KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Virginia Senate OKs Direct Primary Care Agreements

Supporters say the law would help keep costs down and avoid insurer lawsuits while opponents say such plans should be regulated to protect consumers. Meanwhile in Georgia, lawmakers consider a bill that would require providers to keep up-to-date lists of network doctors.

The Associated Press: Lawmakers Approve Subscription-Like Doctor Plans
Legislation aimed at protecting a growing health care model where patients pay their doctors a periodic fee in return for agreed-upon primary care services is moving toward becoming law. The Virginia Senate narrowly approved the measure Wednesday despite strong opposition from the health insurance industry. Supporters of direct primary care agreements say they act like a subscription, providing an affordable and predictable way for the uninsured or people with high deductible insurance to cover their primary health care costs. Advocates say passing a law codifying the practice would prevent doctors from facing illegitimate but costly lawsuits from insurance companies. (3/9)

Georgia Health News: Bill Aims To Erase Errors In Insurers’ Medical Directories
Open enrollment can bring a big decision for consumers: Which health coverage plan do I choose? And much of that decision is based on whether the consumer’s favorite doctor or hospital is part of a plan’s network. But if the available listings of health plan providers are not accurate, consumers could end up making bad choices — not actually getting what they think they signed up for. A bill working its way through the Georgia Legislature would require health insurers to maintain accurate directories of medical providers. (Miller, 3/9)

And in Florida, the latest on approval for multi-state nursing licenses, the Surgeon General confirmation battle and a nursing home's operations transferring to the state —

News Service Of Florida: Multi-State Nurse Licensing Ready For Approval
The Senate is poised to give final approval to a bill that could lead to Florida nurses receiving multi-state licenses --- and allowing nurses from other parts of the country to work in Florida. The House voted 111-1 last week to approve the bill (HB 1061), sponsored by state Rep. Cary Pigman, R-Avon Park. Only Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, voted against the measure. (3/9)

Tampa Bay Times: Dr. John Armstrong Will Not Be Confirmed As Surgeon General
It looks as though Dr. John Armstrong will no longer be the surgeon general after Friday. Sen. Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, confirmed that he and President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, spoke this morning and that Gardiner will not bring the embattled surgeon general to the floor for a confirmation vote by the full Senate. Without that vote, Armstrong will lose his job. (Auslen, 3/9)

The Orlando Sentinel: Lake Baldwin VA Nursing Home Handed Over To Fla.
The vacant nursing home on the campus of Lake Baldwin VA is another step closer to fulfilling its purpose now that it's officially in the hands of the state. On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. John Mica ceremonially presented signed legislation that transfers the operation of the 120-bed nursing home from the federal VA to Florida Department of Veterans' Affairs. (Miller, 3/9)

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