State Highlights: Hearing Friday On Battle Over Texas Woman On Life Support

A selection of health policy stories from Texas, Kansas and Oregon.

NPR: Life-Support Battle Over Pregnant Texas Woman In Court Friday
The case of the Texas woman, 22-weeks pregnant and being kept on life-support machines at a Forth Worth hospital against her husband's wishes, goes before a judge in North Texas on Friday. Marlise Munoz has been on respirators and ventilators since she was found unconscious in her home in November, when she was 14 weeks pregnant (Silverman, 1/24).

Kansas Health Institute: Mental Health Program Hailed As Way To Reduce Medicaid Costs
After navigating the brightly illuminated aisles of the Raytown Wal-Mart, Lance Sharples wheeled a grocery cart to the checkout line one night last week, … One of the program goals is to stop the revolving door at hospital emergency rooms among persons with mental health and substance abuse problems. Medical experts generally consider it more cost-effective to manage chronic or preventable conditions before patients seek care in emergency rooms. Last month, a Missouri Senate committee hailed the ReDiscover program as an example of how to reduce Medicaid costs (Sherry, 1/23).

The Oregonian: Oregon Far Behind In Community Mental Health Services, Federal Report Finds
Oregon lags far behind where it needs to be in providing community treatment to people with serious mental illness, while it continues to support more costly restrictive inpatient settings, a new federal Justice Department report says. The share of dollars Oregon spent on the state hospital and residential treatment centers actually increased in 2013 -- from 69 percent to 74 percent of the state's mental health funding for adults -- while spending dropped for community-based services. "It's the opposite of what our investigation was designed to address,'' Oregon's U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall said Thursday (Bernstein, 1/23).

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