State Highlights: Penn State Ends Health Plan Penalty

A selection of health policy stories from Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Michigan, Oregon and Texas.

The New York Times: Health Plan Penalty Ends At Penn State 
After weeks of vociferous objections by faculty members, Pennsylvania State University said on Wednesday it was suspending part of a new employee wellness program that some professors had criticized as coercive and financially punitive (Singer, 9/18).

North Carolina Health News: NCTracks Frustrates Businesses Big And Small
More than two months after launch, Medicaid providers are reaching the end of their tolerance for the new NCTracks computer system (Hoban, 9/19).

Detroit Free Press: State Officials Plan To Announce Compounding Pharmacy Legislation
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette plans to announce legislation today aimed at tightening regulations of compounding pharmacies in the state hit hardest by a national fungal meningitis outbreak. The public health crisis that erupted last September was linked to tainted steroids prepared by the New England Compounding Center, a compounding pharmacy in Massachusetts. Hundreds of people were sickened by tainted shots, and more than 60 have died (Zaniewski, 9/19).

The Lund Report: Autism Treatment For Oregon Health Plan Faces Hurdles, But Approval For Some Kids Likely
Autism advocates presented their case for applied behavior analysis last week to an Oregon evidence-based medicine review panel, whose recommendation can make or break the ability of autistic Oregonians to receive the therapy under the Oregon Health Plan. The approval faces a high hurdle: a staff member for the Center for Evidence-Based Policy at Oregon Health & Science University, Dr. Alison Little, has testified nationally against the psychotherapy for autistic children, including a Florida case in March 2012 (Gray, 9/16).

The Texas Tribune: Abortion Opponents Criticize Patrick’s Past Investment
State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, is campaigning for Texas lieutenant governor as an unapologetic foe of abortion. But prominent abortion opponents want him to explain how he wound up owning stock in the company that makes the Plan B "morning after" pill (Root, 9/19).

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