KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

State Highlights: N.H. To Get $150M For Addiction, Mental Illness Treatment; Fla. Chief Insurance Regulator Resigns

News outlets report on health care developments in New Hampshire, Florida, Missouri, Virginia, Colorado, Tennessee, New York and Maryland.

Miami Herald: Florida Chief Insurance Regulator Kevin McCarty Resigns
After more than a decade as Florida’s chief insurance regulator, Kevin McCarty resigned Tuesday, nearly a year after he overcame a failed effort by Gov. Rick Scott to get rid of him. ... By staying in the job until May, just before the start of the hurricane season, McCarty said he’ll be able to review all insurance legislation out of the 2016 session that opens next week and make recommendations to Scott. McCarty did not disclose his future plans. He is considered a leading candidate to be the next chief executive of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), where he once served as president. (Bousquet, 1/5)

The Denver Post: GOP Leaders Say No Interest In Moving Hospital Provider Fee From TABOR
A deal to move the state's hospital provider fee out from under the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights' revenue cap appeared in peril Tuesday, a week before the legislature convenes. Republican legislative leaders said at the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce breakfast they won't support the move, even if they're promised more money for statewide transportation projects as a result. (Bunch, 1/5)

The Tennessean: Nashville Company To Pay $7.8M After Charging For Dead Patients
A Nashville company will pay as much as $7.8 million in a settlement related to allegations that it charged Medicare and TennCare for medications for dead patients. The settlement involves Nashville Pharmacy Services, which is based in 100 Oaks and specializes in dispensing HIV and AIDS medications, and majority owner Kevin Hartman. U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee David Rivera announced the settlement of the False Claims Act case on Tuesday. (Barchenger, 1/5)

St. Louis Public Radio: Peabody Energy Will Forgo $70 Million Payment To Health Fund
Peabody Energy and the United Mine Workers of America have reached an agreement. The company will pay $75 million into the health fund this year, but will not have to pay $70 million next year. The fund covers about 12,000 retired Patriot Coal miners, many of whom worked for Peabody Energy. Peabody spun off Patriot in 2007. The company agreed to pay about $310 million into the health fund in 2013, as part of Patriot Coal’s first bankruptcy. This year Patriot filed for bankruptcy a second time, and Peabody sought to be released from its remaining $145 million obligation. (Altman, 1/5)

The Associated Press: NY Senators To Examine Health Republic Failure
Two state senators plan to examine the failure of the insurance cooperative Health Republic, which got behind financially and shut down last year. Sens. James Seward and Kemp Hannon chair the Senate's insurance and health committees. They say their discussion Wednesday will include lead agencies, health insurers, providers, consumers and experts in the field and explore what went wrong and steps needed to avoid repeats. (1/6)

Reuters: Virginia Politician Sues State Over Stabbing, Son's Suicide
A Virginia state senator whose mentally ill son stabbed him 13 times and then committed suicide has filed a $6 million lawsuit against the state and a community services board. ... Among other things, Deeds charges that his son, Austin "Gus" Deeds, was improperly denied treatment. ... Deeds became an advocate for mental health reform and introduced legislation to make changes in Virginia’s mental health system. The legislation, signed into law in 2014, established a framework to help ensure that psychiatric beds are made available for those who meet standards for temporary detention. (Robinson, 1/5)

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