A selection of state policy news from North Carolina, California, Florida, Missouri, Georgia, Oregon and Michigan.
HealthyCal: California Moves Forward With Insurance Exchange
Despite a potentially disruptive U.S. Supreme Court Decision expected this summer, California officials are moving forward with the creation of a new, online health insurance market. ... "There are many different scenarios," said David Panush, director of government relations for the California Health Benefit Exchange. "Rather than trying to crystal-ball what the court may or may not do, we've got our foot on the pedal and we're going full speed ahead" (Smith, 4/24).
CQ HealthBeat: Fraud Busting in Florida Shows Successes, Shortcomings of Federal Effort to Protect Medicare
Enforcement officials at a Senate Finance Committee hearing Tuesday laid out how a Florida strike force of federal and local officials last fall produced what Chairman Max Baucus called "the largest Medicare fraud bust in history." ... Miami-based U.S. Attorney Wilfredo A. Ferrer, on hand to describe the bust, cautioned lawmakers that "we cannot prosecute our way out of this." He emphasized that ways must be found to prevent fraud in the first place (Reichard, 4/24).
St. Louis Beacon: Report Says State Can Save Money And Improve Health Care
Annual medical spending in Missouri is expected to rise faster than the national average in the next decade, but the state has several options for lowering costs and raising quality during that period, according to a report commissioned by the Missouri Foundation for Health. ... The foundation's report projects spending in Missouri to rise faster during that period, by about 6.2 percent a year (Joiner, 4/24).
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Progress Being Made In Closing Funding Gap In State Benefits Program
State officials are working on how to close a shortfall of roughly $63 million for the health insurance plan that serves state workers and retirees. Still, it's a big improvement over a multiyear deficit of more than $800 million the plan originally faced. ... [There is] a three-year plan requiring every public school district in the state to contribute hundreds of dollars more every month for each noncertificated employee, such as custodians (Williams, 4/25).
The Lund Report: Department of Corrections' TPA May Create CCO For Prisoners And Parolees
Eyebrows almost instantaneously raised during the Oregon Health Policy Board's meeting earlier this month when board members realized that an organization serving the Department of Corrections' inmates had submitted a letter of intent to become a coordinated care organization (CCO). That's because CCOs are intended to serve Oregon Health Plan patients, who are on Medicaid. Oregon's 14,000 prisoners are not covered by Medicaid (Waldroupe, 4/25).
Kaiser Health News: Los Angeles Is Betting On One Crusading Doc To Turn Public Health System Around
Los Angeles, the nation's second largest city with some 2 million uninsured residents, has long had one of the most disorganized systems. To fix it, [Dr. Mitch] Katz, the former director of San Francisco's health department, insists on seeing patients at this public health clinic one afternoon a week (Varney, 4/24).
The Detroit Free Press: Help Is Limited For Michigan Adults With Autism
The number of those diagnosed with autism has increased dramatically in the last 20 years, threatening to overwhelm the already limited services available. ... Most of those aging into adulthood will find an alarming lack of services designed to help transition into the next stage of their lives (Walsh-Sarnecki, 4/25).
McClatchy: Search Continues For More N.C. Sterilization Victims
The N.C. Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation continues to seek people who were involuntarily sterilized by the state, but progress has been slow. ... Gov. Bev Perdue's Eugenics Compensation Task Force recommended giving a tax-free payment of $50,000 and mental health services to victims verified by the foundation. Perdue has said she will include the compensation plan in the budget she submits this spring (Vaughn, 4/24).