KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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State Highlights: In Colo., Perfect Vaccination Scores At 14 Schools; Calif. A.G. Supports State’s Single-Payer Health Plan

Media outlets report on health-related news from Colorado, California, Missouri, Washington, Ohio, Georgia, Kansas, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

Denver Post: Fourteen Colorado Schools Have 100 Percent Vaccination Rates. See If Your Child’s School Is One Of Them. 
The vast majority of Colorado schoolkids are receiving the recommended immunizations, but the state Health Department on Tuesday released a new tool to help parents look more locally. The department collected vaccination data for more than 850,000 kids in 1,801 schools during the 2016-17 school year. The research found that 93.4 percent of students were up-to-date on their recommended immunizations. Only 2.6 percent of students’ parents or guardians had claimed an exemption from vaccinations, the large majority of those falling under the “personal exemption” heading. Exemptions for religious or medical reasons each made up less than 10 percent of the total exemptions. (Ingold, 6/13)

Los Angeles Times: Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra Says He Supports Single-Payer Health System For California
California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said Tuesday that he supports a proposal for California to adopt a single-payer health plan and believes it will eventually be enacted because consumers will become “fed up” with the current system that he said is unaffordable to many. The state Senate approved a bill two weeks ago that would create a system where the state government would replace private insurance companies, paying doctors and hospitals for healthcare. The measure, pending in the Assembly, does not yet include a way to cover the $400-billion annual cost. (McGreevy, 6/13)

The Associated Press: Missouri Senate Panel Advances Abortion Regulations
A panel of Missouri senators on Tuesday advanced legislation to create new abortion regulations — including annual inspections of clinics — requested by Republican Gov. Eric Greitens in his call for a special session focused solely on abortion laws. Members of the Senate Committee on Seniors, Families and Children voted 4-2 along party lines in favor of a package of proposals that would place new restrictions on abortion clinics. (6/13)

Seattle Times: Seattle Health-Care Tech Startup Xealth Raises $8.5 Million 
Health-care technology startup Xealth has reeled in $8.5 million in funding, just months after it spun out of Providence Health & Services. The Seattle company aims to help doctors easily deliver digital services to patients. Xealth is led by Mike McSherry, co-founder of fast-texting keyboard app Swype. After Swype was acquired by Nuance Communications for $102.5 million in 2011, McSherry joined the buyer for a couple years before leaving and eventually joining Providence Health & Services as an entrepreneur-in-residence. (Lerman, 6/14)

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Cleveland Clinic Receives $6 Million To Start Consortium For Dementia With Lewy Bodies
The Cleveland Clinic has received a $6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to create a national research consortium to investigate the causes underlying Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB). The new consortium will serve as a national registry for data on the disease, and a place for centralized research efforts, the Clinic said in a written statement released Tuesday. (Washington, 6/13)

KCUR: Big Challenge For KU Alzheimer's Center: Finding Volunteers For Clinical Trials 
The KU center is one of 31 nationally designated Alzheimer’s centers and has about 25 active clinical trials on prevention and treatment underway...And to obtain that proof, the center needs volunteers – lots of them. To be precise, about 650 over the next three years. And it’s mainly looking for people without symptoms – in other words, people who wouldn’t necessarily be as inclined as Terrie Huntington to sign up. (Margolies, 6/14)

The Philadelphia Inquirer: Twin Girls Joined At Head Separated At Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia
In an 11-hour operation, surgeons at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia last week separated 10-month-old twin girls who were joined at the top of their heads, the rarest type of conjoined twins, the hospital disclosed Tuesday. The separation and reconstructive operations on Erin and Abby Delaney of North Carolina followed months of imaging studies and planning by a large team from Children’s. The hospital says it had separated 22 other sets of conjoined twins over the last 60 years, but never siblings joined at the head. (McCullough, 6/13)

Boston Globe: Here Are The Changes Legislators Want To Make To The Voter-Approved Mass. Marijuana Law
In a sweeping rewrite of the voter-passed marijuana legalization measure, House leaders will advance a bill Wednesday that would more than double the total tax on recreational pot and give municipal officials — instead of local voters — the power to ban cannabis shops and farms. The legislation immediately faced blowback from advocates, who said “it insults voters,” and from elected officials, who said the bill would ensure that the illicit market would continue. (Miller, 6/13)

The CT Mirror: 18,000 Now Use Medical Marijuana In CT 
The recreational marijuana debate is tabled for now, but 18,000 Connecticut residents are using the drug to help with specific debilitating medical conditions. Medical marijuana was legalized in May of 2012 and put into practice in September of 2014. (Beaudoin, 6/14)

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