Blog | Monday, September 29, 2008

Local medical news

In the debate over national health reform, there's been a lot of discussion about state-level health care innovations. Whether it's good, bad or indifferent, local governments do seem to be busy legislating health care lately. A few examples culled from a single day's news:

Illinois is now requiring hospitals to offer discounts to uninsured patients. Consumers will spend no more than actual cost plus 35% for care, and cannot be forced to pay more than a quarter of their annual gross income to a hospital.

The city of Boston has had to give up its Canadian drug-importation program for lack of interest. Problem was that the program targeted at city employees who would pay the same copay regardless of how much the drugs cost, so why bother signing up for imports just to save your employer money?

Michigan is looking at legislation that will protect physicians who report their patients for driving when they shouldn't (because of medical conditions or medications). Trial lawyers are pushing for the reporting to be mandatory rather than optional. Michigan is among 18 states that don't have laws on the books regarding the issue, the article says.

Nebraska will be hastily revising its new child abandonment safe harbor law, after droves of parents started relinquishing custody of their teenage children at local hospitals (including one guy who left 9 kids ages 1 to 17!). Warms your faith in humanity, doesn't it?