KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

State Highlights: Fla. Senate OKs Transparency Bill; Effort To Restore Ariz. KidCare Health Insurance Program Stalls

News outlets report on health issues in Florida, Arizona, Kentucky, California, New York, Michigan and New Jersey.

The Associated Press: Health Care Transparency Bill Passes Florida Senate
The Florida Senate passed a bill on Thursday that would give residents more transparency on the costs of health care. The bill (HB 1175), which passed 27-1, requires Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration to contract with a vendor for a website that will show cost and quality of care. (3/10)

The Associated Press: California Regains Control Of Second Prison's Health Care
California regained responsibility for providing medical care at a second state prison on Thursday as it slowly makes progress toward ending a decade of federal control. J. Clark Kelso, the federal court-appointed receiver, turned operations at the Correctional Training Facility in Soledad back over to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. (Thompson, 3/11)

USA Today: Rape-Kit Reforms Flood State Legislatures
At least 20 states are pursuing reforms to the inconsistent ways rape kits are handled by law enforcement agencies after a USA TODAY NETWORK investigation last year revealed tens of thousands of rape evidence kits went untested nationwide. Legislatures have been flooded with a total of about 50 different bills in recent months — most introduced since the beginning of this year as lawmakers returned to statehouses for 2016 sessions — dealing with various aspects of how rape kits are handled by the criminal justice system. (Reilly, 3/10)

The Associated Press: Rallies To Seek Wage Help For New York Direct Care Providers
Agencies serving people with developmental disabilities are urging New York state to help them cover the costs of a rising minimum wage. Rallies planned for Friday in Rochester, Long Island, Buffalo and New York City are meant to convince state lawmakers to include funding in the 2016-17 state budget to allow the agencies to increase pay without having to cut people or services. (3/11)

The Detroit Free Press: Feds: 3 Detroit Doctors Allegedly Ran $5.7M Drug Ring
Three metro Detroit doctors allegedly ran a $5.7 million drug ring that peddled prescription pain pills on the street, federal prosecutors said Wednesday. In yet another drug case targeting health care professionals, federal prosecutors announced criminal charges against doctors from Farmington Hills, West Bloomfield and Harrison Township. (Baldas, 3/10)

The Detroit Free Press: State Lawmaker Wants Free Tampons In Schools
Saying feminine hygiene products are an essential health care need for women and children, state Rep. Sarah Roberts has introduced legislation that would require tampons and sanitary napkins be available for free in restrooms in Michigan's public schools and state buildings. (Dixon, 3/10)

The Associated Press: Pallone Attacks Christie On Use Of Federal Money For Lead
A Democratic congressman from New Jersey is alleging that Gov. Christie's office mismanaged federal dollars that were earmarked to reduce lead poisoning after Superstorm Sandy. The governor's office called the claim a "shameless" partisan attack. U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone on Thursday wrote letters to the state inquiring about $11 million it got to screen people at risk for lead exposure after thousands of homes were destroyed. He noted that the state has tested 14,000 people, a fraction of the 220,000 projected under the grant, before spending the money elsewhere. (3/10)

The Associated Press: State Warns About Legionnaires', Warmer Weather
State health officials are warning Flint-area residents that warmer weather can bring a greater risk for Legionnaires' disease, a pneumonia that can be fatal. The Department of Health and Human Services is speaking out about Legionnaires' this week — after failing to inform the public about it in 2014-15 when an outbreak killed nine people in Genesee County. (3/10)

The Associated Press: Contact-Lens Discounter Complains About Arizona Optometrists
One of the nation’s largest contact-lens retail companies filed complaints this week against hundreds of Arizona optometrists for allegedly failing to turn over patients’ prescriptions so they can sell them lenses. Draper, Utah-based 1-800 Contacts filed 3,200 complaints with the state Board of Optometry, asking the board to censure or fine the optometrists or suspend or revoke their licenses. (Christie, 3/10)

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