State Highlights: Fla. Nursing Homes Quietly Drop Pediatric Units

A selection of health policy stories from New York, Florida, Virginia, California, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The Associated Press/Wall Street Journal: NY Doctors Now Required To Check Drug Database
New York doctors, physician assistants and nurse practitioners are now required to check the new statewide drug database before prescribing painkillers, with pharmacists responsible for recording the related prescriptions they fill. The law was enacted last year and took effect Tuesday (8/28).

Miami Herald: Florida Nursing Homes, Under Fire, Phasing Out Pediatric Wings
Even as Florida health regulators vigorously defend against two federal lawsuits accusing them of warehousing sickly and disabled children in geriatric nursing homes, the homes themselves are quietly getting out of the kids business (Miller, 8/27).

The Washington Post: Ken Cuccinelli Vows Not To Support Restrictions On Birth Controls
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II got in a sharp exchange over his past support for "personhood" legislation Tuesday while bringing his campaign pitch for governor to a bipartisan audience of senior citizens in Loudoun County. Cuccinelli (R) faces businessman Terry McAuliffe (D) in the contest to run the commonwealth, and both are focused on wooing vote-rich Northern Virginia (Pershing, 8/27).

Bloomberg: California Senate Bill Allows Nurses To Perform Abortions
California’s Senate gave final approval to a bill allowing nurse-midwives and others to perform some types of abortions now done only by doctors.  The measure by Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins, a San Diego Democrat, passed the Senate 25-11 yesterday. The bill goes back to the Assembly, which passed it in May, to ratify amendments before it’s sent to Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat (Marois, 8/27).

Sacramento Bee: State Cut May Cost Sacramento County $9 million For Indigent Health Care
Sacramento County officials said Tuesday they could lose $9 million this fiscal year because of state budget cuts that Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers tied to the federal health care overhaul. The county has provided indigent health care for 14,000 of its poorest residents who had few other options, receiving state subsidies to help pay for it (Branan, 8/28).

California Healthline: Assembly Approves Biosimilars Bill
The Assembly yesterday passed a bill regulating how biosimilar medications are dispensed -- in advance of biosimilars themselves. The new type of biologic drug is not currently sold, marketed or approved for the U.S. market. That's one of the problems cited by opponents of the bill (Gorn, 8/27).

Philadelphia Inquirer: Medicaid Enrollment Drops In Pa., Rises In N.J.
Pennsylvania dropped more than 9 percent of children, families, and pregnant women from Medicaid last year, nearly triple the rate of any other state, according to a new national report. Most states added people. New Jersey came in 10th from the top, with nearly 5 percent growth - and No. 2 when counting all Medicaid enrollees in all categories. Pennsylvania was last on both measures (Sapatkin, 8/27).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.