KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

State Highlights: Lead In Florida’s Water; In Pennsylvania, Some Ambulance Operators Face Financial Pressures

News outlets report on health issues in Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio and Connecticut.

Health News Florida: The 4 Places In Central Florida With Lead In The Water
It’s not just Flint that’s got lead issues: It’s in all 50 states, and it’s in schools and day cares. Florida ranked ninth in the country for the number of water systems with excessive lead levels. Lead levels were at actionable levels 80 times from from 2012 to 2015. In Florida, tests ranged from 15.5 parts per billion to 340 parts per billion at the highest level. (Aboraya, 3/22)

The Philadelphia Inquirer: Region's Ambulance Operators In Financial Squeeze
In the Philadelphia region the business of moving patients by ambulance is on financial life support. The industry is reeling, operators say, because of poor pay from hospitals and private health insurers, a sharp rise in Medicaid patients, and efforts to squeeze bad operators out of the business of nonemergency care. (Brubaker, 3/22)

The Connecticut Mirror: Medical Marijuana For Minors Bill Advances
The Public Health Committee voted 20 to 7 Monday to move forward a proposal that would allow minors with certain medical conditions to use medical marijuana. Under the proposal, minors would be allowed to participate in the state’s medical marijuana program if they have one of six conditions and permission from a parent or guardian, their primary care provider, and a physician who specializes in the patient’s condition. The qualifying conditions would be: severe epilepsy, a terminal illness that requires end-of-life care, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, uncontrolled intractable seizure disorders, and irreversible spinal cord injury with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity. (Levin Becker, 3/22)

Health News Florida: Corrections, Wexford Battling Over Prison Health Contract
A prison health-care company is asking a judge to allow it to pursue a challenge to the Florida Department of Corrections' decision in January to award a contract to another firm to provide health services at the majority of the state's prisons. Wexford Health Sources, Inc., filed a document Friday in the state Division of Administrative Hearings arguing that it should be able to continue a formal protest against the department's award of a $268 million contract to Centurion of Florida, LLC. (3/22)

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