State Highlights: Judge Nullifies 2011 Brooklyn Hospital Deal

A selection of health policy stories from New York, California, Alaska, Georgia and Texas.

The New York Times: Judge Rejects Long Island College Hospital's Ownership Deal
In a surprise ruling cheered by nurses, doctors and others who have fought to keep a Brooklyn hospital open, but which may have muddled its fate even further, a judge on Tuesday ordered the hospital to be returned to its previous owners, nullifying a 2011 transfer to the State University of New York (Hartocollis, 8/20).

The Sacramento Bee: S.F. Threatens To Sue Nevada Over Alleged 'Patient-Dumping'
The San Francisco city attorney on Tuesday accused Nevada health officials of improperly busing two dozen mental patients from Las Vegas to San Francisco in recent years, and threatened to file a class-action lawsuit if Nevada doesn't repay the cost of caring for them and hundreds of other patients shipped via Greyhound to California during that time (Reese, 8/21).

The Associated Press/Wall Street Journal: Court Extends Hold On NYC Health Insurance Plan
New York City's plan to solicit bids for health insurance for hundreds of thousands of workers is now on hold until at least mid-September. A Manhattan judge halted the initiative earlier this month. He said Tuesday the city can't go forward before he hears more arguments Sept. 16 (8/20).

Kaiser Health News: An Alaska-Sized Price Difference: A Circumcision In Anchorage Hospitals Can Cost $2,110 or $235
It’s not just patients who are stunned to see what a hospital charges for services. Two groups of pediatricians in Anchorage are taking a stand after learning that one of the city’s hospitals, Alaska Regional Hospital, is charging $2,110 for a circumcision, almost 10 times more than the $235 that Providence Hospital, the city's other major health facility, charges. Those prices are on top of the doctor's bill (Feidt, 8/20).

Georgia Health News: Behavioral Health Program Taking On A New Look
The state is continuing its transformation in behavioral health services by creating "crisis centers" in Albany, Thomasville and Valdosta. Georgia officials are also seeking to lease empty buildings on the historic Milledgeville hospital campus, which has been downsized as the state moves away from a hospital-based system of care for people with mental illness and developmental disabilities (Miller, 8/20).

Texas Tribune: Reuse Effort Targets Items Bought With Medicaid Money
By calling for a program that encourages the reuse of equipment like wheelchairs and hospital beds that were bought with Medicaid dollars, legislators hope that they are creating a new way for the state to save money. Senate Bill 1175, which passed through the 83rd Legislature, authorizes the Health and Human Services Commission to implement a program that would promote the resale of "durable medical equipment" -- which also includes items like insulin pumps and crutches -- when purchased through Medicaid (Luthra, 8/21).

California Healthline: UC-Riverside Medical School Bill Approved
The Assembly yesterday approved a measure to urge UC-Riverside School of Medicine officials to use some portion of its $15 million in recently-appropriated state money to encourage graduates of the state's newest medical school to enter physician-retention programs, which are designed to boost the number of physicians practicing in California's underserved areas. The $15 million to be used by UC-Riverside for the expansion and operations of its medical school was originally included in SB 21 by Sen. Richard Roth (D-Riverside), but because of a budget deal, that appropriation instead came out of this year's budget bill (Gorn, 8/20).

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