Trump Loosens Rules For Faith-Based Medical Organizations
Religion-affiliated health providers that accept federal tax money no longer need to inform clients about services they don't provide for religious reasons or refer clients to alternative providers because of a rule change by the Trump administration.
HHS Ends Referral Requirement For Faith-Based Providers
The Trump administration on Monday approved a rule that allows faith-based health and social service providers to receive federal funds without requiring them to inform clients about services they don't provide for religious reasons or refer clients to alternative providers that offer such services. It also clarifies that HHS will not discriminate against faith-based organizations on applications for grants or awards based on the organization's religious policies. That could affect Title X reproductive healthcare funding for pregnancy counseling groups that oppose contraception and abortion. (Brady, 12/14)
In other news about the health care industry —
Gov. Halts Breakup Of Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department
Gov. Jay Inslee has stopped an effort to dissolve the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department by signing a proclamation Monday that pauses the termination of health departments during the COVID-19 pandemic.“ This proclamation puts a pause, in effect, on efforts to terminate a health district or a city-county health department, such as what is currently taking place in Pierce County,” Inslee said at a news conference. (12/15)
Pandemic Backlash Jeopardizes Public Health Powers, Leaders
Tisha Coleman has lived in close-knit Linn County, Kansas, for 42 years and never felt so alone. As the public health administrator, she’s struggled every day of the coronavirus pandemic to keep her rural county along the Missouri border safe. In this community with no hospital, she’s failed to persuade her neighbors to wear masks and take precautions against COVID-19, even as cases rise. In return, she’s been harassed, sued, vilified — and called a Democrat, an insult in her circles. (Barry-Jester, Recht, Smith and Weber, 12/15)
North Carolina Health News:
More Psych Patients Are In Handcuffs. Why?
When Sonia Padial’s grieving son swallowed too many Tylenol, she took him to the hospital for help. She says her son, Andrew — whose name has been changed to protect his identity — has autism. He struggles to process emotions, especially around loss. He’s an introvert and forms stronger bonds with animals than other people. So when his dog died a week after his 18th birthday last year, Andrew took it harder than most. (Knopf, 12/14)
North Carolina Health News:
Preventative Care Has Not Yet Bounced Back
As the coronavirus quickly spread across the United States in February and March, hospital systems, fearing a flood of patients and worried about having enough personal protective equipment for their workers, suspended many routine appointments and elective procedures in a move to conserve resources. When clinics and hospitals resumed appointments and surgeries in late spring, most patients were hesitant to return. But even as health systems report a return to business as usual, it appears that some patients have stayed away. (Engel-Smith, 12/15)