KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

State Highlights: Kansas Savings Report Relies On Medicaid, Health Plan Changes; Missouri Weighs Fetal-Tissue Donation Ban

News outlets report on health care developments in Kansas, Missouri, Washington, Florida, Colorado and Iowa.

The Associated Press: Missouri Senators Review Bill To Ban Fetal-Tissue Donations
Fetal-tissue donation would be banned in Missouri and the state health department would need to annually inspect abortion clinics under Republican-sponsored legislation that was reviewed Tuesday in a Senate committee. It's among several abortion-related laws and bills that Missouri lawmakers are looking at, including oversight of abortion clinics during a House committee that also took place Tuesday. (Ballentine, 1/12)

The Associated Press: Lawyers Urge Judge To Require Timely Competency Services
Lawyers for mentally ill criminal defendants want a federal judge to force Washington officials to provide timely mental health services, opposing a delay sought by the state. The judge ruled last year that the state is violating the constitutional rights of its most vulnerable residents by forcing them to wait in jails for weeks or months before receiving competency evaluations or treatment to restore their ability to assist in their defense during trial. (Bellisle, 1/13)

Heartland Health Monitor: A Growing Gap Between Wyandotte And Johnson Counties: Primary Care Physicans
A male in Wyandotte County can expect to live about seven fewer years than a male in Johnson County. A female in Wyandotte County can expect to live nearly six fewer years than her Johnson County counterpart. About 21 percent of Wyandotte County residents consider themselves to be in poor or fair health; fewer than one in 12 in Johnson County do so. Those are just a few of the many health disparities that sometimes make the side-by-side Kansas counties seem like different countries. (Smith, 1/12)

The Miami Herald: South Florida Hospitals Challenge State Approval Of New Jackson Health Facility In Doral
Five South Florida hospitals have challenged a decision by state healthcare regulators to approve a new, 100-bed hospital in Doral to be built and operated by Miami-Dade’s public hospital network, Jackson Health System. The five hospitals — Kendall Regional Medical Center, Nicklaus Children’s, Coral Gables Hospital, Hialeah Hospital and Palmetto General — requested administrative hearings to appeal the Agency for Health Care Administration’s decision to approve Jackson Health’s application under the state’s certificate of need program. (Chang, 1/12)

The Denver Post: Denver Health Lost Top Doctors, Including Medicine And Surgery Chiefs
Denver Health Medical Center has shed top officials and doctors, including its chiefs of medicine and surgery, under the leadership of a new chief executive. The former city hospital, known for providing excellent care to the indigent and trauma care for all, also is undertaking a big investment in a new computer system while staff positions have been cut elsewhere. (Olinger, 1/10)

The Des Moines Register: UnityPoint Scraps Charge For Doctor Visit That Didn't Happen
Nurse Cathi Grinaldi got quick action this week from a top official at UnityPoint Health, who told her to disregard a bill she received for a doctor’s appointment that never happened. Grinaldi contacted the Reader’s Watchdog and several other officials this month saying she believed she was the victim of “upcoding” by the local health care system. (Rood, 1/10)

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