State Highlights: Iowa Lawmakers Vote To Raise Own Premiums After Press Reports; Fla. Safety-Net Hospitals Oppose Proposed Budget Cuts
Outlets report on news from Iowa, Florida, Kentucky, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon and Tennessee.
Iowa Public Radio:
GOP Lawmaker Calls Reporting on Legislators’ Health Insurance Premiums 'Fake News'
Some state lawmakers will pay more for their health insurance under a bill approved unanimously in the Iowa House today, after an earlier unanimous vote in the Senate. (Russell, 4/4)
Health News Florida:
Safety Net Hospitals Oppose Potential Cuts
Leaders of safety-net hospitals from across the state gathered Monday at the Capitol to argue against potential cuts in Medicaid payments. The House last week released an initial budget that included $672.3 million in Medicaid reimbursement cuts, while a Senate plan included about $309.1 million in cuts. Safety-net hospitals include public, teaching and children's hospitals and serve large numbers of Medicaid patients and uninsured people. (4/4)
The Associated Press:
Support Surges For Smoking Ban In Tobacco Country
More than seven in 10 people in one of the nation's largest tobacco-producing states support a statewide smoking ban in most public places. It's the highest level of support ever recorded in polling by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky since the group first asked the question in 2011. Anti-smoking advocates hope the numbers will fuel a renewed push for a public smoking ban in a state that leads the country in the number of tobacco-related cancer cases per 100,000 people. (4/4)
AstraZeneca Is Sued Over 'Baby Leads' Used For Medicaid Fraud
The New York attorney general joined a whistleblower lawsuit accusing an AstraZeneca unit of defrauding Medicaid by obtaining confidential data on infants in order to boost sales of a key medicine. From 2007 through 2011, the lawsuit alleges that the MedImmune unit worked closely with a specialty pharmacy called Trinity Homecare to generate prescriptions for Synagis, which is given to premature infants to protect them from contracting a severe respiratory virus known as RSV. At the time, Trinity actively dealt with many New York City public hospitals, where infants were insured by Medicaid. (Silverman, 4/4)
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
A Penn Nurse Tackles Ageism In Health Care
What's the first statistic that medical professionals mention when they talk about patients? It's the patient's age, Rebecca Trotta, a Ph.D.-level nurse, pointed out in a lecture Monday to colleagues at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. She urged them to consider how differently they would think about these two patients: a 57-year-old man who had fallen and had a change in mental status, and an 87-year-old man with the same symptoms. Chances are, she said, that they would instantly make unconscious assumptions about where those two patients were headed. They were much more likely to assume that the older man was frail, had dementia, and would wind up in a nursing home. Could it be that what she called "intrinsic ageism" makes such a negative outcome more likely? (Burling, 4/4)
Eye Clinic Manager Convicted In Huge Health Care Fraud: Puppet Of Father Or Partner In Crime?
A 41-year-old man who cheated public and private health insurance plans and the Internal Revenue Service out of $2.5 million over seven years at his father's eye clinic should spend at least 2 1/2 years in federal prison, a prosecutor argued Tuesday. But a defense lawyer countered that Anthony Curtis Neal suffers from autism spectrum disorder and was acting as a "servant'' for his "manipulative,'' "monstrous'' and "distorted'' father. Dr. Dean Elton Neal, 80, died from a stroke in May 2015 before federal prosecutors could charge the ophthalmologist. (Bernstein, 4/4)
Intermedix Buys WPC Healthcare
Intermedix is acquiring WPC Healthcare to strengthen its data analytics and machine learning capabilities. Intermedix, which moved most of its top executives to Nashville in 2015, expects the deal to help fuse clinical, financial and operational data into the decisions that health care providers make about revenue cycle management, or the complex health care billing process, said CEO Joel Portice. WPC Healthcare is a Brentwood-based company that collects data for a variety of uses in health care, ranging from technology that helps clinicians identify people with sepsis earlier to helping cities think about where mosquito populations might surge during warm months. (Fletcher, 4/4)
2 Portland Cafe Workers Contract Hepatitis A; Health Officials Investigating
Multnomah County health officials are investigating two hepatitis A cases among workers at a pair of Portland Cup & Saucer Cafes.The first of the cases was reported to the county health department on March 20, and the other was reported Monday, said county spokeswoman Julie Sullivan-Springhetti. Officials advise people who ate or drank at the cafes on specific dates in late March to contact their health care provider, she said.Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease usually spread when someone ingests the virus from drinks, food or other things contaminated by an infected person's fecal matter, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It can be a mild sickness, lasting a few weeks, or be more severe and last several months, the CDC said. (Ryan, 4/4)