KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Des Moines Hospital Faces Review; $9 Million Hospital Bill In Tampa

In state hospital news, federal regulators have ordered Iowa officials to study the Mercy Medical Center, and Florida officials say a Tampa hospital has filed a $9.2 million claim against the estate of a former patient. In other news, officials begin the process of closing Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Des Moines Register: Review Of Mercy Medical Facilities Ordered
The federal government has ordered a team of state inspectors to conduct a comprehensive review of Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines and its affiliates. The inspection was prompted by the state's discovery of a major deficiency related to inadequate monitoring of patients. The precise nature of the deficiency has yet to be disclosed by the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals or the hospital (Kauffman, 7/27).

Health News Florida: Is $9M Hospital Charge A Record?
Tampa General Hospital has filed a $9.2 million claim against the estate of a woman who died after spending five years in the hospital, according to Hillsborough County court documents. In court documents, that's how much the hospital says is owed for the care of Tameka Jaqway Campbell. She died at age 29 two years ago of progressive demyelinating neuropathy, which occurs when the immune cells attack the body's nerves (Davis and Gentry, 7/26).

ABC: Walter Reed Army Medical Center To Close After 102 Years
Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the Washington, D.C., hospital that has treated the country's war-wounded for more than a century, is closing its doors. Although the historic redbrick, pillared building six miles from the White House will stay, Walter Reed's operations will move to a new location in Bethesda, Md., that will consolidate three military hospitals. The move, which has been planned since 2005 to cut costs, will take place throughout August. But patients and staff will say goodbye at a ceremony on the grounds today (Moisse, 7/27).

The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune: Methodist Hospital Redevelopment Faces Hurdles
Mayor Mitch Landrieu has promised repeatedly that he would expand health care services in eastern New Orleans, including having a full-service hospital online by the end of 2013, a deadline that falls in the thick of his expected re-election campaign. ... [The] project ... remains about $70 million short of the necessary financing in an uncertain regional and national health care marketplace (Barrow, 7/26).

New Hampshire Public Radio: Hospitals Begin Layoffs
Under the new [state] budget, 13 of the state's largest hospitals stand to lose $250 million in state and federal funds. Ten of those hospitals have filed suit, saying the state is violating federal rules that require equal access to medical care for Medicaid patients. They say budget reductions won't allow them to fulfill that requirement (Grant, 7/26). 

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.