A selection of health policy stories from California, Wisconsin and Virginia.
Los Angeles Times: Kaiser Permanente Reports Privacy Breach to 49,000 Patients
Health care giant Kaiser Permanente has notified about 49,000 patients of a privacy breach at its Anaheim Medical Center. Kaiser said a computer flash drive was reported missing Sept. 25 inside the hospital's nuclear medicine department. The storage drive included patient names, date of birth, their medical record number and the type and amount of a specific medication (Terhune, 12/10).
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Sargent Offers Bill Allowing Counties To Take Obamacare Funds
Assembly Democrats want counties to be able to capture federal money the state has rejected in an effort to get more low-income people on the BadgerCare Plus health care program. Gov. Scott Walker and his fellow Republicans who control the Legislature declined additional federal money to expand BadgerCare under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. They said they feared the federal government would not keep its commitment to pay the costs of the expansion (Marley, 12/10).
The Richmond-Times Dispatch: McDonnell Urges $38 Million For Mental Health System
Gov. Bob McDonnell will use his final budget to pump money into the state's mental health system following the attack on state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, and is urging changes to the system, including extending the amount of time someone can be held in an emergency. In addition to action in the two-year budget he will present to lawmakers Monday, McDonnell created a task force to study improvements in mental health services and crisis response. His package of reforms and funding boosts for mental health and substance-abuse disorder programs totals $38.3 million over the next two years (Meola and Martz,12/11).