Washington Health Policy Week in Review Archive

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

  • October 6, 2008 Issue
Doctor-Patient Effort to Promote Safety Could Help Reduce Hospital-Associated Bloodstream Infections

Health care experts unveiled a new set of recommendations aimed at reducing central line-associated bloodstream infections by helping health professionals and patients work together to ensure patient safety.

Getting Your Money's Worth: Never Easy, Especially in Health Care

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), whose number crunchers assess the cost of specific legislation moving through Congress, routinely churns out reports on health care policy proposals. But sometime later this year, the CBO will produce a document unusual in both its scope and aim. Its purpose: to cost out various options for slowing the growth of health care spending in the United States.

Lost in the Shuffle: Community Health Center Patients Needing Specialty Care

Community health centers provide preventative and primary care services to those in need regardless of ability to pay. But despite their success as primary care providers, center directors and medical researchers have documented a nagging and growing problem: trying to find patients the specialty medical services they need that community health care centers can't provide.

Omens of Economic Ill: Medicaid Spending, Enrollment Turn Upward

True to its "countercyclical" nature, Medicaid is starting to see increases in enrollment and spending growth as the economy worsens, portending state budget shortfalls that may lead to a new round of cuts in payments to doctors and hospitals. And in a year that was supposed to see renewed efforts by policy makers to cover the uninsured, 2009 may see little effort at the state level toward that goal, Medicaid officials said in response to new survey findings.

Report: Health Quality Improving, But to What Degree Depends on Where You Live

The quality of health care across the United States improved in 2007 despite rising health costs and a sluggish economy, reports a new study from the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

Serious Deficiencies Found at Almost One in Every Five Nursing Homes

A new report by the HHS Office of the Inspector General says that percentage of nursing homes that violated federal requirements for quality of care and other standards crept up slightly from 91.1 percent in 2005 to 91.9 percent in 2007. In 2007, nearly 17 percent of nursing homes inspected by state regulators were cited for deficiencies stemming from actual harm to residents or placing them in immediate jeopardy of actual harm.

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