State Roundup: Ga. Moves To Keep Docs; Ore. Health Plan Could Save $3.2B
A selection of health policy stories from around the U.S.
The New York Times: U.S. Report Criticizes New York On Monitoring Care Of Developmentally Disabled
The federal government sharply criticized New York's oversight of the developmentally disabled in a new report, saying the state agency charged with oversight lacks independence from the governor's office, failed to account for how it is spending public money and has broken several requirements of federal law (Hakim, 1/10).
Georgia Health News: Deal's Priority: Keeping Doctors In Georgia
Gov. Nathan Deal said Tuesday that his proposed budget would fund 400 new residency training slots in hospitals across the state for graduates of Georgia medical schools. Georgia taxpayers currently fund these young physicians' education through medical school, "only to see them perform their residency outside of our state and not return," Deal said in his State of the State address. The new residency slots were among several health initiatives the Georgia governor outlined as priorities for 2012, his second year in office (Miller, 1/10).
The Oregonian: Despite Skepticism, Consultant's Savings Report Gives Shot In The Arm To Oregon Health Care Reforms
Oregon's health care reforms will likely save big money over the long term, but not soon enough to cure the state's looming short-term budget woes. A consultant retained by the state found changes from Oregon's 2011 health care law should save $58 million to $115 million in its first year, starting in July. That, however, is not nearly enough to meet expectations for the current state budget, and the state could see service cuts beyond what's expected (Budnick, 1/10).
The Lund Report (an Ore. news service): Financial Projections Show Health Transformation May Save $3.2 Billion in Next Five Years
A health care consultant hired by the Oregon Health Authority to analyze the possible financial savings by overhauling the Oregon Health Plan predicted that the state could save as much as $3.2 billion within five years — and perhaps more. Doug Elwell, the principal of Health Management Associates, told the Oregon Health Policy Board this morning that his financial projections are, at best, conservative. That, gives policymakers and health professionals a solid idea of what's possible, he said (Waldroupe, 1/10).
Des Moines Register: Plan Raises Spending $236 Million
Branstad's proposed $6.244 billion budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1 is 3.8 percent higher than that of the current year. It's $892 million more than in 2011, when millions of dollars in state expenses were paid by federal stimulus funds. ... The increase includes money to begin reforming the state's county-based mental health system (Clayworth, 1/11).
The Associated Press: NC Panel: Sterilization Victims Should Get $50K
As many as 2,000 people forcibly sterilized decades ago in North Carolina should get $50,000 each, a task force said Tuesday, marking the first time a state has moved to compensate victims of eugenics programs that weeded out the "feeble-minded" and others deemed undesirable. The payout, which could amount to as much as $100 million, still needs approval from the Legislature (Waggoner, 1/10).
Kansas Health Institute: House Committee Receives Interim Study On Kan-Ed
Members of the House Utilities Committee today were presented an interim study report on Kan-ed, a program that provides hospitals, schools and libraries across the state access to broadband internet and database services. ... Last year, House members approved eliminating Kan-ed, saying it had outlived its original purpose (Shields, 1/10).
Minnesota Public Radio: Emergency Health Care Recipients Cut Off This Week
Non-U.S. citizens in Minnesota who received emergency medical assistance from a program of last resort will no longer receive health care services such as chemotherapy and dialysis, thanks to the budget deal to end last summer's state government shutdown (Aslanian, 1/10).