State Highlights: Va. Readies New Mental Health Changes

State health policy stories from North Carolina and Virginia.

The Associated Press: Panel: Could Take Until 2020 To Stabilize Medicaid In N.C.
A consultant examining options for overhauling Medicaid in North Carolina said Thursday it could be 2020 before any plan to stabilize costs and shift risk toward the private sector is implemented fully. Bob Atlas spoke at the first meeting of an advisory panel charged by the legislature with advising the Department of Health and Human Services on what path to take on changing Medicaid, which covers more than 1.7 million North Carolina residents (12/6).

The Associated Press: Va. To Introduce New Mental Health Protocols
Virginia mental health officials are introducing changes in 2014 to ensure that hospital beds will be available for people who pose a danger to themselves or others. The promised new protocols follow the Nov. 19 death of a Virginia state senator's son less than one day after he had been released from emergency custody. Austin "Gus" Deeds attacked his father, Sen. Creigh Deeds, and then killed himself (12/6).

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.