SAN ANTONIO, Texas-The percentage of medically uninsured people in San Antonio is the highest of the 36 metropolitan areas in the nation that have more than 1 million residents, according to a new study by the Partnership for Hope. The study was funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and conducted by the Urban Institute to profile health conditions and services for the city and county. The study reported that 31% of residents age 64 and younger are uninsured; an additional 15% may be underinsured. However, the study found that San Antonio's death rates are lower than state and national rates for cancer and accidents and that the city has better maternal and child health outcomes than state and national averages.
AUSTIN, Texas-Some Medicaid recipients will be allowed to live outside nursing homes under a new program that allows the state to pay for home healthcare services. Last year, the state requested a federal waiver to allow the state to use Medicaid money for home care. However, the Legislature didn't appropriate any money for the program, prompting opposition from some nursing home representatives who feared the program would be financed with nursing home funding. State officials have said they'll finance the services with funds from other welfare programs. First-year costs are estimated to be $9 million.
SHREVEPORT, La.-Three local hospitals are coordinating their wellness efforts at a local mall. Schumpert Medical Center, Highland Hospital and Willis-Knighton Medical Center will offer health-related programs, education and periodic screenings at South Park Mall. One of the programs includes a monthly breakfast meeting with speakers from the three hospitals.
DENVER-Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Colorado has set up a toll-free "fraud hot line" to encourage members of its health plans to report possible fraud, such as bills for medical services not performed. Three years ago, the company created a fraud unit, which has saved $5 million so far, executives said.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.-Lovelace Health System has opened the state's first corporate child-care center. The system, which operates 235-bed Lovelace Medical Center and the state's largest HMO, is leasing a building for the child-care center. The facility has capacity for 200 children.