Washington Health Policy Week in Review

Washington Health Policy Week in Review is a weekly newsletter that offers selected stories from the daily newsletter CQ HealthBeat.

Brainstorming to Give Impoverished Seniors Prescription Drug Help

Federal officials met with representatives of community and senior organizations at a "summit" to improve efforts to sign up seniors for Medicare's relatively generous prescription drug benefit for low-income seniors.

Bush Administration's SCHIP Decision Takes Heat From Two Hill Agencies

Two separate nonpartisan congressional advisory agencies said the Bush administration improperly issued a directive last year limiting state expansions of children's health insurance programs.

Disparities Legislation: Once a Decade?

Why, a questioner demanded of Senate staffer Caya Lewis and other panelists at a Capitol Hill forum, is Congress turning a deaf ear to pleas for legislation narrowing racial and ethnic disparities regarding health status and access to care? The answer from Lewis: many are unaware of those disparities or don't believe they exist.

Medicare Hopes to 'Bundle' Its Way to Better Hospital Care

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said it will test "bundled payment" in which hospitals and doctors team up to provide all the services associated with surgical procedures in return for a single payment amount. The announcement came amid growing pressure on the agency to move on the payment concept.

Proposal: New Universal Coverage Plan Would Cover Significant Portion of Uninsured

Forty-four million of the nation's uninsured could receive health care under a new plan that would allow individuals to buy coverage through a new, national health insurance connector program, according to an article released by The Commonwealth Fund.

Reading the Health Care Tea Leaves for 2009

With Election Day almost six months away, no one knows the answers, but top health care analysts, pollsters, and advisers offered insights at a Washington, D.C., forum—and some surprising answers.

Worries Over Nursing Home Care Agitate Lawmakers

A House panel began reviewing how the increasingly veiled nature of nursing home ownership is affecting the quality of care for frail elderly and disabled Americans and whether current federal quality standards have become outmoded.