State Roundup: Exchange Details; N.Y. Same-Sex Lawsuit
A selection of health policy stories from New York, California, Arizona and Florida, among others.
The Associated Press/ABC News: Budget Turnarounds: Some States Socking Cash Away
States starting to turn the corner on their Great Recession budget woes are taking the cautious approach, socking away millions of dollars in rainy day funds rather than restoring spending for education, health care and social services. At least 21 states, including Arizona, Michigan and Ohio, are putting parts of their surpluses into reserves. ... They also cite still-tepid economic growth, potential costs that could flow to the states under the federal health care overhaul's Medicaid expansion and the possibility that federal deficit-reduction efforts will force states to shoulder more costs (Davenport, 6/19).
California Healthline: Details Of Exchange Begin To Emerge
California Health Benefit Exchange Board members yesterday heard presentations on a number of topics including stakeholder opinions on qualified health plans, potential exchange users' opinions on what they need from the exchange and possibilities for creating call centers. All of those discussions seemed to lead to the same two things: cost and service (Gorn, 6/20).
Related, earlier KHN story: California Bullish On Health Exchange—No Matter What (Bartolone, 6/15)
The Associated Press: NY Marriage Act Lawsuit Seeks Health Care Benefits
A New York hospital worker and her spouse have filed a lawsuit saying spousal health benefits were denied to the same-sex couple (6/20).
The New York Times: Employee Sues For Benefits To Cover Same-Sex Spouse
Since same-sex marriage became legal in New York last July, most companies in the state have extended spousal health benefits to same-sex couples. But self-insured employers, which include St. Joseph’s [hospital] and other large institutions, are primarily governed by federal, not state regulations. As a result, they may deny health coverage to same-sex couples under the federal Defense of Marriage Act (Otterman, 6/19).
Arizona Republic: Arizona Midwives Want Regulations Overhauled
Arizona midwives, their clients and officials want to overhaul regulations and update best practices for the state's licensed midwives. Right now, Arizona women who have had a Caesarean section or are expecting twins can't give birth at home with a midwife. And women hoping to become licensed midwives must first plod through a years-long state process of training and testing (Rau, 6/19).
Modern Healthcare: Calif. Hospital Awarded Nearly $21 Million In Dispute With Sutter
An arbitrator has awarded the publicly owned Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae, Calif., a net award of $20.9 million after sorting through a blizzard of post-breakup litigation with the hospital's former parent system, Sutter Health (Carlson, 6/19).
Health News Florida: UM Wins $4M Innovation Award
University of Miami and six collaborators have won a $4.1-million, three-year Health Care Innovation Award to improve care to children with chronic illnesses, the Department of Health and Human Services announced. UM and other winning projects aim to do three difficult things simultaneously: improve the quality of care, cut costs and train a new cadre of health-care workers (6/19).