A selection of health policy stories from Iowa, California, New York and Washington, D.C.
Des Moines Register: New Process For Challenging Nursing Home Fines Under Fire
New laws and regulations supported by Iowa's nursing homes are drawing fire from a former top regulator, who says lawmakers might as well turn the keys to the state inspections department over to industry lobbyists. Earlier this year, state legislators approved a bill that will require independent reviewers — rather than current or former state employees — to hear the appeals of care facilities cited and fined for substandard care (Kauffman, 9/17).
The New York Times: Hoping To Raise Awareness, 2 Leading Groups For The Blind Plan A Merger
Two venerable nonprofit organizations based in Manhattan that provide health care and rehabilitation services for blind and visually impaired people are merging, with the top officials of both groups raising the possibility of broad affiliations among similar local groups around the country (Barron, 9/16).
The Washington Post: D.C. Council May Expand Paid Sick Leave Law
A proposed law to be introduced Tuesday would change that by expanding landmark legislation from 2008 that guaranteed nearly universal paid sick leave in the District but excluded tipped wait staff, including most servers, bussers and bartenders (Sadon, 9/16).
The Texas Tribune: Clinic Closures Spark Debate Over Access To Health Care
Athena Mason's first doctor’s visit as a student at Texas A&M University was a bit awkward…The Bryan clinic was one of two abortion and women’s health providers in Texas that closed last month. All of the closing clinics cited the state’s new abortion law — which makes Mason and Bryan resident Cadence King collateral damage from the new legislative restrictions (Philpott, 9/16).
California Healthline: Pharmacist Practice Bill Going To Governor
The California Assembly and Senate last week approved a bill that will allow advanced pharmacists to practice with a little more autonomy. SB 493 by Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) is designed to address the ongoing access-to-care issue in California by allowing pharmacists to initiate certain kinds of prescriptions and to provide clinical advice and patient consultation. That additional input could help ease the workload for primary care providers, Hernandez said (Gorn, 9/16).