KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

State Roundup: Health Care Industry Calls Drug Testing Bill In N.H. ‘Vague’

A selection of health policy stories from New Hampshire, Oregon, Kansas and California.

The Associated Press: Health Industry: NH Drug Testing Bill Too Vague
Representatives from the health care industry said Tuesday they have a vested interest in stopping employees from stealing controlled substances but a bill being considered by New Hampshire lawmakers to drug test their workers is too vague. The proposal is part of the legislative response to a recent scandal at Exeter Hospital, where an employee allegedly stole drugs and replaced them with Hepatitis C infected syringes later used on patients (True, 2/26).

Lund Report: Ore. House Bill 2522 Spells Out CCO Role For Chiropractors
The organization representing chiropractors is pushing a bill that would require coordinated care organizations to consider them equal to medical doctors, but quickly ran into opposition. … HB 2522 is opposed by CCOs, and the organization representing osteopathic physicians. "A bill of this nature undermines the original CCO legislation," said Ruth Bauman, chairwoman of the board of Willamette Valley Community Health, the CCO serving Medicaid clients in the Salem area. ... Legislation passed in 2012 created coordinated care organizations to integrate physical, mental and dental care for people on the Oregon Health Plan. The organizations are set up at the local level through collaboration among doctors, hospitals, mental health agencies, county commissioners, patient advocates and other health care professionals (Gray, 2/26).

Kansas Health Institute: Kansas Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Gets Boost
Kansas is one of at least two states set to receive free software needed to run its prescription drug monitoring program as part of a pilot project by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. According to state officials, that will translate to annual savings of about $120,000 in license and connectivity fees currently paid to run the Kansas Tracking and Reporting of Controlled Substances system (K-TRACS), which doctors and pharmacists use to check on possible prescription drug abuse by their patients (Cauthon, 2/26).

HealthyCal: Traveling Clinic Treats Kids Who Can't Afford Dental Care
While celebrities and golf professionals gathered at Pebble Beach as part of the AT&T Pro Am in February, a group of teenagers gathered under a tent in a rainy parking lot at the Twin Creeks Golf Course in Salinas to await appointments at a mobile clinic. Christina's Smile Children’s Dental Clinic has been following the PGA tour for 20 years, stopping in nearby communities to offer free dental services to low-income, uninsured children from ages 6 to 15 (Flores, 2/27).

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