KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Rural Mental Health Crisis Center Threatened By Glitch In Iowa’s Medicaid Payments

State officials say some of the services provided by the center in rural Appanoose County should qualify for Medicaid reimbursement, but they haven't written rules to make such payments. The center, which opened three years ago, could close next month. Also in Maine, advocates hope that voters can push through a referendum to force the state to accept the health law's Medicaid expansion.

Des Moines Register: Iowa Medicaid Not Set Up To Pay For Lauded Rural Mental Health Facility
An innovative program that provides mental-health help in a rural area desperate for such services is on the cusp of closure, partly because state officials haven't arranged a way for it to bill Medicaid. Numerous southern Iowans who've used the Oak Place center are stepping forward to explain why they want it to stay open, pushing aside fears about being identified publicly as people who were hamstrung by depression or anxiety — and who sought help. (Leys, 9/8)

Modern Healthcare: Maine Residents Hope Ballot Box Will Do What Legislators Couldn't: Expand Medicaid To More Low-Income Adults
A coalition of Democratic and moderate Republican state lawmakers passed bills five times that would have had Maine apply for federal Medicaid expansion money to cover low-income able-bodied adults without children at home. Gov. Paul LePage vetoed them each time. Both Florida and Montana had previously tried to expand Medicaid through a ballot initiative, and neither effort gathered enough signatures. By contrast, Maine collected the 67,000 signatures on a single day — election day, last year. (Lee, 9/8)

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