News outlets report on a variety of state health policy issues.
New Hampshire Public Radio: State Employees Agree to Deal; Avoid Layoffs
The new deal calls for a 1 year wage freeze, which is worth about $10 million. It also calls for employees to contribute more toward their health insurance. That'll save a significant amount of money, somewhere in the tens of millions of dollars. Two years ago, employees rejected a new contract that called for many similar benefit concessions (Gorenstein, 8/30).
The Baltimore Sun: Auditors Criticize State Family Health Administration
(Maryland) auditors have questioned $88,000 in claims paid to health care providers by the Family Health Administration in the last two fiscal years. The auditors said in a report made public Tuesday that the FHA, which provides health care services to at-risk communities, did not adequately make sure claims were legitimate (Walker, 8/30).
The Arizona Republic: Banner Clinic Health Care Available To Schoolchildren With Hardships
The Mesa clinic is the largest of three school-based centers that provide free health care to children whose parents do not have insurance or who can prove that paying their co-pays and deductibles would be a financial hardship. The other clinics are in Glendale and Chandler. ... Last year, the three Banner clinics treated about 3,000 kids with a budget of about $300,000. One hundred percent of the money was donated by area individuals and community organizations, said Megan Christopherson, wellness outreach manager for the clinics (Creno, 8/30).
Sacramento Bee: School Epilepsy-Drug Bill Advances
The Assembly on Tuesday passed a bill that would allow nonmedical school employees to give anti-seizure medication to epileptic students, sending the emotional issue a crucial step closer to final approval by Gov. Jerry Brown. After 40 minutes of passionate debate on the Assembly floor, the lower house approved Senate Bill 161 with a vote of 47 to 15. It garnered substantial support from Democrats – 22 out of 52 supported the bill – despite opposition from the state's Democratic Party chairman and several large labor unions (Rosenhall, 8/31).
(Minneapolis- St. Paul, Minn.) Star Tribune: Health Care Giants Swarm Over Scott County
But the Big Three of Minnesota medicine (Allina, Fairview and Mayo) are all making major moves within (Scott County) from the south, west and east, with clinics as chess pieces. Only one of the three will openly confess that it's doing anything as un-high-minded as competing, or capturing market share. … The moves all seem a delayed reaction, considering that they come years after the county's hyperboom ended (Peterson, 8/30).