KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

State Highlights: Del. Governor Signs Law To Help Patients With Disabilities Get Transplants; Wash. Hospitals Fall Short On Charity Care Duties

Media outlets report on news from Delaware, Washington, Minnesota, California and Ohio.

The Associated Press: New Law Ensures Disabled Are Eligible For Organ Transplants
[Del.] Gov. John Carney is signing legislation aimed at ensuring that individuals with mental and physical disabilities are not denied access to organ transplant procedures based solely on their disability. The bill being signed Wednesday prohibits health care providers from deeming a person ineligible to receive an anatomical gift or organ transplant, related medical services, or referrals based solely on a physical or mental disability. (9/13)

Seattle Times: Report: Washington Hospitals Stingy With Charity Care, With Language Barrier An Issue 
Hospitals around Washington appear to be falling short in their charity-care duties, according to a report by Columbia Legal Services (CLS), which helped Andres-Juan get her pay back, and Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who announced last week a lawsuit against St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma. St. Joseph has withheld charity care from tens of thousands of low-income patients since 2012, Ferguson alleged. Senior managers at the hospital, part of the CHI Franciscan chain along with Highline Medical Center, knew about the problems but did nothing, he said. (Young, 9/12)

Pioneer Press: United Hospital’s Emergency Center Expansion Is Designed To Cut Wait Times 
New renovations to United Hospital revealed Tuesday are designed to curb wait times and promote patient safety. A ribbon cutting for the St. Paul hospital’s $1.4 million emergency care center expansion was held Tuesday morning. Improvements include: six new care spaces, a shared welcome desk for United and Children’s Hospital and security personnel, larger triage areas and hybrid rooms for medical and mental health patients. (Faircloth, 9/12)

KQED: After Rallies And A Resolution, These Patients Will Stay In San Francisco
After months of protests from families, city supervisors and public health officials, California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) announced that it will continue to care for 28 patients with complex medical needs, instead of transferring them to other facilities outside the city. In June, the patients and their families received letters from CPMC saying that the skilled nursing unit where they lived at St. Luke’s Hospital, known as a “subacute” unit, was closing permanently. (Klivans, 9/12)

Columbus Dispatch: Nationwide Children's Studying Kids' Genetics For New Cancer Treatments
[Richard] Wilson is the executive director of the Institute for Genomic Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. He opened his labs last week to give hospital employees and others a peek at the machines and researchers who are taking the first steps to help find new cancer treatments, reveal rare diseases and change the way medicine is practiced. (Viviano, 9/13)

Los Angeles Times: Experts At Suicide Awareness Conference Highlight The Brain’s Role In Depression
A conference held in conjunction with Worldwide Suicide Prevention Day drew mental health professionals and lay people to USC Verdugo Hills Hospital where they learned about the biology of the suicidal brain, how genetics are involved, and ways one can support a deeply depressed individual. The Sept. 9 event, which carried the theme, “Shattering the Silence,” was the hospital’s second annual Suicide Awareness and Prevention Conference, and attendance was up this year. (Sanderson, 9/12)

California Healthline: Kaiser Permanente Names Dean Of New California Medical School
When health policy expert and pediatrician Mark Schuster searched for a book to help parents speak easily and accurately with their children about sex and sexual health, he couldn’t find one he liked. So, the Harvard professor — a leader in research on child, adolescent and family health — enlisted the help of a medical school classmate to write the 2003 guide for parents  “Everything You Never Wanted Your Kids To Know About Sex (But Were Afraid They’d Ask).” (O'Neill, 9/12)

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