State Roundup: Mass. Bill Seeking Alzheimer’s Care Standards Moves Forward
Today's selection of health policy stories includes news from Massachusetts, Michigan, California, North Carolina and New York.
Boston Globe: Bill Seeking Alzheimer's, Dementia Care Standards Advances
A proposal to create minimum standards for Alzheimer's and dementia care in Massachusetts nursing homes is one step closer to becoming law. The state Senate Tuesday unanimously passed legislation that would require the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, which regulates nursing homes, to establish minimum standards for facilities with dementia care units. The House approved the proposal last month (Lazar, 6/12).
Boston Globe: Mass. House Health Care Leader Has Personal Experience With Medical Over-Testing
Representative Steven Walsh has attended 800 meetings with health care industry executives while researching the House’s health care cost-control legislation. But his personal experience as the father of a very sick infant has been eye-opening too. During a breakfast Tuesday sponsored by the Massachusetts Health Council, a non-profit group that promotes public health, Walsh said he witnessed overuse and denial of medical care for his 1-year-old twin son, who was born with a serious heart condition (Kowalczyk, 6/12).
Detroit Free Press: Emotions Flare As Abortion Bills Weighed
Emotions are running high on both sides of the abortion debate as the state House considers -- as early as today -- a package of bills to add the most sweeping restrictions on the procedure the Legislature has considered in decades. Abortion rights supporters say the bills could result in the closure of most Michigan clinics where abortions are performed. Abortion rights opponents say the bills are a remedy for abuses (Gray, 6/13).
San Jose Mercury News: Frail Seniors Program's Launch Brings Confusion, Delays For Californians
To save money, the state limited Medi-Cal coverage for such care to those with the most serious needs. ... The state this year found about 7,000 seniors ineligible out of 35,000 participants in a program originally meant to save money by keeping medically fragile people out of more costly nursing homes and high-cost emergency rooms. Some 1,800 … have appealed, and some centers, unwilling to leave people without services, are sagging under the financial pressure of keeping their doors open to people the state no longer pays for. The cutback is difficult but necessary, state health leaders say. "The unfortunate fact is that the state is in a very difficult budget situation," said Norman Williams, spokesman for the Department of Health Care Services (Kleffman, 6/12).
North Carolina Health News: Advocates Plead With Senate To Restore Cuts Made In Health & Human Services
During a standing room only meeting this morning at the General Assembly, the full Senate Appropriations Committee discussed their proposed $20.2 billion budget for about 40 minutes, and then allowed about an hour of public input on the provisions included in it. Sen. Richard Stevens (R-Cary) outlined the broad plan of the health and human services budget, which focuses on Medicaid and the program's $150 million deficit (Hoban, 6/13).
California Watch: Beverage Lobbyist Funds 'Community' Campaign Against Soda Tax
A powerful Washington, D.C., trade organization that represents PepsiCo, Coca-Cola and other major beverage companies is helping fund a Richmond group that is fighting a November ballot measure to raise taxes on soda and other sweetened beverages, interviews and records show (Harless, 6/13).
The Associated Press: NYC Health Board Likes Big Drink Ban Proposal
New York City's Board of Health signaled strong support Tuesday for the mayor's plan to fight obesity by banning the sale of large, sugary beverages at local restaurants. The proposal by Mayor Michael Bloomberg would prohibit licensed food service establishments in the city from using containers bigger than 16 ounces to serve high-calorie drinks like colas, lemonade and punch (Caruso, 6/12).