the results with a national companion survey in the United States. We estimated physician practices in Ontario spent $22,205 per physician per year interacting with Canada’s single-payer agency—just 27 percent of the $82,975 per physician per year spent in the United States. US nursing staff, including medical assistants, spent 20.6 hours per physician per week interacting with health plans—nearly ten times that of their Ontario counterparts. If US physicians had administrative costs similar to those of Ontario physicians, the total savings would be approximately $27.6 billion per year. The results support the opinion shared by many US health care leaders interviewed for this study that interactions between physician practices and health plans could be performed much more efficiently.

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