In Northern Maine, Collaboration Brings Better Health

Health care law has uneven impact on companies

They suffer fewer complications in nursing homes and are less frequently prescribed risky medications. And they are nearly half as likely to die from preventable diseases as residents of other low-income areas, according to data from the Commonwealth Fund, a nonpartisan research foundation that studies healthcare systems. Gertrud Champe says she's still able to travel and garden thanks to the community-based healthcare she receives. More photos Maine's success owes much to the type of care that Patterson typifies intensely personal, data-driven and highly coordinated.,0,2911326.htmlstory

MAKING CHANGES At the start of this year, United Parcel Service Inc. dropped health insurance benefits for working spouses of the parcel delivery company's nonunion employees who could get coverage elsewhere. UPS said the change was due to rising health care costs and the overhaul. Indiana University has started trimming hours for about 750 employees who aren't considered full-time but averaged more than 30 hours a week so the university can avoid the requirement that it provide those workers coverage. Spokesman Mark Land didn't have an estimate for how much this will save in health care costs. But he noted that the university, which covers about 18,000 full-time employees, spends more than $213 million per fiscal year on health care, and its budget for that expense climbed more than 7 percent from last year.