State Roundup: Kan. Eyes Rural Residencies To Solve Doc Shortage; More Hats In Mass. Gov. Race

A selection of health policy stories from Kansas, New York, Massachusetts, South Carolina, North Carolina and Connecticut.

Kansas Health Institute: Rural Residencies Could Help Solve Coming Doc Shortage
Rural hospitals could provide critical help addressing the state’s expected doctor shortage, according to Dr. Douglas Girod, the new executive vice chancellor of the University of Kansas Medical Center…KU officials estimate Kansas will need 213 new doctors a year by 2030 just to maintain what is now a physician-per-resident ratio that lags the national average. To meet the national average ratio, Kansas would need about 285 new doctors a year by 2030 (Sherry, 2/25).

WBUR: CommonHealth: Another Health Care Leader Eyes Mass. Governor's Seat
The election of 2014 is shaping up to be the year of the health-care-leader-as-politician, with another health expert today announcing his intention to run for Governor of Massachusetts. WBUR’s Martha Bebinger reports that Evan Falchuk, of Newton, an executive with the online referral and consultation site Best Doctors, is jumping into the race. In his bid for governor, Martha reports that Falchuk is also starting the United Independent Party aimed at "voters [who] feel shut out of politics" (Zimmerman, 2/25).

The Wall Street Journal's Metropolis: Cuomo Administration: Opposition To Abortion Bill 'Outrageous'
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration defended forthcoming legislation that would guarantee women the right to late-term abortions in certain cases by describing opposition as "outrageous" in an op-ed distributed Monday to media organizations (Orden, 2/25).

The Associated Press/Wall Street Journal: Brooklyn DA Unveils New Focus On Health Fraud
The Brooklyn district attorney is leading an unusual city and federal team effort to crack down on doctors and pharmacists who bilk Medicare and Medicaid. DA Charles Hynes and other officials announced the collaboration Monday (2/25).

The Associated Press: SC Medicaid Agency Hopes Home Visits Cut Costs
South Carolina's Medicaid agency hopes home visits steer patients away from frequent and expensive trips to the emergency room. The idea involves training trusted community representatives, such as church leaders, to help Medicaid patients navigate the health care system (Adcox, 2/25).

Kansas Health Institute: Large Assisted-Living Chain Curtails Medicaid Participation
One of the state's largest assisted-living chains has curtailed its participation in the Kansas Medicaid program. … The decision, German said, was driven by a 2012 reduction in Medicaid reimbursements and by concerns that payments would be cut more under KanCare (Ranney, 2/25).

North Carolina Health News: State, Local Officials Have Little Power Over Adult Care Homes
When the owners of several adult care homes walked away from their duties, there was little recourse for local or state officials who wanted to prosecute or punish the owners for abandoning dozens of residents. And the system has been designed that way (Hoban, 2/26).

CT Mirror: Team Provides Intensive Support For People With Mental Illness
Timothy Sacerdote's morning medication run was nearly done, without a hitch so far. He'd visited four clients, opened the combination locks on the boxes of medication in their homes and handed them pills while chatting about how they were doing, whether they'd be coming to group, and, in the case of one man, buying a cellphone. But there was a problem brewing: Another client was facing eviction from his apartment and fuming about it. Sacerdote and Laura Magisano, his team leader, would be stopping by for his medication later in the morning, but first they had another client to see. As Sacerdote drove, Magisano worked the phone, trying to buy them time (Becker, 2/25).

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