State Roundup: Georgia’s Child-Only Insurance Policies; N.Y. Exchange Impasse
A selection of health policy stories from Texas, Missouri, Georgia, California and New York.
The Associated Press: Cuomo, Legislature Strike On-Time NY Budget Deal
The Senate's Republican majority refused to agree to create a "health exchange," or state-based health insurance market required under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, for individuals and small businesses to insure more Americans. Since the Legislature didn't include a health exchange tailored to New York, Cuomo said he will establish one shortly by executive order (Gormley, 3/27).
Georgia Health News: Legislators Vote To Restore Child-Only Policies
These policies are usually bought by parents who have an employer policy that doesn't offer dependent coverage. ... When the Affordable Care Act required child-only insurance policies to accept kids with pre-existing health conditions, insurers in Georgia decided to stop offering new individual policies that cover children only. But late Monday night, the state Senate passed House Bill 1166 aims to restore these policies to the private insurance market (Miller, 3/27).
HealthyCal: Where Do They Go Now?
As a child, Lyudmia Shnaydman survived the horrors of World War II, though she lost her entire family. As an older adult she suffers from no fewer than four serious, chronic health problems. Now the state of California is giving her nightmares. ... Shnaydman is just one casualty of a budget rollercoaster that last year eliminated the entire Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) program of 35,000 clients, only to see it resurrected after a lawsuit as the new, smaller Community Based Adult Services (Perry, 3/27).
California Healthline: Assembly Bill Aims To Lift Caps on MRMIP
An Assembly committee gave initial approval to a bill that would make the Major Risk Medical Insurance Program more affordable for people with severe health issues. ... [Assembly member Bill] Monning's AB 1526 would eliminate the annual and lifetime limits on coverage in the Major Risk Medical Insurance Program, popularly known as MRMIP. ... "This is a program for people who are essentially uninsurable," Monning said (Gorn, 3/28).
The Texas Tribune: Interactive: Primary Care Workforce Shortages 2001-2011
A 2010 survey shows that fewer physicians are taking new Medicaid patients because of low reimbursement rates. At the same time, the state must face the prospect of adding millions more Texans to Medicaid by 2014, when the Affordable Care Act mandates that nearly all residents sign up for insurance. That means access to primary care will be critical (Murphy and Tan, 3/27).
The Texas Tribune: Interactive: Mapping Texas Medicaid Providers
Using the latest billing data available, this interactive map shows where some of the state's most active Medicaid providers are located in Texas — and how much they were reimbursed in fiscal year 2010. ... we narrowed the list below to account for those providers who many would consider to be the most actively engaged with Medicaid beneficiaries, from hospitals and physicians to advanced practice nurses (Aaronson and Tan, 3/27).
The Dallas Morning News: Texas Counties Lead Nation In Home Health-Care Use, Says Federal Report That Notes Fraud Concerns
The home health-care business is booming -- and that points to possible fraud, says a new federal report. "The new agencies appear to be concentrated in areas where fraud is a concern: California, Texas and Florida," the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission told Congress this month. "These states, like most, do not have state certificate-of-need laws for home health care, which can limit the entry of new providers." Texas particularly stands out on a list of counties with the highest rates of home health-care use (Egerton, 3/27).
The Texas Lawbook/The Dallas Morning News: U.S. Judge Upholds Texas Cap On Medical Malpractice Awards
A federal judge ruled Tuesday that a Texas law limiting noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases to $250,000 is constitutional. The decision, applauded by tort reform advocates and denounced by trial lawyers and victims of medical malpractice, ends a four-year legal battle over whether the Medical Malpractice and Tort Reform Act of 2003 violated the U.S. Constitution (Curriden, 3/27).
The Associated Press/Kansas City Star: Separate Rallies At Missouri Capitol Protest Federal Health Care Law, State Labor Legislation
The crowds for the duel gatherings were some of the largest in the past decade at the Missouri Capitol, which hosts gatherings for interest groups on a nearly daily basis during the legislative session (Lieb, Blank, and Duplanter, 3/28).
This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.