KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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State Highlights: Maryland’s Debate Over Drug War; Ohio Pediatricians Face Tough Choice; GW’s ‘Tomb Of Unknown Cadavers’

New outlets report on health care developments in Maryland, Ohio, D.C., Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

The Washington Post: Maryland Lawmaker Calls For State To Exit Drug War, Focus On Treatment
Maryland Del. Dan K. Morhaim (D-Baltimore County) on Friday proposed four bills that would radically change the state’s approach to dealing with drug problems, in part by removing criminal penalties for low-level possession and adding emphasis on addiction treatment. One measure would create “safe spaces” for drug use, with facilities that provide sterile injection equipment, medical care and connections to social services. (Hicks, 2/5)

The Washington Post: At George Washington U. Medical School, A Tomb Of Unknown Cadavers
George Washington University has stopped accepting donated bodies at its medical school because it lost track of the identities of as many as 50 cadavers, making it impossible to return remains to families as promised. The university had operated a “willed body donor program” for people who opted to donate their bodies to the medical school. The school uses between 30 and 40 cadavers for classroom instruction each year, and the university maintains a list of hundreds who have arranged to donate their bodies. (Zauzmer and Layton, 2/6)

Reuters: Fourth Patient Linked To Mold Outbreak At Pittsburgh Hospital Dies
A Pennsylvania man, who sued the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center over a deadly, mold-linked infection he and other organ transplant patients contracted at the facility, has died. UPMC on Sunday confirmed the death of Che DuVall, 70, and extended its sympathies to his family. DuVall, who had a lung transplant, is the fourth transplant patient at the hospital system who contracted infection and died. (2/7)

The Connecticut Mirror: Trying For A Breath Of Fresh Air In Treating Asthma
Asthma strikes Connecticut residents at higher rates than residents of the nation overall, affecting 11.3 percent of children and 9.2 percent of adults in the state. It led to nearly 1,000 hospitalizations among children and more than 3,100 among adults last fiscal year. And, although experts don’t know why, it’s becoming more common. Can Connecticut make headway in changing the course of the disease, making it something that patients can routinely control in the community rather than something that often brings people to the hospital in crisis? (Levin Becker, 2/8)

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