State Roundup: Big NYC Hospital Merger; Colo. To Fight Exapnding Waistlines?
A selection of health policy stories from Colorado, New York, Washington state, Massachusetts, Idaho and North Carolina.
The New York Times: New York Hospitals Look To Combine, Forming A Giant
Two of New York City's biggest hospital systems reached agreement on Wednesday to pursue a merger that would shake up the way medical care is delivered, especially in Manhattan, where hospitals compete to serve some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the world. The proposed merger would bring together NYU Langone Medical Center, a highly specialized academic medical center, and Continuum Health Partners, a network of several community-oriented hospitals, including Beth Israel and the two St. Luke’s-Roosevelt campuses (Hartocollis, 6/6).
The Wall Street Journal: Aid For Supportive Housing Boosted
Supportive housing provides additional support services, such as an on-site coordinator to help residents with special needs to get counseling, benefits and employment assistance. [New York] state has committed $75 million of funding for the first year to creating more supportive housing, which is expected to be paid for, in part, by Medicaid savings (Kusisto, 6/6).
KQED's State of Health blog: Court Upholds Decision On Anorexia Treatment, Mental Health Parity
[T]he U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld its decision from August 2011 requiring Blue Shield to cover one woman's treatment for anorexia under state law, even though it wasn’t spelled out in her policy (Dornhelm, 6/7).
Boston Globe: Mass. House Passes Health Care Cost-Control Bill
The Massachusetts House overwhelmingly approved its 278-page plan to curb the soaring cost of medical care on Tuesday night. ...The final vote -- 148 to 7 -- sets up negotiations over the next two months between the House and the Senate, which approved its own cost-control legislation last month. Their plans contain key differences, particularly over how much the health care industry can be relied on to control costs on its own (Kowalczyk, 6/7).
WBUR's CommonHealth blog: Longtime Mass. Planned Parenthood Leader Stepping Down
Dianne Luby, who has led the [Planned Parhenood] league for 13 years, has told the board that she’ll step down at the end of this year. ... The Planned Parenthood press release says that Ms. Luby worked to "change the public conversations around sexual health" (Goldberg, 6/6).North Carolina Health News: Some Experts Restored To State Panels
In a meeting on state boards and commissions slated for reduction or elimination, several boards that advise health care policy-makers were restored. After more than 15 proposed amendments, several health-related boards that had been slated for elimination were restored (Hoban, 6/6).
KING5-TV Seattle: Washington's Suicide Prevention Law Is First Of Its Kind
A Washington law set to take effect on June 7 requires mental health professionals to receive additional training to help them detect and prevent suicides. ... Washington is the first state in the country to enact such a requirement (Daniels, 6/5).
Health Policy Solutions (a Colo. news service): Hickenlooper Endorses Bloomberg's War Against Soda
Calling U.S. health costs a massive drain on the economy, Gov. John Hickenlooper on Tuesday endorsed bold moves to fight poor health like New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s war on super-sized sugary drinks. … Hickenlooper didn’t elaborate ... But, he did endorse ideas ranging from expanding school physical education and recess for children to promoting more bicycle commuting (Kerwin McCrimmon, 6/6).
The Associated Press: Doc-Lawyer Will Intervene In Idaho Fetal Pain Case
In a strategy legal experts say is unheard of, a southeastern Idaho lawyer who is also a physician will be allowed to intervene in a challenge to the state's so-called fetal pain abortion law in a case that could set national precedent. Rick Hearn is representing a Pocatello woman accused of illegally taking abortion-inducing pills (Bonner, 6/6).