KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

State Highlights: Calif. Officials Scramble To Get Ahead Of Hep A Outbreak; Nursing Home Connected With Irma Deaths Shuts Down

Media outlets report on news from California, Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

Los Angeles Times: How San Diego's Hepatitis A Outbreak Became The Worst The U.S. Has Seen In Decades
Experts say San Diego took all the right steps in addressing what is now one of the largest hepatitis A outbreaks the country has seen in decades, but variables unique to the city’s situation contributed to the outbreak. At least 481 people have been infected and 17 have died of the infection since November in San Diego. Another 88 cases have been identified in Santa Cruz and Los Angeles counties, where hepatitis A outbreaks have been declared. (Schroeder, 10/8)

The Hill: Nursing Home Where 12 Died After Irma Shuts Down 
The Florida nursing home where 12 elderly residents died in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma has shut down and laid off its staff. The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, Fla. laid off 245 employees and notified the state of the layoffs on Sept. 20, the Sun Sentinel reported Friday. (Thomsen, 10/7)

The Associated Press: Maryland Health Officials Held In Contempt To Appeal
Several Maryland health department officials will appeal a Baltimore judge’s decision to hold them in contempt of court in a lawsuit over a shortage of hospital beds for mentally ill defendants. A spokeswoman for the Maryland Attorney General’s Office told The Baltimore Sun on Friday that the decision was made this week but the appeal hasn’t been filed. (10/7)

Boston Globe: State Seeks To Reassure Adult Day Health Centers
MassHealth, which covers the state’s poor and elderly residents, proposed new rules several weeks ago in an effort to tighten oversight and ensure “program integrity.” But the proposal caused a backlash in the adult day health industry, where executives said the rewritten rules would have eliminated nursing care and supervision for people who had nowhere else to turn. (Dayal McCluskey, 10/8)

Los Angeles Times: Hacking Your Health At The New Bulletproof Labs In Santa Monica
The first thing Dave Asprey will tell you about his newly opened Bulletproof Labs in Santa Monica is that it’s not a gym. Rather, he says, it’s the world’s first “human upgrade” facility dedicated exclusively to biohacking, or tweaking your biology for better performance. At first glance, the light-filled space adjacent to his Bulletproof Coffee café on Main Street certainly looks like a gym, with personal trainers standing by and gleaming equipment lined up. (Fulmer, 10/6)

The Philadelphia Inquirer/ Uncertainty For 120,000 Ends As Independence Reaches Deal With Tower Health
The 120,000 Independence Blue Cross members in the Philadelphia area who faced potential loss of access to several community hospitals — Brandywine, Chestnut Hill, Jennersville Regional, Phoenixville, and Pottstown Memorial — can rest easy. Independence and Tower Health have reached a three-year deal to keep the five hospitals “in-network” for Independence members, the two organizations said Friday. Reading Hospital also will remain in-network; it could have fallen out in November. (Fernandez, 10/6)

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