A selection of health policy stories from the District of Columbia, Kansas, Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina and California.
The Washington Post: D.C. Program Reflects National Trend Toward Moving Older Americans Out Of Nursing Homes
For 60 years, Bobbie Jones, 88, had lived in the same Petworth rowhouse where she raised four children -- including one born in an upstairs bedroom -- and became a grandmother to 10 and a great-grandmother to nine. But last year, a stroke and a fall landed her in the hospital and then in a nursing home. In the past, a nursing home might have wound up being where she lived out the rest of her days. But through a new program that helps District residents receive care in their homes and communities, Jones was able to go home. She is among 58 people who have been relocated since the D.C. Office on Aging launched its Nursing Home Transition Program in April (Bahrampour, 1/2).
Kansas Health Institute: Kansas To Get $10.8 Million Medicaid Bonus From Feds
Kansas will get $10.8 million in additional Medicaid money from the federal government as a bonus for enrolling more children from low-income homes in state-federal health insurance programs. The award was announced today by officials at the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services. It is part of more than $307 million in bonuses to be paid out to 23 states (1/2).
The Richmond Times-Dispatch: McDonnell Names Mental Health Task Force
Gov. Bob McDonnell has named a task force that will meet for the first time next week to examine the gaps in Virginia's fragmented mental health system and recommend ways to fill them. The 36-member task force will convene Tuesday, less than two months after the son of state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath, attacked his father and then took his own life just 13 hours after being released from an expired emergency custody order (Martz, 1/3).
Georgia Health News: Doctor Shortage Remains Acute In Rural Areas
Georgia's physician shortage continues to limit patients' access to care, especially in rural areas, a recently released report indicates. But the report by the Georgia Board for Physician Workforce also highlights some promising trends on doctors practicing in Georgia. The state ranked 39th in the ratio of doctors per 100,000 population in 2010, the latest year for which data are available. That’s a slight improvement from Georgia’s 40th-place ranking in 2008 (Miller,1/2).
Charlotte Observer: Doctors Allege For-Proft Owner Of Two Local Hospitals Committed Medicare Fraud And Offered Kickbacks
Echoing other complaints across the country, two Charlotte-area emergency room doctors allege the for-profit company that owns hospitals in Mooresville and Statesville offered them illegal kickbacks to order unnecessary tests and admit more patients to increase corporate revenues (Garloch, 1/2).
WRAL: Chapel Hill Doctor Becomes Cheerleader For Health Law
Although still too early to gauge the impact of the Affordable Care Act on the nation's health care system, one Chapel Hill physician says the law will be a game-changer for his patients. ... Dr. Sam Weir said the goals of the law will mean a lot to UNC Family Medicine Center, where about 2,000 patients -- 11 to 12 percent of the clinic's total -- have no insurance (Browder, 1/2).
California Healthline: Los Angeles, Orange Counties Grapple With Shortage Of Nursing Instructors
Difficulty in recruiting nursing instructors may be a harbinger of an inadequate supply of nurses in the future, experts said. There are about 408,000 registered nurses statewide, according to the California Institute for Nursing and Health Care. For registered nursing, the projected rate of growth in employment between 2010 and 2020 is 26 percent, according to the U.S. Dept. of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics -- faster than the 14 percent average growth rate for all occupations (Stephens, 1/2).