KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

State Highlights: Illinois Budget Troubles Throwing Wrench In State’s Health Industry; Judge To Hear Arguments About Psychologists Who Developed CIA Techniques

Media outlets report on news from Illinois, Ohio, California, Maryland, Florida, Texas, Massachusetts, Washington and Pennsylvania.

Chicago Tribune: Illinois Budget Backlog Is Giving Health Care Providers, Patients A Headache
While Illinois' leaders waged a two-year budget battle, the state fell years behind in reimbursing medical providers for their services, skimping physicians and dentists even if their patients were up-to-date with their premiums. At public universities, officials and workers say some doctors and dentists, particularly those outside an insurance plan's provider network, increasingly asked patients to pick up the state's tab during the impasse. (Rhodes, 7/27)

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Medical Mutual And University Hospitals Deal A Competitive Win For Cleveland
At a time of uncertainty and turmoil in the health insurance markets, today's announcement that -- for the first time in more than two decades -- all University Hospitals facilities and providers will become part of Medical Mutual of Ohio's SuperMed and Medicare Advantage networks is a huge win for consumers, for Cleveland and for the state. ...The decision ensures continuity of care for those already in the Medical Mutual's SuperMed and Medicare Advantage networks who have UH doctors but previously could not access services at UH hospital facilities at its main Cleveland campus. (7/27)

Stat: USC Is In Trouble Over A Drug Scandal. Would Random Testing Have Helped?
The revelations about Dr. Carmen Puliafito are an academic hospital’s worst nightmare — methamphetamine use, partying in the dean’s office, the doctor’s presence at the scene of a 21-year-old’s overdose. But the case of the University of Southern California eye surgeon and former medical school dean, as reported recently by the Los Angeles Times, raises a bigger question: Could it all have been prevented by random drug testing? (Ross, 7/28)

Baltimore Sun: Johns Hopkins Facility Offers Real World Training In Simulated Setting
Medical students, nurses and other current or aspiring healthcare providers at Johns Hopkins Medicine are being trained in a new facility meticulously designed to help them hone their skills in a space that replicates what they'd actually see and experience in the field. The Johns Hopkins Medicine Simulation Hospital, a 13,000 square-foot, $6.8 million state-of-art facility opened earlier this year at the medical campus in East Baltimore. It features the normal array of operating, emergency and intensive care rooms and labs. (Brice-Saddler, 7/28)

Miami Herald: New Broward Wellness Center Opens In Broward County
Broward County residents can now receive same day, no-cost test results and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS at the new Broward Wellness Center in Fort Lauderdale, opened Thursday by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and the Florida Department of Health. ...The clinic started accepting patients last week and does not require insurance or any payment. (Runcie, 7/27)

Boston Globe: Baker Mum On Whether He’ll Veto Health Care Spending Measure
Governor Charlie Baker declined to say Thursday whether he would veto legislation approved by the state Legislature that omits his administration’s plans for containing state health care costs. ...The governor had asked legislators to approve his cost-saving measures along with the new fees on businesses, which would raise an estimated $200 million in the fiscal year that began this month. (Dayal McCluskey, 7/27)

Philadelphia Inquirer: New Report Looks At Workplace Bullying In Pa. Health Care
A new report on bullying by workers in Pennsylvania health-care settings found just 44 examples in two years, but it looked only at cases that were documented and could be linked to patient safety. The new study was prompted by requests to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority from health-care facilities that were concerned about how to address workplace bullying, said Kelly Gipson, a patient safety liaison and co-author. (Burling, 7/27)

Austin American-Statesman: House Panel OKs Teacher Pay Raise, Retiree Health Bills
The Texas House Appropriations Committee on Thursday unanimously approved two bills that would use the state’s rainy day fund to give current teachers a $1,000 pay raise as well as cut health insurance costs for retired teachers. House Bill 24, filed by Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, which would raise minimum salaries for teachers, librarians and counselors in statute as well as give them a $1,000 annual raise starting next school year, to the tune of $848 million over the next two years. (Chang, 7/27)

San Jose Mercury News: Santa Cruz Brain Surgeon And Nurse Appear In Santa Cruz Court On Child Rape Charges
Brain surgeon and accused child molester 57-year-old James Kohut has lost weight in his 10 weeks at Santa Cruz County Jail, but appeared shaven with a fresh haircut at a hearing Thursday morning in Santa Cruz County Superior Court. ...Kohut faces 11 felonies and Brandon faces eight felonies linked with raping children and recording some of the acts in Santa Cruz County, according to court documents. (Todd, 7/27)

Boston Globe: Pitfalls Abound As State Readies Pot Oversight Agency
Governor Charlie Baker is set to sign the recreational pot measure on Friday, setting in motion a high-stakes, 11-month sprint to license retail marijuana establishments by next summer and regulate what’s expected to become a billion-dollar-a-year industry. But the pitfalls — legal, ethical, political, known, and unforeseen — are many. (Miller, 7/27)

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