KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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State Highlights: FamilyCare Signals Willingness To Settle Months Long Dispute With Oregon Health Authority; Kansas Lawmakers Move To Protect Tobacco Settlement Funds

News outlets report on health issues in Oregon, Kansas, California, Wisconsin, Colorado and Puerto Rico.

The Oregonian: FamilyCare Is Ready To Settle With Oregon Health Authority
A coordinated care organization embroiled in a months-long dispute with the Oregon Health Authority issued a news release on Monday saying it is ready to settle. The statement by FamilyCare followed dueling news releases on Friday, stemming from a public threat by the state to terminate its relationship with the organization. (Terry, 3/21)

The Kansas Health Institute News Service: Legislature Moves To Protect Tobacco Settlement
The Kansas Legislature moved Monday toward ratifying agreements with American Indian tribes meant to ensure the state continues to receive money from a legal settlement with major tobacco companies. The 1998 multistate settlement on tobacco-related Medicaid costs provides roughly $60 million a year that Kansas uses to fund children’s programs. One of the stipulations of the settlement is that Kansas enforce taxes and regulations on small-scale tobacco manufacturers who did not join the settlement so they aren’t able to grab significant market share from the large manufacturers who did. (Marso, 3/21)

The San Jose Mercury News: Right-To-Die Law Debated At Morgan Hill Town Hall Meeting
They know California's landmark right-to-die law, set to kick in June 9, is for the terminally ill. And they support that effort. But what most of the dozen people at a town hall meeting on Monday in Morgan Hill wanted to know is why their friends and relatives suffering from Alzheimer's or dementia cannot take advantage of the law. (Seipel, 3/21)

The Sacramento Bee: Got A Health Care Grievance? There’s A Place To Complain
Your health insurance company denied your treatment. Or it won’t provide the prescription drug you need. Or you’ve got a billing dispute. Or your longtime doctor was dropped from your health plan. When you’ve got a complaint about health care, where are you gonna go? The site is one starting point. (Buck, 3/21)

The Kansas Health Institute News Service: Senate Advances Bill Requiring Parental Consent To Withhold 'Life-Sustaining' Treatment
The Senate on Monday advanced a bill that would forbid hospitals from withholding life-sustaining treatment from children without permission from a parent or guardian. Senate Bill 437 would prohibit a physician or health care facility from withholding life-sustaining treatment or placing a do-not-resuscitate order on someone younger than 18 without parental permission. If the parents disagreed, they could petition a district court to settle the case, with the presumption in favor of continuing treatment. (Hart, 3/21)

Reuters: Family Of Colorado Inmate Files Wrongful Death Suit, Says He Was Denied Medication
A mentally ill prisoner who was found naked and dead in a Colorado jail cell two years ago was denied his psychiatric medication and physically abused by staff at the lock-up, lawyers for the inmate's family said Friday. John Patrick Walter died in the Fremont County jail in April 2014, according to a wrongful death lawsuit filed by his family in U.S. District Court in Denver on Thursday. (3/18)

The Associated Press: Puerto Rico Doctor Ordered To Pay AFLAC $2M In Restitution
A Puerto Rico doctor found guilty in a multimillion-dollar federal fraud case has been ordered to pay a U.S. insurance company more than $2 million in restitution. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Monday that Dr. Anibal Pagan Romero also was sentenced to 10 years in prison as part of a case in which hundreds of other people were prosecuted. (3/21)

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