A selection of health policy stories from Virginia, the District of Columbia, California, Wisconsin, Georgia, South Carolina, Pennsylvania and Washington.
The Washington Post: Wait Continues For Health-Care Providers Owed By Chartered Health Plan
Despite high hopes that a quick resolution to the mess left by dissolution of D.C. Chartered Health Plan could be in the offing, it appears that city health care providers will have to wait more than a month to start receiving the nearly $50 million they are owed from the now defunct managed-care firm (DeBonis, 7/17).
The Associated Press: Georgia Plans Managed Care For Children On Medicaid
Health officials say they're looking to hire a for-profit company to oversee the care of some of the state's most vulnerable children. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Wednesday that youth advocates and pediatricians say so-called "managed care" of the state's 27,000 children in foster care, adoption assistance or the juvenile justice system could help better coordinate their health care (7/18).
Modern Healthcare: Reform Update: Adventist Health Seeks Insurance License
The push by hospital operators into the health insurance business continues as pressure increases to prepare for alternatives to fee-for-service payment. Adventist Health, a large California-based health system with 18 hospitals in four states, is expected to seek California's approval for an insurance license before the end of the year. It would be Adventist's first insurance license, though it will be a limited license (Evans, 7/17).
The Washington Post's The Fact Checker: Does Ken Cuccinelli's Book Question Whether Social Security And Medicare Should Exist?
The ad directs readers to pages 62 and 63 of the book. This chapter mostly deals with Cuccinelli's outrage at the passage of the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, which he views as an example of lawmakers in both parties creating new programs that he claims make people dependent on government largess (Kessler, 7/18).
Los Angeles Times: O.C. Biotech Firm Is Sued By Major Rival Over Breast Cancer Test
A small biotech firm in Orange County is going up against a major company over the rights to a popular genetic test that can detect breast cancer. Myriad Genetics of Salt Lake City last week filed a lawsuit against Ambry Genetics of Aliso Viejo and a Houston company after both rushed to offer the test immediately following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last month that human genes cannot be patented (7/17).
NPR: Tuberculosis Outbreak Shakes Wisconsin City
It's a reminder that TB -- a disease most Americans may view as a relic of the 19th century -- is still an insidious threat that can pop up anywhere. In its advanced stages, tuberculosis can destroy lungs, damage other organs and cause death (Knox, 7/18).
Georgia Health News: Medicaid Pay Raise For Doctors? Not Here, Not Yet
The long-delayed Medicaid pay raise for primary care physicians is expected to begin this summer for almost all states, Kaiser Health News reported Tuesday, quoting a federal agency spokeswoman. But Georgia won’t be among them. The projected date for physicians in Georgia to get the pay bump is November, according to the state Medicaid agency (Miller, 7/17).
Bloomberg: South Carolina Psychiatric Patient Stuck 38 Days In ER
When a mentally ill patient arrived at AnMed Health Medical Centers' emergency room in May, staff at the Anderson, South Carolina, facility scurried to find a hospital with enough room for an admission…U.S. hospital emergency rooms are becoming holding pens for psychiatric patients. People are being kept on site for days and sometimes weeks, a symptom of an overtaxed health system grappling with steep cuts to mental-health services (Armour, 7/18).
The Philadelphia Inquirer: Abington, Einstein and Aria Unveil New Model For Self-Insuring
Three major Philadelphia-area health systems announced a partnership Tuesday to jointly manage health benefits and care for their tens of thousands of employees. Einstein Healthcare Network, Abington Health, and Aria Health unveiled a plan for a jointly run company that will manage insurance and care for their combined 30,000 employees and family members (Skinner, 7/17).
The Seattle Times: Dental Patients Get $35M Over Unneeded Root Canals
A judge Wednesday awarded a total $35 million to 29 former patients of a retired Shoreline dentist who is accused of performing thousands of unnecessary root canals…The state Department of Health has received 76 complaints against Duyzend, according to spokesman Donn Moyer (Cornwell, 7/18).