22 Jul

State Highlights Mass Lawmakers Again Focus On Curbing Health Care Costs Minn

first_img Sacramento Bee: Audit: Backlog Of Complaints Over California Nurses Threatens Care  Iowa’s largest health insurance carrier has denied claims from new mothers who want breastfeeding support from private trained specialists, despite a federal law that requires insurers to provide the coverage, according to a lawsuit filed on behalf of two Iowa women. Breastfeeding counseling, support and supplies are among the preventive health services that insurers are supposed to cover at no cost to policyholders under the Affordable Care Act, as long as the service is done by a provider within an insurance company’s network. But Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield has worked around the law by failing to build a list of professionals in its network who specialize in breastfeeding care, forcing women to pay out-of-pocket for the services, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court. (Rodgers, 12/13) A task force chaired by Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer to address problems in rural health care determined that expanding telemedicine, addressing workforce shortages and giving providers more flexibility were key to Kansas’ future. The Rural Health Working Group wrapped up a year of meetings Tuesday and is now compiling a set of recommendations to present to the Legislature ahead of the session that begins Jan. 9. Those recommendations will not include expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act — something rural hospital officials say would help their bottom line, but Colyer and other conservative Republicans say is a nonstarter. (Marso, 12/13) The Star Tribune: Report Takes Deep Dive Into Minnesota Health Clinic Costs As marijuana becomes legal in Massachusetts, most of us have lots of questions about how it will work. We asked you to tell us what you’d like to know about the new law, and we got a slew of queries. (Bebinger, 12/14) Kansas Health Institute: Rural Health Group Wraps Up With Focus On Telemedicine, Workforce Issues  A new report from a Minnesota nonprofit is shedding light on why some medical clinics are more expensive than others — determining which ones simply charge higher prices, and which order more services such as tests, follow-up visits and prescriptions. Identifying expensive clinics is important in an era of rising health care costs because it allows patients to be better shoppers, said Jim Chase, executive director of Minnesota Community Measurement, a nonprofit agency that analyzes claims data from the state’s largest health plans. (Olson, 12/13) San Jose Mercury News: California Auditor Blasts State Nursing Board For Investigation Delays This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association officials are proposing the General Assembly approve the creation of a more detailed registry for behavioral health beds and other measures they say would improve mental health care. The association’s leaders introduced a four-part plan Tuesday aimed at addressing significant problems in the mental health system. The General Assembly convenes next month. (Kleiner, 12/13) The California board charged with resolving complaints against registered nurses has such a huge backlog that some active caregivers may pose a risk to patient safety, according to a new audit. The review of the Board of Registered Nursing’s enforcement program found that of the 40 complaints resolved between Jan. 1, 2013, and June 30, 2016, the board failed to complete 31 within its 18-month goal – and 15 of the complaints took longer than three years. Of those 15 complaints, the board took longer than four years to resolve seven, “six of which included allegations of patient harm resulting from a nurse’s actions.” (Cadelago, 12/13) KQED Future of You: New HIV Studies Offer Fresh Hope For A Cure  A new federal program pledges to invest more than $6 billion to promote cutting-edge healthcare initiatives, including research on cancer and brain disorders, and improve access to treatments for mental health and substance use disorders. And New Jersey, with its established pharmaceutical industry, is well positioned to benefit from the new law, observers suggested. On Tuesday President Barack Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act, which he said will promote “medical breakthroughs” and help address some of the nation’s most pressing healthcare challenges, including addiction, cancer and mental illness. It also seeks to address what experts have described for decades as a lack of sufficient funding for scientific research and growing competition for the dollars that remain. (Stainton, 12/14) Des Moines Register: Lawsuit: Wellmark Skirting Law To Deny Breastfeeding Claims State Highlights: Mass. Lawmakers Again Focus On Curbing Health Care Costs; Minn. Report Examines Why Some Clinics Are Pricier Than Others Outlets report on health news from Massachusetts, Minnesota, Kansas, California, New Jersey, Virginia, Iowa and Georgia. San Jose Mercury News: Santa Clara County Unveils ‘Pay For Success’ Mental Health Plan center_img Richmond Times Dispatch: Virginia Hospital Association Plans To Push For Better Registry For Mental Health Beds, Easier Screening Process  More than a year ago, Santa Clara County embarked on its first “Pay for Success” project — a partnership geared toward permanently sheltering chronically homeless people — and Tuesday officials approved a similar plan to help those with severe mental disorders. “Partners in Wellness” is a plan aimed at getting 250 mentally ill people who use county services into more intensive outpatient care. The goal is to actually save money in the long-term by helping mentally ill people stay out of emergency rooms and jails. (Kurchi, 12/13) Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Survivor: Hospital Believed Doctor Instead Of Victims In a blistering report issued Tuesday, the California state auditor warned the Board of Registered Nursing that its delays in resolving complaints against nurses accused of negligence involving patient injury or death pose a serious threat to others. Among the cases cited in the audit was a complaint alleging that a nurse caused a toddler’s death by administering the wrong dose of medication. (Seipel, 12/13) The HIV research community is increasingly optimistic about the promising “shock and kill” approach to eradicating HIV from infected patients. Such removal of all traces of the virus from an individual’s body would represent an actual cure for AIDS. (d’Adesky, 12/13) Members of Virginia’s congressional delegation split sharply on how to pay for a major infrastructure bill and how to reform health care during a discussion Monday about what could be possible with Donald Trump as president. Rep. Barbara Comstock (R) and Rep. Gerry Connolly (D) engaged in some heated exchanges, but found common ground on defense funding — an area that knows no partisan divide in the military-heavy state. (Portnoy, 12/13) The Star Tribune: Patients Sue St. Cloud Cancer Center, Alleging Negligent Radiation Therapy WBUR: You Asked, We Answered: Here’s What You Wanted To Know About Recreational Marijuana  Shanta Hereford can’t shake the memory, try as she might. Bend over and touch your toes, she remembers the doctor saying, before his hands went where she was certain they didn’t belong.Even now, a dozen years and hundreds of miles removed from that day at a clinic in Wisconsin’s capital city, she says she still gets nervous when she needs medical attention…Hereford was one of four Wisconsin women whose complaints of sexual misconduct led that state’s medical board to discipline Dr. Frank Salvi, a prominent spine specialist affiliated with the University of Wisconsin hospital system, in 2009. (Robins, 12/13) Massachusetts Senate leaders said Tuesday that they want to draft new legislation to tackle rising health costs, conceding that current efforts have not done enough. The state passed a law in 2012 aimed at curbing medical spending, but Senate majority leader Harriette Chandler told reporters that it “obviously isn’t successful if we’re [still] looking for ways to contain these costs.” (Dayal McCluskey, 12/14) Boston Globe: Mass. Senate Leaders Plan Another Run At Curbing Health Care Costs  [Sandy] Schwegman, 76, and six other patients at Coborn Cancer Center in St. Cloud filed lawsuits for botched therapy plans that left them under- or over-radiated and potentially at increased risk of cancer recurrence. The total number of lawsuits is expected to grow to 17 by the end of the year. (Chanen, 12/13) The Washington Post: Health Care, Funding An Infrastructure Bill Divide Virginia Members Of Congress NJ Spotlight: NJ Poised To Benefit From Major Federal Funding For Healthcare Innovation last_img

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