KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

State Highlights: Tenn. Hospital Launches GoFundMe Page To Stay Open; ‘Medicare For All’ Rallies To Be Held Across Iowa

Media outlets report on news from Tennessee, Iowa, New Hampshire, California, Washington, Arizona, Indiana, Florida, Ohio and Oregon.

Stat: In Rural Tennessee, A Hospital Turns To Crowdfunding To Stay Afloat
In the southeast corner of Tennessee, one rural hospital has fallen into such dire financial straits it suspended inpatient services earlier this month. Now, the new CEO of the Copper Basin Medical Center has launched a GoFundMe campaign to save the hospital...The campaign seeks to raise just $100,000. That’s just a fraction of its debt — and it’s nothing in the world of online crowdfunding; the team behind an extra-heavy blanket marketed as a treatment for anxiety recently raised more than $3.5 million. (Blau, 5/18)

New Hampshire Public Radio: N.H. Health Department Likely To See $33 Million In Shortfall Dollars 
The New Hampshire House overwhelmingly OK’d a proposal Thursday to allocate $33 million to the state’s Department of Health and Human Services to make up for a budget shortfall. House Finance Chair Neal Kurk urged lawmakers to approve this measure, saying if the department doesn’t immediately get the money, it can’t pay its upcoming bills. Kurk says the shortfall is not the department’s fault, but rather that of state budget writers. He says earlier state budget writers were working with the wrong numbers. (Sutherland, 5/18)

Los Angeles Times: Area School Districts See Gains In Vaccination Rates
Area school districts made gains in the rates of vaccinated students because of a change in state law that eliminated personal exemptions as a reason not to immunize children, according to an Orange County Grand Jury report released earlier this week. “Each district planned well in advance of the change and acted early and successfully in their efforts,” said the report, which listed year-by-year vaccination rates for 24 school districts in the county dating to the 2013-14 school year. (Alderton, 5/18)

Seattle Times: Qliance Closes After 10-Year Effort At New Approach To Basic Medical Care 
Qliance Medical Management, a Seattle-based chain of clinics that provided basic medical treatment on a monthly membership basis, closed Monday after a decade of providing low-cost and insurance-free primary care. Qliance, considered a pioneer of that medical model, told patients in an email that limited services will still be available for the next 30 days. The closure will affect 13,000 members between primary-care and emergency-care services. Qliance’s physicians will independently continue to provide primary care for now in a program serving Seattle firefighters. (Carlson, 5/17)

Modern Healthcare: Physician-Led Group Offers To Buy CHS' 8 Fort Wayne Hospitals
A leveraged-buyout group led by physicians in Fort Wayne has made an offer to buy Community Health Systems' eight Indiana hospitals branded as Lutheran Health Network, Fort Wayne City Councilman Dr. John Crawford said Thursday. Crawford, co-founder of Radiation Oncology Associates in Fort Wayne who is not a part of the buyout group, said his eight-physician practice has written a letter supporting the buyout. (Barkholz, 5/18)

Orlando Sentinel/Tampa Bay Tribune: Orlando Health Building Medical Complex, ER In Lake Mary 
Orlando Health is building a free-standing emergency department and medical pavilion in Lake Mary, the health system announced on Wednesday. “Our future vision for the healthcare site includes an acute care hospital, additional medical offices, a potential ambulatory surgery center and other health and wellness concepts,” said Karen Frenier, president of South Seminole Hospital in a news release. The $42-million complex, which is scheduled to open in late fall 2018 and break ground later this year, is about a mile away from Florida Hospital’s new 18,000-square-foot free-standing ER. (Miller, 5/18)

Columbus Dispatch: New Digital Technology Allows For Quicker, More Accurate Cancer Diagnoses
The new technology at the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital at Ohio State University allows physicians to scan the sliver from a glass microscope slide and transform it into a digital image. That technological shift is a game changer for the pathologists who form diagnoses from biopsies, Parwani said. It means that these diagnoses are delivered faster and more accurately. (Viviano, 5/18)

The Oregonian: Hospital Patients Less Likely To Die If Seen By Younger Doctors, Surprising Study Finds 
Hospital specialists, or "hospitalists," age 40 and younger have better results -- lower 30-day readmission and mortality rates for their patients -- than those aged 60 and older, states a new study published in the British Medical Journal. The possible reason: Recent training makes a big difference. ... It concluded that "older physicians have decreased clinical knowledge, adhere less often to standards of appropriate treatment, and perform worse on process measures of quality with respect to diagnosis, screening and preventive care." (Perry, 5/18)

Columbus Dispatch: Former Nursing Home's Mission To Continue, Without The Building
No longer able to see its way to long-term financial stability, the board of the Isabelle Ridgway Care Center made the difficult decision a few years ago to sell the historic operation to a for-profit company. But Ridgway’s legacy and her mission — to bring comfort and care to elderly, impoverished African-Americans — are set to thrive anew. (Price, 5/19)

Kaiser Health News: California Bill Addresses Safety Concerns At Dialysis Clinics
Saying they are concerned about safety in California’s dialysis clinics, a coalition of nurses, technicians, patients and union representatives is backing legislation that would require more staffing and oversight. The bill, introduced by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), would establish minimum staffing ratios, mandate a longer transition time between appointments and require annual inspections of the state’s 562 licensed dialysis clinics. (Gorman, 5/19)

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