Media outlets report on news from New York, North Carolina, Michigan, Alabama, Georgia and Ohio.
The New York Times: The Governor And The $6 Billion Budget Gap
In the curious case of New York State’s $6 billion budget gap, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has a list of leading suspects: local officials and county staffers, whom he blames for negligently allowing Medicaid costs to skyrocket. But Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, may have left out the biggest perpetrator. The governor and state budget officials have said that a statewide minimum-wage increase, along with a push to increase enrollment in Medicaid, a state and federal program that provides health care to low-income residents, are among the biggest reasons the budget deficit is so large. (McKinley, 3/10)
North Carolina Health News: NC Chronic Pain Doc Suspended Following Tweets
Courtney Cates is one of 34 patients who cannot find treatment for their pain because their doctor can no longer prescribe pain killers. More broadly, the Raleigh woman is among many pain patients affected by a nationwide crackdown on opioids aimed at stopping drug overdoses. Her doctor, Thomas Kline, 76, who specializes in chronic, painful diseases, said he was asked to sign over his DEA license to prescribe controlled substances during an impromptu visit from the N.C. Medical Board last month. The board launched an investigation into the Raleigh doctor last spring after receiving a complaint from Julie Roy, whose 26-year-old son died from a heroin overdose. (Knopf, 3/10)
Carolina Public Press: HCA Rejects Complaints On Staffing At Asheville Hospitals
After more than a month of being criticized by patients and elected officials at a series of public meetings, HCA Healthcare is responding to allegations of inadequate staffing and poor service at the Mission Health facilities it acquired last year. But even as the company speaks out, nurses from its Asheville hospitals rallied Sunday, with calls for a union to improve working conditions at the medical facilities the company acquired last year. Buncombe County Commission Chair Brownie Newman and Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer issued a joint letter supporting the nurses’ efforts. (3/10)
Modern Healthcare: Michigan Budget Aims To Create New Medicaid Transformation Office
Buried in Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s proposed 2020-21 executive budget proposal is a $5 million funding request to create a five-employee office with a big mission: transforming how the state pays for healthcare through Medicaid. The ultimate goal of the Medicaid transformation office in the Department of Heath and Human Services is to come up with a variety of new or enhanced “value-based” reimbursement systems for health plans, hospitals, physicians, nursing homes and home and community based providers, said Robert Gordon, MDHHS director, in a recent interview with Crain’s. (Greene, 3/9)
The New York Times: In A Plan To Bring Yoga To Alabama Schools, Stretching Is Allowed. ‘Namaste’ Isn’t.
Across Alabama, yoga is freely taught at dozens of studios, in Christian churches and inside prisons. But for nearly three decades, it has been illegal to teach yoga — a combination of breathing exercises and stretches with connections to Hinduism and Buddhism — inside the state’s public school classrooms, with detractors warning it would amount to a tacit endorsement of a “non-Christian” belief. (Rojas, 3/9)
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Georgia Senate Gives Final OK To Anti-Bait-And-Switch Fee Amendment
Governors and lawmakers have been diverting millions of dollars in fee money meant for environmental cleanups for more than a decade, but now Georgia voters may help put a stop to that this fall. The Senate on Monday unanimously gave final approval to a proposed “anti-bait-and-switch” constitutional amendment allowing lawmakers to dedicate fees collected when, for instance, you buy new tires, to the causes they promised the money would go to when they approved the levies. (Salzer, 3/9)
Modern Healthcare: Cleveland Clinic-Oscar Health Partnership Shows Success In Concierge Medicine
The 2½-year-old partnership between Cleveland Clinic and insurer Oscar Health illustrates an emerging, value-based business model for the healthcare industry aimed at lowering costs and raising care quality. Cleveland Clinic + Oscar began offering individual health plans to people who live in Cuyahoga, Summit, Lorain, Medina and Lake counties at the beginning of 2018, then expanded its operations to Ashtabula, Geauga and Portage counties at the beginning of this year. The plans cover only care provided by Cleveland Clinic’s network. (Vanac, 3/9)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
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