KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Conn. Children’s Hospital, Insurer Reach Accord; San Francisco Nurses Plan Strike

A handful of articles look at developments at hospitals around the country.

The Connecticut Mirror:  Children's Hospital, Anthem Reach Agreement After Two-Month Standoff
Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced today that they have reached a multi-year agreement, ending a two-month dispute that led to uncertainty and confusion for many patients and their families.  The hospital and the Connecticut Children’s Specialty Group had dropped the insurer April 16 after both sides failed to reach an agreement after a year of negotiations.  Under the deal, Anthem will immediately resume covering in-network costs (Merritt, 6/12).

San Francisco Chronicle: Oakland, UCSF Children's Hospitals May Merge
Children's Hospital Oakland, which has had its share of financial and other troubles in recent years, may soon be joining forces with UCSF's Benioff Children's Hospital. In a letter to the medical staff of the 190-bed Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland last week, CEO Bertram Lubin said talks, initiated by UCSF, "have progressed with great enthusiasm and respect on both sides."  Neither side would disclose details of the talks (Ross, 6/13).

San Francisco Chronicle: 1-Day Strike For Nurses At Bay Area Hospitals
As many as 4,400 registered nurses at nine Bay Area hospitals operated by Sutter Health are set to walk off their jobs Wednesday as part of an ongoing labor dispute with the large Sacramento hospital chain. This will be the fourth strike since September organized by the California Nurses Association ... Labor leaders say sticking points include sick pay and reductions in employee benefits (Colliver, 6/13).

Modern Healthcare: R.I. Lawmakers OK Measure Allowing Steward Deal
The Rhode Island General Assembly passed legislation amending a state law that limits for-profit companies from buying more than one hospital every three years. The legislation also paves the way for the Boston-based Steward Health Care System to move forward with its purchase of Landmark Medical Center, a financially struggling 133-bed hospital in Woonsocket, R.I. (Lee, 6/12).

Kansas Health Institute News: Kansas Hospitals And Physicians To Launch Major Quality Initiatives
Groups representing Kansas hospitals and doctors on Thursday are scheduled to launch a major initiative aimed at reducing the number of patients who become infected or injured while hospitalized. Officials said collateral benefits of the effort would be fewer hospital readmissions and lower health care costs  (6/12).

Minnesota Public Radio: New Hires At VA To Boost Mental Health Care Services
The Minneapolis VA Medical Center is adding two-dozen new mental health staff positions. The St. Cloud Medical Center is adding five new mental health staffers. The hiring is part of a national effort to help returning war veterans with mental health needs (Mador, 6/12).

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