Rhode Island hospitals will suffer financially due to health reform; Palliative care programs becoming standard practice;

> The Hospital Association of Rhode Island expects national health reform to slash reimbursement for the state's acute-care hospitals by $465.7 million over the next 10 years. Article

> The number of palliative care programs to relieve patient suffering and improve quality of life jumped by more than 125 percent from 2000 to 2008 at U.S. hospitals with 50 or more beds, but for-profit hospitals are less likely to drive this trend than not-for-profits. Press release

> The health reform provision that will allow parents to keep adult children up to age 26 on their insurance policies could boost hospital volume. A National Bureau of Economic Relations study shows that children "aging out" of their parents' policies results in a 5 to 8 percent drop in coverage, and a lack of insurance leads to a 40 percent reduction in ED visits and a 61 percent reduction in inpatient hospital admissions. Working paper

> The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has issued a final rule revising the regulations for the Medicare Advantage (Part C) and prescription drug benefit (Part D) programs, strengthening beneficiary protections and implementing a new Part D formulary policy. Press release

> Charges for inpatient hospital stays for uninsured patients jumped 88 percent from $11,400 in 1998 to $21,400 in 2007, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The number of uninsured hospital stays grew 31 percent over that same time period compared to a 13 percent overall increase in hospital stays. Data brief

And Finally... Even U.S. soldiers can't enjoy a good burger without hearing from the fast-food police. Article

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