A selection of health policy stories from California, Texas, Florida and Oregon.
Los Angeles Times: UC Irvine And MemorialCare Health System Agree to Partner, Not Merge
Amid growing health care consolidation as Obamacare rolls out, UC Irvine and MemorialCare Health System have agreed to a partnership deal. The UC Board of Regents said Wednesday it has approved an affiliation between UC Irvine Health and MemorialCare, two major hospital systems in Southern California. It's not a merger and both will remain independent (Terhune, 10/2).
California Healthline: It’s More Than An Emergency: Calif. Among States Seeking To Expand EMS Care
Each state, to some degree, is preparing for widescale changes to its health care system under the Affordable Care Act. But some, including California, are pursuing smaller efforts, separate from the health reform law, that could help bridge gaps in care and reduce spending. Beginning as early as summer 2014, California's Emergency Medical Services Authority and the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development plan to oversee the launch of pilot programs that would expand EMS workers' responsibilities (Wayt, 10/2).
Politico: Texas Anti-Abortion Ad To Hit Wendy Davis
Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator who is poised to announce a Democratic bid for governor on Thursday, is an "abortion zealot" out-of-step with the rest of the state, according to a new ad going up in Texas this weekend (Glueck, 10/3).
Miami Herald: Florida Prison Health Care Providers Sued Hundreds Of Times
The Florida Department of Corrections awarded a five-year, $1.2 billion contract to provide medical care for thousands of state prisoners in North and Central Florida to a Tennessee company that was sued 660 times for malpractice in the past five years. Nearly half of those cases remain open. Of those that are closed, 91 -- one in four -- ended with confidential settlements that Corizon declined to discuss. The company, Corizon, began work in August providing care at 41 correctional facilities (Christensen, 10/2).
The Lund Report: Dental Plans Closer To Reaching Agreement
Behind closed doors, coordinated care organizations are negotiating with dentists to reach agreement on Oregon's most vulnerable population -- people on the Oregon Health Plan. Next January, thousands of low-income Oregonians start flocking onto Medicaid once income eligibility jumps up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. The Legislature made a clear-cut decision to coincide with Gov. Kitzhaber's efforts to transform the publicly-funded health system (Lund-Muzikant, 10/3).