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.

Medicaid Coverage Remained Stable in 2012; Work Remains for States to Expand

Most states have started updating their Medicaid information technology and eligibility systems, as they must do by 2014 to comply with the health law, according to a survey the Kaiser Family Foundation released last week. But many states would have significantly more work to do in order to expand coverage to adults.

Collaborative Efforts Cutting Hospital Infections, Costs, Researchers Say

Researchers and hospital officials say that various projects around the country to improve quality and lower costs are bearing fruit, with the most recent example showing savings from a sharp drop in bloodstream infections in hospital neonatal intensive care units.

Former Sen. Ben Nelson Takes the Reins at NAIC

A just-retired Nebraska senator is the new CEO of the influential National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the group announced last week.

Rule Shouldn't Tie Employer Cash Incentives to Family Wellness, Groups Say

A proposed federal rule allowing employers to tie stronger pocketbook incentives to employee wellness programs should be rewritten to prevent entire families from being punished financially, the Georgetown University Center for Families and Children said in a recent letter.

Employers, Insurers Press CMS to Prune Essential Benefits

The growing concern among insurance analysts that coverage will be unaffordable in the new health care exchanges might create a fresh opportunity for federal officials to be persuaded to trim requirements in the final essential health benefits rule, which is expected out in February or March.

Rural Hospitals See Better Chance Now of Fixing Massachusetts 'Manipulation'

Hospital associations in almost two dozen states are once again trying to erase a provision of the health care law they say boosts Medicare payments to Massachusetts hospitals at the expense of facilities in other states.