Roundup: Alaska’s Dental Problem; Some Minn. Health Funding Blocked
A selection of health care stories from Alaska, California, Connecticut, Minnesota and Maryland.
Newshour (video): A Solution To Rural Alaska's Dental Problems?
The need for dental care in rural Alaska is huge. According to a recent CDC report, the rate of cavities among rural Alaska Native children is four and a half times greater than the general population of U.S. children of the same age. ... But it's important to note the dental therapist program in Alaska is not without controversy (Clune, 11/8).
The Sacramento Bee: Sacramento County Will Continue Medical Subsidy For Retirees
Supervisors voted Tuesday to continue a medical insurance subsidy for Sacramento County retirees, a benefit that's come under scrutiny as the county struggles to maintain basic services. The county can expect to pay $1.86 million for the subsidy next year ... Since the county picked up responsibility for payments [in 2004], supervisors have cut the amount and eliminated certain groups from eligibility (Branan, 11/9).
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Dayton Accuses Legislator Of Blocking Health Care Funding
Gov. Mark Dayton accused state Sen. David Hann of taking unilateral action to block $25 million in federal grants aimed at sick, disabled and elderly Minnesotans. Among the services in line to be funded were ... home-based services for aging veterans; and lower-cost alternatives for people with Alzheimer's disease. ... Hann put the total value of the grants at $60 million over three years, and said he wants to subject them to further review because the information provided to the Legislature has been vague (Ragsdale, 11/8).
The Connecticut Mirror: Storm Highlights Need For Emergency Home Health Care Planning
[T]wo days after the snow hit, with power outages across the state and long lines outside the few gas stations in the area with power, [Todd] Rose's firm and other home health care agencies faced a problem they'd never contemplated: Visiting nurses and home health aides were struggling to get to their clients' homes because they couldn't get gas in their cars (Levin Becker, 11/8).
The Connecticut Mirror: Another Nursing Home Could Face Closure
The operator of a Wethersfield nursing home is seeking state approval to close the 210-bed facility ... HealthBridge Management cited several factors including having too few residents to maintain operations, annual financial losses, Medicaid payments that do not cover costs, reduced Medicare payments, and a federal and state initiative to move nursing home residents into the community (Levin Becker, 11/9).
California Watch: State Cuts Prescription Drug Monitoring Amid Spike In Pain Pill Deaths
While federal authorities are calling the spike in prescription painkiller deaths an epidemic, California is dismantling a system that the White House identifies as a promising method to tackle the problem. ... Funds for staff to oversee the system are a casualty of $70 million in budget cuts to the state Department of Justice for this year and next, according to the attorney general’s office (Jewett, 11/8).
The Associated Press/Washington Post: Officials To Talk About Plan To Increase Mayland's Primary Care Workforce
Maryland officials will be discussing a plan to increase Maryland's primary care workforce by as much as 25 percent before 2020 (11/8).
HealthyCal: Clinic Starts Community Network For Better Health
The goal of the Right to Health Committee, which held its first meeting in May, is to have patients more involved in outreach and to advocate for improved health care (Fulton, 11/9).