State Roundup: Calif. Insurer’s Avastin Decision; Kansas Dental Care
Today's state roundup comes from California, Connecticut and Kansas.
The Associated Press: CA Insurer Won't Cover Avastin For Breast Cancer
Blue Shield of California will stop covering new Avastin prescriptions for breast cancer patients starting Oct. 17. Patients already on the drug will still be covered, and exceptions could be made for individual cases reviewed by a panel of cancer experts. The not-for-profit insurer cited an unprecedented vote by a U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel that found the drug was not effective enough against breast cancer to risk its potentially dangerous side effects (Wohlsen, 10/9).
California Watch: Governor Sidelines Nursing Board, Takes Stand On Pensions
Gov. Jerry Brown took a strong stand against mounting pension obligations with his veto pen over the weekend with a decision that also removed the legal authority for the board that licenses and investigates nurses. Brown objected to a part of the proposed law that would allow the nursing board to hire investigators who are also peace officers entitled to generous pensions. ... Those watching the nursing board bill were surprised it did not pass and threw into question the very existence of the state's largest oversight board, which licenses, investigates and doles out discipline to registered nurses (Jewett, 10/11).
Los Angeles Times: Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Bills Expanding Drug User Access To Syringes
The first bill, written by Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco), allows people to buy syringes at pharmacies without a prescription. California was one of the few states where this was illegal, other than in a few pilot program areas. The second bill, introduced by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), allows the state to authorize needle exchange programs in areas deemed high risk for the spread of disease (Marcum, 10/11).
Kansas Health Institute News: Legislators Urged To Expand Medicaid Dental Coverage
Currently the program only provides routine dental services for children and emergency services for adults. Those emergency services include extractions in the event of acute or chronic infection or in cases of injury so severe the teeth can't be salvaged. ... The cost of providing routine dentistry for all adults on Medicaid would cost the state about $11 million more a year, with about $4.5 million of that coming from state coffers (Shields, 10/10).
The Connecticut Mirror: Quinnipiac [University] Picks St. Vincent's As Primary Partner For New Medical School
Under a five-year agreement between the two institutions, St. Vincent's medical staff will take part in designing the medical school's clinical curriculum and academic policies and procedures. ... [The medical school's founding dean, Dr. Bruce Koeppen] cited the hospital's "commitment to education; its emphasis on quality and patient safety; its support of our mission of primary care and interprofessional education" (Levin Becker, 10/10).