February 18, 2010
Editors: Adam Searing and Adam Linker
ARE YOUR NC BLUE CROSS RATES SKYROCKETING? WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! Recently, Anthem Blue Cross in California has come under intense fire for premium increases in the 20-30% range. HAC is asking individuals, small businesses, and larger firms around North Carolina who have Blue Cross coverage how much their rates went up this year. This question has generated many comments on our blog and people are already contacting us from across the state. We want to hear from you too. Email or call Adam Linker (firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-861-2074) or just reply to me.
SELECTIONS FROM THE PROGRESSIVE PULSE:
VIDEO: UNC's Dr. Nortin Hadler on common heart surgeries like bypass grafts and stents - despite years of evidence they don't work, they are still widely used.
Audit: NC State Health Plan paying for things like NC Blue Cross' exclusive jet transportation, finger food at board meetings, and hockey team cheerleader sponsorships.
Health care cost control - what works and why it's not easy.
Why we need to start to control costs now - State Health Plan needs $1.8 billion over next five years.
"Building Boom" in health care facilities might defy the recession but it doesn't defy increasing health costs.
FIND US ON TWITTER: nchealthaccess
HOSPITAL CHARITY CARE REPORT COVERAGE: HAC, with support from Community Catalyst's Hospital Accountability Project, released a report on charity care provided by North Carolina hospitals last week - take a look if you missed it. We got great media coverage across the state. Some of the best reporting was from WRAL in Raleigh, WFAE public radio in Charlotte, and the Charlotte Observer. Look for an update to our report in six months.
HK on J MARCH IN RALEIGH NOW ON FEB 27: The march for social justice led by the NC NAACP with many other partner organizations was rescheduled due to snow. For more information see here.
HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANY PROTEST IN DC - HCAN North Carolina is organizing a protest on March 9th in Washington DC. Buses are being organized to leave North Carolina (see flyer for more information and to sign up). There is a national meeting of American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) Companies and they need to hear voices from people who are not pleased with their most recent rate increases, denials of coverage and their stop of comprehensive health reform. Organizing efforts to see NC Members of Congress on this trip are also being coordinated.