KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Texas Doctor Arrested In Whistle-Blowing Case; Mass. Judge Dismisses Hospital Payment Lawsuit Against State

The New York Times: Doctor Arrested In Whistle-Blowing Case
Texas officials have filed criminal charges against a West Texas physician over accusations that they say he orchestrated against two nurses who had filed a complaint against him with the state medical board (Sack, 12/23).

The Washington Post: Advocates Set To Sue D.C. On Behalf Of Disabled Confined To Nursing Homes
Eleven years after the Supreme Court ruled that state and local governments must provide services to the disabled in the least restrictive settings possible, more than 500 disabled D.C. residents are confined to nursing homes against their wishes because the city has not provided services that would allow them to live independently, according to a lawsuit that disability rights advocates plan to file Thursday in federal court (Shin, 12/22).

The Boston Globe: Judge Dismisses Suit BMC Filed Versus State
A Suffolk Superior Court judge has dismissed Boston Medical Center's lawsuit against the state, which accused officials of illegally cutting payments made to the hospital for treating thousands of poor patients. Justice Judith Fabricant ruled in a Dec. 20 opinion, made public yesterday, that neither state nor federal laws authorize the courts to review the Medicaid payment rates set by the state's secretary of health and human services, Dr. JudyAnn Bigby (Lazar, 12/23).

Kansas Health Institute News Service: Insurance Department Applies For 'Early Innovator' Grant
The Kansas Insurance Department has applied for a federal grant it hopes will give the state a head start in putting together its health insurance exchange (Ranney, 12/22).

NPR: Heart Transplant Candidate Now A Reluctant Activist
But last month, NPR reported that the state of Arizona had cut funding for him and 97 other transplant patients. The first time NPR visited Randy Shepherd at his home in Mesa, Ariz., he was reluctant to put himself forward as the face of a controversy (Robbins, 12/23).

Health News Florida: Docs Insist On Lead Role
Gov.-elect Rick Scott's transition team offered a controversial proposal this week to merge the Florida Department of Health and Agency for Health Care Administration. But doctors and public-health advocates immediately said one thing is not negotiable: A physician needs to be in charge (Saunders and Gentry, 12/22).

Modern Healthcare: Catholic Health Association Defends Ariz. Hospital
Contradicting a local bishop responsible for determining compliance with Roman Catholic health care ethics, Catholic Health Association President and CEO Sister Carol Keehan is defending the actions of a large Phoenix hospital that saw its official religious status removed this week over what the Phoenix diocese determined to be ethical lapses (Carlson, 12/22).

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