KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

State Roundup: Calif. Doc Supply Strains Under Health Law

The Associated Press/Washington Post: In Health Secretary Bill Hazel, Lawmakers Find An Honest Broker In Medicaid Expansion Struggle
The compelling facts and figures he provided the Senate Finance Committee gave feuding Democrats and Republicans the confidence to unite behind an expedited but cautious roadmap toward a federally prescribed expansion of Medicaid in Virginia (2/10).

Los Angeles Times: State Lacks Doctors To Meet Demand Of National Health Care Law
As the state moves to expand health care coverage to millions of Californians under President Obama's health care law, it faces a major obstacle: There aren't enough doctors to treat a crush of newly insured patients (Mishak, 2/9).

The Associated Press: Los Angeles School Health Clinics Expand
When Maria Barrales' children got sick, she would drive two hours south from her East Los Angeles home to the Mexican border and spend two more hours waiting to cross so she could go to an affordable doctor in Tijuana. … While a smattering of school clinics across the nation have long been open to the public, more are looking to expand their patient base to reap revenue that can subsidize the care often given for free to youngsters as well as fill a dire larger need for community health care access. (2/10).

Los Angeles Times: HealthCare Partners Seeks License To Operate As Managed-Care Plan
HealthCare Partners, the medical-group giant acquired last year by dialysis chain DaVita Inc. for $4.4 billion, is seeking a state license to operate as a managed-care plan after questions were raised about its compliance with California law (Terhune, 2/9).

The New York Times: Montefiore's President, Influential In Albany, Is Unknown By Design
The man behind the largest hospital system in the Bronx -- one that delivers nearly a third of the babies born in the borough -- remains largely unknown, by choice. But behind the scenes, where he holds court with political and business leaders while speaking in the language of a community activist, Dr. Safyer has become one of the most powerful figures in a borough of 1.4 million residents facing a growing health crisis from obesity, diabetes, asthma and chronic diseases (Hu, 2/10).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Virginia Struggles With Federal Health Insurance Requirement Regarding Part-Time Workers
State agencies are trying to figure out how to comply with federal health insurance requirements regarding part-time workers. The health care reform law requires providing health insurance coverage to employees who work at least 30 hours a week or more on average (2/11).

MPR News: Training Helps Workers Defuse Incidents With Mentally Ill Inmates
In what was to be a routine trip to St. Joseph's Hospital in St. Paul, correctional officer Shane Warnke Jr. suddenly found himself confronted by the kind of danger he was trained to face while overseeing inmates in prison. As he escorted an inmate scheduled for surgery, a frantic nurse appeared. A patient had taken a staff member hostage. When the nurse led Warnke to a room with the door propped open, he could see a staff member lying on the ground. As he stepped inside, Warnke saw a man holding a pair of scissors to a nurse's throat. The patient lunged at Warnke twice, but the officer did not respond with force (Shenoy, 2/11).

Baltimore Sun: Solving The State's Health Disparities
Nearly 10,000 people in West Baltimore are diagnosed each year with new cases of diabetes, hypertension and other treatable, chronic health conditions -- enough to fill 24 jumbo jets. These illnesses will kill many of them and complications will disable others who may end up in wheelchairs or have limbs amputated because they didn't get the proper medical care. This is the evidence the West Baltimore Primary Care Access Collaborative, a coalition of 16 hospitals and nonprofit organizations, gave state health officials as they sought to join a state program that provides financial incentives in an effort to curb health disparities in the state through the creation of special zones. The argument was convincing. The coalition, made up of organizations that encompass some of the city's most impoverished neighborhoods, was one of five groups chosen by the state last month to create a health enterprise zone (Walker, 2/10).

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