A selection of health policy stories from Wisconsin, North Carolina, Connecticut and Kansas.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Bill Would Limit Costs For Medical Care Under Wisconsin's Worker's Comp
Wisconsin would put tighter caps on how much doctors and physical therapists could be paid to treat injured patients covered by worker's compensation insurance, under a bill before lawmakers. The complex bill seeks to hold down costs for the state's first-in-the-nation worker's compensation system, which pays for lost wages and disability as well as medical bills for those hurt on the job (Stein, 2/9).
Reuters: North Carolina Attorney General To Appeal Abortion Ultrasound Ruling
North Carolina's Democratic attorney general said on Friday he would appeal a federal court ruling that struck down a Republican-backed state law requiring abortion providers to conduct an ultrasound and explain it to a woman before an abortion. The move puts state Attorney General Roy Cooper, widely considered the likely Democratic challenger to Republican Governor Pat McCrory in 2016, at odds with many in his party who opposed the law passed in 2011 (Maguire, 2/7).
The CT Mirror: Primary Care Providers Accepting Medicaid Doubled Since 2011
Payment rates to primary care providers who see Medicaid patients rose dramatically in 2013, and so did the number of providers participating in the program. In December, there were 3,256 primary care providers in the program, a figure that includes doctors, advanced practice registered nurses and physician assistants. That was up from 2,370 in January 2013, a 37 percent increase. And it’s more than double the number of primary care providers participating in Medicaid in January 2012: 1,622. The primary care payment increase, which took effect in July 2013 but was retroactive to the start of the year, was required as part of the federal health law commonly known as Obamacare, and funded by the federal government (Becker, 2/10).
The CT Mirror: For CT Adults With Developmental Disabilities, Housing Help Unlikely Until Parents Die
Scott Langner was so excited when he learned he could one day move into an apartment with friends that he soon began talking about the invitations he’d use for his housewarming party. ... But last year, they learned that was unlikely to happen. His mother, Collette Bement Langner, said they were told that DDS no longer has the money to provide him residential supports, and that Scott would likely live with his parents until they die (Becker, 2/10).
The Associated Press: Dentists Speak Out As Kansas Fluoride Bill Nears Hearing
As Kansas lawmakers prepare to discuss a bill pushed by opponents of fluoridation in public water supplies, several oral health advocates are fighting back against what they call misinformation that distorts research on the safety of fluoride. Rep. Steve Brunk, a Wichita Republican, has introduced a measure that would require municipalities that fluoridate their water to notify citizens that “the latest science confirms that ingested fluoride lowers the IQ in children” (2/9).