KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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N.C. Releases Plan For Restructuring Medicaid, Improving Physical And Mental Health Care

The details lay out how the state will move from a fee-for-service program to managed care. Among other Medicaid developments are news accounts on the head of Oregon's program resigning at the governor's request, doctors at California's UC Davis Medical Center saying the hospital's decision to refuse to accept Medicaid payments has hurt vulnerable patients and health care providers complaining about Colorado's new billing system.

The Associated Press: North Carolina Leaders Put More Meat On Medicaid Proposal
Gov. Roy Cooper's administration wants the state's pending Medicaid overhaul to integrate physical and mental health treatment more quickly and expand coverage to more of the working poor in North Carolina, according to its plan unveiled Tuesday. The Department of Health and Human Services released a report explaining how it wants the Medicaid program to look when a 2015 state law directing the reorganization takes effect, possibly in July 2019. (Robertson, 8/8)

Oregonian: Campaign To Taint Courtroom Foe Costs Saxton Post At OHA
Lynne Saxton, director of the Oregon Health Authority, resigned Tuesday at the request of Gov. Kate Brown after a "communication plan" became public detailing how the agency intended to damage the reputation of a Portland health care provider. Saxton, who has overseen the sprawling state agency since late 2014, insisted that she never implemented the hardline tactics advocated in the plan. She also publicly apologized. ... Saxton's ouster was borne of the agency's long, bitter legal dispute with FamilyCare Health, one of 16 coordinated care organizations serving the state's Medicaid population. The two camps have been battling for years, with FamilyCare insisting the agency's ratemaking process is unfair and unsustainable. (Manning, 8/8)

East Oregonian: GOP Calls For Special Session On Health Care
Republicans in the Oregon House of Representatives are calling for a special session to address the state’s Medicaid funding plan. The Legislature approved assorted revenues, ranging from a tax on insurance premiums to assessments on hospitals, earlier this year to fund the Oregon Health Plan, the state’s Medicaid program. (Withycombe, 8/8)

Sacramento Bee: Medi-Cal Patients Left Out Of UC Davis Medical Center Primary Care
Ian Kim sees the dire effects every day of UC Davis Medical Center’s decision to stop providing basic care for some of Sacramento County’s most vulnerable patients. This past year, a boy came into the hospital’s emergency room with an infection so serious that, if not well managed, could have led to the loss of a limb or even death, said Kim, who is a resident physician at the medical center. ... UC Davis stopped accepting Medi-Cal coverage more than two years ago, saying the federally funded health program for low-income people didn’t adequately reimburse the hospital for its services. (Yoon-Hendricks, 8/8)

The Associated Press: Texas Urges Reversal In Planned Parenthood Medicaid Case
Texas' attorney general is urging a federal appeals court to overturn an order halting the state from cutting Medicaid dollars to Planned Parenthood over videos anti-abortion activists secretly recorded in 2015. In a 5th Circuit Court brief, Ken Paxton accused Planned Parenthood of "breaches of medical and ethical standards." (8/8)

Colorado Public Radio: Colorado’s Glitchy New Medicaid Payment System Has Some Doctors Declaring 'Crisis'
The trouble started in March. That’s when Colorado’s Medicaid agency launched a new computer billing system, with a new vendor called DXC Technology. The rollout did not go as planned. “It's been a nightmare, to say the least,” said Annie Walter, office manager at Hanson Clinic, an orthopedic surgery in Pueblo. ... State officials say they expected some problems with the Colorado interChange, but say the pain now will be worth it in the end. “It's a lot more complex than the old system,” said Chris Underwood, office director of the health information office for the state’s Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. (Daley, 8/8)

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