13 states cut Medicaid to sustain budgets; Healthcare organizations outsource jobs for financial advantage;

> Amid federal preparations to expand insurance coverage to the poor, 13 states are cutting Medicaid to balance their budgets, Kaiser Health News reported Tuesday. These cuts include lowering fees paid to medical providers, reducing benefits and restricting eligibility, which could limit access to care for a portion of 60 million Medicaid recipients. Article

 > The state of Colorado did not have sufficient internal controls to prevent payments to Medicaid for services to  individuals or entities excluded from the Medicaid program, according to a report released yesterday by the Office of the Inspector General. The state agency acquired $13,000 ($8,000 Federal share) from 2009 to 2010 in unallowable payments for items and services rendered, which were prescribed by excluded providers. Report

> Some healthcare organizations are outsourcing jobs that involve clinical services and medical care decision-making to India and the Philippines, The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday. While health insurers have previously only outsourced out of necessity, companies like WellPoint are now sending jobs overseas for their own financial reasons, which has eliminated hundreds of U.S jobs over the past 18 months, particularly in nursing. Article

> Researchers from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore found blood transfusions, the most common procedure performed in U.S. hospitals, has wide variation in frequency during surgery, according to a research announcement released yesterday. The researchers determined that up to 59 percent of transfusions are inappropriate, and suggest hospitals rely on a standard hemoglobin trigger to determine the necessity of transfusions. Announcement

And Finally… YouTube is good for your health. Article

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