KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Hospital News: Minn. Bill Would Require Hospitals To Disclose ‘Futility Policies’

Meanwhile, in Florida, public hospitals are looking at massive layoffs to save money.

(St. Paul) Pioneer Press: Minnesota Senate Bill Says Hospitals Must Disclose 'Futility Policies'
A state Senate committee is scheduled to consider a bill Friday, March 16, that would require hospitals to disclose their "futility policies" -- any policy to withhold treatments for a patient on grounds that such care would waste medical resources. ... It's unclear how many hospitals have futility policies, but they're not unheard of, said Wendy Burt, a spokeswoman for the Minnesota Hospital Association. None of these policies, however, says anything about withholding care for financial reasons, Burt said (Snowbeck, 3/15).

Also moving through the Minnesota legislature -

(St. Paul) Pioneer Press: Minnesota Senate Panel OKs Bill Allowing Cancer Centers
A Senate committee voted this week to allow HealthEast to move a radiation treatment machine for cancer patients from its hospital in Maplewood to Woodbury ... The HealthEast issue was just one aspect of a bill that's meant to eventually resolve the contentious question of where expensive radiation treatment centers can be built in Minnesota (Snowbeck, 3/15).

The Miami Herald: Jackson Committee Approves Mass Layoffs
A committee of Jackson Health Systems' governing board on Thursday approved executives' plan to "right-size the organization" by cutting 1,117 jobs. The committee's approval is intended to make it harder for county commissioners to stop mass layoffs at Miami-Dade's public hospitals. ... An external auditor, KPMG, reported that Jackson’s official loss for fiscal 2011 was $81.4 million (Dorschner, 3/15).

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