KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

State Highlights: Calif. Ban Shown To Reduce Chemicals In Breast Milk; Demand For Md. Mental Health Services Grows

News outlets report on health issues in California, Maryland, Indiana, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Massachusetts and Missouri.

The Baltimore Sun: Health Report: Demand Growing For Mental Health Treatment In County
A new report by a handful of health agencies and organizations found an increasing demand for mental health services in Anne Arundel County, and a shortage of mental health services to meet that need. Issued once every three years by the Healthy Anne Arundel Coalition, the Community Health Needs Assessment released Wednesday found residential mental health beds to be almost nonexistent in Anne Arundel, though there are 259 residential rehabilitation beds in the county for people with chronic and persistent mental illness. (Loricchio, 2/24)

The Associated Press: Milestone Reached In Aid For Vulnerable Mothers
Many first-time parents of newborns wonder how they will cope when they leave the comfort zone of the hospital, where expert nurses are on hand to answer questions and help solve problems. A program in Central Indiana aims to help the most vulnerable of mothers - and their babies - by providing regular nurse visits during pregnancy and the first two years of a child's life. (Rudavsky, 2/25)

New Hampshire Public Radio: Mapping Medical Marijuana Dispensaries In N.H. And Northern New England
New Hampshire residents hoping to get access to medical marijuana are still waiting for the state’s dispensaries to open. Right now, those new facilities still have to go through a few more rounds of inspections before they can open their doors and start serving patients. Once they do open, patients will only be able to visit one dispensary at a time. And for residents in the northernmost region of the state, the nearest dispensary could be at least two hours away. (McDermott, 2/25)

The Associated Press: SC Joins Cybercrime Fight After Massive Data Breach
The state Revenue Department's massive 2012 data breach gave Gov. Nikki Haley a firsthand lesson on the need for efforts to counter cybercrime, she said Wednesday. "Today, there is never a day I don't think about cybersecurity," Haley told academics and business, government and military officials who gathered to kick off a new, statewide program in cooperation with the University of South Carolina. (Schafer, 2/24)

The Associated Press: Law Criminalizing Fentanyl Takes Effect In Massachusetts
A new Massachusetts law criminalizing the trafficking of fentanyl is taking effect. The law creates the crime of trafficking in fentanyl for amounts greater than 10 grams with punishment of up to 20 years in state prison. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid estimated to be 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and 30 to 50 times more powerful than heroin. (2/23)

Southeast Missourian: Group Urges State To Expand Medicaid For Young Adults With Mental Illness
Advocates in Jefferson City are lobbying for expanded access to Missouri Medicaid for young adults suffering with mental illness. Members of the National Alliance on Mental Illness are working to establish a waiver that would allow people age 21 to 25 to obtain health care through Medicaid at the first signs of serious mental illness. Cindi Keele, executive director of NAMI Missouri, said the project was inspired by recent studies showing how effective treatment can be if it begins soon after a patient’s first psychotic episode. (Graef, 2/24)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.