State Highlights: N.Y. Medicaid Change And Cash; Conn. Mental Health Cops; Conn. Mental Health School Outreach

A selection of health policy stories from New York, Connecticut and Minnesota.

The New York Times: Medicaid Shift Fuels Rush For Profitable Clients
When Hurricane Sandy flooded two adult homes in Queens, hundreds of disabled, elderly or mentally ill residents were caught in the surge. After weeks in public shelters, they were bused, over their objections, to a dilapidated four-story building called King’s Hotel, in a crime-ridden section of Brooklyn. Many had not showered in days. Crammed three cots to a room, they lacked basics like clean underwear. But in the parallel universe of New York’s redesigned Medicaid program, they represented a gold mine (Bernstein, 5/8).

Kaiser Health News: Cops In Conn. Train In Mental Health 101 Class
How do you tell the difference between someone who needs to be taken to jail and someone who needs to be taken to the hospital? That’s a big concern in Connecticut, where the intersection of law enforcement and mental health has been a huge issue since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown in 2012 (Cohen, 5/8).

The Pioneer Press:  $45M State Grant Brings Mental Health Outreach To Schools
Any day of the week at Edison High School in Minneapolis, lead therapist Jennifer Ramji could encounter a student who lost a loved one, recently became homeless or is simply having a bad day. If Ramji and her staff can provide those students with convenient, in-school mental health care, they are less likely to miss class and have disciplinary problems and are more likely to graduate. On Thursday, top state health, education and human services leaders visited Edison to celebrate $45 million in new state funding to create more programs like the collaborative. The five-year grant will fund 36 mental health organizations' work in about 800 schools across 257 districts to reach about 35,000 students statewide by 2018 (Magen, 5/8).

The CT Mirror: For-Profit Hospital Deal Gets Done. Then, Doubts Behind The Scenes
Late Wednesday night, lawmakers managed to accomplish something many doubted would be possible: Crafting a compromise that could clear the way for four Connecticut hospitals to be acquired by a for-profit company, in a way that would mollify both unions critical of the transactions and hospitals wary of additional state oversight. The measure cleared the House and Senate by wide margins. Union leaders supported the deal. Hospital lobbyists looked pleased. But for some legislators key to the deal, any sense of celebration after the deal was short-lived (Becker, 5/9).

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