KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Florida Steps Up Efforts Against Pill Mills; Hospital Executives Under Scrutiny

The New York Times looks at Florida's efforts to stop illegal sales of prescription drugs while other outlets examine local hospital issues.

New York Times: Florida Shutting 'Pill Mill' Clinics
Florida has long been the nation’s center of the illegal sale of prescription drugs: Doctors here bought 89 percent of all the Oxycodone sold in the country last year. At its peak, so many out-of-staters flocked to Florida to buy drugs at more than 1,000 pain clinics that the state earned the nickname “Oxy Express.” But with the help of tougher laws, officials have moved aggressively this year to shut down so-called pill mills and disrupt the pipeline that moves the drugs north (Alvarez, 8/31).

The Connecticut Mirror: Some State Health Care Providers Leery Of New Medicare Pay Plan
As part of an effort to streamline the payment system, HHS unveiled its new pilot project last week, which would pay hospitals and doctors for an entire "episode" of care. Instead of paying different providers for each separate procedure or test, Medicare would pay one lump sum for treating a patient's illness from start to finish. In Washington jargon, it's been dubbed the "Bundled Payments Initiative" (Shesgreen, 9/1).

Georgia Health News: High CEO Pay Common At Hospitals Statewide
Concerns over hospital executive pay arose again recently when WellStar Health System’s new CEO received a contract including a base salary of $975,000. ...  Georgia Health News has found that executives at nine other Georgia nonprofit hospitals or health systems outside metro Atlanta received at least $1 million in total compensation during their organizations’ most recent fiscal year, according to data available on (Miller, 8/31).

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Trouble At New Grady CEO’s Old Hospital Raises Questions About His Hiring
As Grady Memorial Hospital’s new CEO prepares to take the reins this fall, the Texas hospital he comes from is in danger of losing hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding after inspectors identified widespread problems putting patients at serious risk. During an extensive survey of Dallas’ Parkland Memorial Hospital in July, state inspectors found expired medications, employees failing to wash their hands, patients lost in hallways and inadequate screening of emergency room patients, among other issues (Williams, 8/31).

Dallas Morning News: Removal Of Parkland CEO Ron Anderson Brings Criticism And Praise
Supporters of Dr. Ron Anderson on Wednesday lamented his removal as chief executive of Parkland Memorial Hospital, but County Commissioner Elba Garcia described it as "going in the right direction" (Jacobson and Dunklin, 8/31).

Modern Healthcare: Another Dallas Hospital Under Scrutiny
Methodist Dallas Medical Center could be kicked out of the Medicare program if it doesn't take adequate corrective steps, mainly in its emergency and trauma departments. The CMS informed the hospital last week that Texas Department of State Health Services inspectors had found "serious deficiencies" that make the hospital ineligible for Medicare participation, according to a letter to the hospital's president … Methodist Dallas is the second hospital in the city to be subject to a potential loss of Medicare participation this month, as Parkland Hospital and Health System received a similar letter (Barr, 8/31).

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