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Delegate predicts health bill will pass Md. General Assembly

April 08, 2010|By ERIN JULIUS

ANNAPOLIS - Del. John P. Donoghue, D-Washington, said Thursday he believes a health care bill that he is sponsoring will become law.

Donogue said he sponsored House Bill 1093 with the intention that it will create efficiencies and reduce costs.

The bill, which is cross-filed as Senate Bill 723, would allow insurance companies, nonprofit health service plans, health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and managed care organizations to pay a "clinically integrated organization" or its members for the coordination of health services.

Donoghue said the House Health and Government Operations Committee on Thursday reviewed the Senate bill that is sponsored by Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington.

Donoghue said the House bill received a favorable with amendments report from the committee, and he expects the same for the Senate measure, since they are identical.

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Clinical integration would help patients and providers avoid duplicate tests and X-rays, and help them understand interactions between medications, Donoghue said.

The bill makes changes in the insurance code and would allow TriState Health Partners, a physician-hospital organization in Washington County, to negotiate with insurance carriers, Donoghue said.

Much of the focus of clinical integration would be on electronic information sharing, according to some who testified for the bill in March before the House Health and Government Operations Committee.

Donoghue's bill received unanimous final approval from the House of Delegates March 25, and received a favorable report from the senate Finance Committee on Thursday.

Munson's Senate version received unanimous final approval from the Senate on March 26, according to records available online.

"It would be a great model for the state and the country once it's up and running and we have good outcomes," Donoghue said Thursday.

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