News outlets report on state health policy issues.
Dallas Morning News: Lawsuit Filed To Halt Texas Abortion Sonogram Law
The national Center for Reproductive Rights filed a federal lawsuit Monday to halt implementation of the requirements that women wanting an abortion must have a sonogram and hear a detailed description of the fetus. The group called the mandates patronizing and an intrusion into the doctor-patient relationship (Hoppe, 6/13).
The Texas Tribune: Abortion-Rights Group Files Lawsuit Over Sonogram Bill
The suit, Texas Medical Providers Performing Abortion Services. v. Department of State Health Services Commissioner David Lakey, alleges that the sonogram requirement violates the constitutional rights of both the doctor and the patient by "forcing physicians to deliver politically-motivated communications to women regardless of the woman's wishes" (Ramshaw, 6/13).
Healthy Cal: Health Center Closures Could Leave Thousands Without Options
[T]he state appears certain to eliminate the three-decades old Adult Day Health Care program in the next few months. ... Paradoxically, the U.S. government is beginning to prod states to establish or expand programs that aim to do what ADHC does in California -– steer seniors and disabled adults away from expensive nursing homes and hospitals, and into community- and home-based care. ... officials faced with California's budget crunch admit they have few choices other than to eliminate what is, after all, an optional benefit under federal Medicaid laws (Sample, 6/13).
California Healthline: ADHC Lawsuit Might Proceed, Regardless
If the Assembly passes the budget as expected when it meets today, the package heads to Gov. Brown for his signature. Whether he signs it or not, senior and disability advocates plan to pursue the lawsuit filed last week against the planned elimination of Medi-Cal dollars from the current ADHC program (Gorn, 6/13).
The Connecticut Mirror: As States Cut Medicaid, Connecticut Takes A Modest Approach
Yet another topic for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and his New Jersey counterpart, Chris Christie, to disagree about: Medicaid. Christie has been getting national attention for his plan to cut $540 million from the state's nearly $5 billion Medicaid program. ... The Malloy administration anticipates saving money by moving the state's largest Medicaid program, HUSKY, out of managed care, and by trimming dental and vision benefits while leaving nearly all health benefits unchanged (Levin Becker, 6/13).
Oregonian: Provision To Curb Psychiatric Drug Costs For Oregon Health Plan Dies in Salem
Some 20 states restrict mental health drugs paid for by Medicaid. Not Oregon. And that's not going to change in this session's Legislature, even in a time of budget cuts and cost-containment. The sweeping health care reform bill, House Bill 3650, proposed curbs on psychiatric drugs paid for by Medicaid and state taxes under the Oregon Health Plan. ... But while other changes in the health reform legislation remain on track, key lawmakers say the psychiatric drug provision is dead and not worth the fight (Budnick, 6/13).
The New York Times: Progress Claimed In Reporting Abuse At Group Homes
Roughly 40 percent of the allegations of physical abuse of the developmentally disabled at group homes and institutions in New York in recent months were not reported to law enforcement authorities, a senior state official said on Monday. ... (Courtney Burke, the new commissioner of the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities) said that since she took over the agency in March, about 60 percent of the allegations of physical abuse were reported to law enforcement, up from about 17 percent before her tenure began (Hakim, 6/13).
Denver Post: Disabled Adults, Likely To Outlive Parents, Face Unclear Futures
The prospect of disabled adults outliving aging parents is a "demographic time bomb," said a state official who asked not to be named. … The state realizes the problem could worsen as the disabled population ages, (Liz McDonough, spokeswoman for the state human services department) said. But with constant budget cuts, "we have not figured out how we're going to meet those needs," she said (Auge, 6/14).
The Miami Herald: Jackson Health System Patient Data Taken
Jackson Health System reported Monday it is cooperating with police in an investigation of an employee who "apparently inappropriately accessed confidential patient information" of 1,800 people, the system announced in a press release. Jackson said the 1,800 patients have been notified and offered free credit card fraud protection. … Theft of patient data has been a recurring theme in the state — sometimes with much larger numbers (Dorschner, 6/13).
Arizona Republic: Dental Clinic In West Phoenix Aids Community
The [Phoenix] school district serves about 2,000 children, most of whose families are low-income or in poverty. In this working-class neighborhood, many families don't have any insurance coverage for dental care, and many of them have never gone to a dentist, Volcheck said (Gersema 6/13).