KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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State Highlights: The Demise Of Chicago’s Soda Tax; N.H. Foundation Aims To Aid Expectant Mothers Struggling With Addiction

Media outlets report on news from Illinois, New Hampshire, Oregon, California, Louisiana, Ohio, Wisconsin and Georgia.

The Washington Post: Why Chicago’s Soda Tax Fizzled After Two Months — And What It Means For The Anti-Soda Movement
About two months after the country’s largest soda tax went into effect, embattled lawmakers in Cook County, Ill. — the home of Chicago — have decided to repeal it. The tax has been plagued, in its very short life, by legal challenges, implementation glitches and a screeching, multimillion-dollar media battle between the soda industry and public health groups. On Tuesday, in recognition of growing public pressure, the Cook County Board of Commissioners voted 15-1 to roll back the tax, effective as soon as Dec. 1. (Dewey, 10/10)

New Hampshire Public Radio: Charitable Foundation Launches $3 Million Effort To Support Mothers And Babies Impacted By Opioids
The message from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation to expecting and new mothers struggling with addiction is simple: help is available, and more is coming. The Foundation on Tuesday announced a new three-year $3 million grant program, courtesy of an anonymous donor, that will help fund both residential and outpatient programs in the state that support mothers and their babies affected by substance misuse. (Bookman, 10/10)

Stat: STAT List: These 10 Cities Had The Biggest Jumps In Hospital Jobs
The health care industry has been a main driver of employment gains since the Great Recession, with hospitals in particular fueling job creation around the country. The jobs have been a boon to communities, and the competition is so fierce to fill open spots that hospitals have had to get creative. But there’s a risk, too: If the country ever actually tries to control health care costs, it won’t be able to support as many jobs in the industry. (Joseph, 10/11)

The Oregonian: Oregon Fines Zoom+Care Parent $285,000 As Part Of Lawsuit Settlement 
State insurance regulators have settled their lawsuit against the founders of Zoom Management, reaching a deal that includes $285,000 in civil penalties. The department said Zoom Management and an affiliate, Zoom Health Plan, also agreed to pay $2.1 million in cash to cover member claims and liabilities. The settlement allows Zoom Management to concentrate on running and growing its popular chain of health clinics, the company said. Those clinics, located in Portland and Seattle, see about 20,000 patients a month, generating about $50 million in annual revenue. (Manning, 10/10)

New Orleans Times-Picayune: East Jefferson General Hospital Finds Lease Partner, Same One It Always Preferred
East Jefferson General Hospital, five years after it began seeking a corporate operator, has finally found one. It's the same company that the Metairie hospital's leaders favored during the early phases of the tortuous political process of putting East Jefferson General under control of a private company. The publicly owned hospital's governing board said Tuesday (Oct. 10) it is has accepted a letter of intent to lease the property to University Healthcare System, a partnership between HCA Healthcare and Tulane University. The Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA is one of the largest health care companies in the country, with 174 hospitals and 119 free-standing surgery centers in 20 U.S. states and in the United Kingdom. Its network includes Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans, Tulane Lakeside Hospital in Metairie and Lakeview Regional Medical Center near Covington. (Broach, 10/10)

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wisconsin Pharmacal Co. Donates Water Purification Products
Jackson-based Wisconsin Pharmacal Co., a manufacturer of Potable Aqua water purification products, said Tuesday it has donated enough water purification tablets to purify 15,000 liters of water for those affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. The company also said it is working to get its Potable Aqua PURE Water Purification Devices, each capable of purifying more than 60,000 liters of water, to Puerto Rico. (Taschler, 10/10)

Georgia Health News: Want Medical Wishes Carried Out? You May Need A POLST
Today, Georgia has what is known as a POLST form (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment). Many nurses and physicians are hopeful that use of POLSTs will better serve patients who may be near death. But many medical personnel and hospitals are still not familiar with the POLST document or its latest legal revision. (Kanne, 10/10)

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