KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

State Roundup: Calif. Mental Hospitals Released From Fed Oversight

A selection of health policy stories from California, Kansas, Oregon, Virginia, Georgia and Illinois.

Los Angeles Times: California's State Hospitals Mostly Released From U.S. Oversight
A U.S. District Court judge Monday released the state's mental hospitals from federal oversight on all but one issue -- a significant step in ending a costly six-year reform effort. The extensive court-supervised changes were imposed on four hospitals in 2006 as part of a settlement to a lawsuit by the U.S. Department of Justice. The department alleged that the state was violating patients' civil rights by heavily drugging and improperly restraining them and failing to provide appropriate treatment (Kim and Romney, 9/25).

San Francisco Chronicle: Adult Day Care Rejection Rate Questioned
California health officials fielded pointed questions Monday from legislators angry over the way the state has handled the transition from Adult Day Health Care into a new, smaller version of the program for the elderly and disabled, with one East Bay lawmaker saying that Bay Area seniors are being turned away at far higher rates than in other regions. Adult Day Health Care and its new incarnation, Community-Based Adult Services, are meant to keep low-income elderly, disabled and frail adults out of nursing homes and hospitals by offering medical care, physical therapy, counseling and exercise at hundreds of centers (Lagos, 9/24).

Chicago Sun-Times: Mercy Hospital To Open Clinic Inside New CHA Development
When CHA's Oakwood Shores Terraces is complete next year, its residents won't have to go far to get a checkup. Mercy Hospital and Medical Center will run a 21,000-square-foot family clinic inside the new Oakland development, a six-story building that will house 48 units of mixed-income residential units. … it will be the first CHA housing property to include a medical facility when it opens next spring (Thomas, 9/24).

Kansas Health Institute News: Hospitals Pool Resources To Recruit Docs
Practicing medicine on the frontier in Kansas doesn't have a whole lot in common with big city medicine -- so why would small town hospitals use big city physician recruiters? Kiley Floyd said it's clear to her now that they shouldn't, but the chief executive of Osborne County Memorial Hospital learned the hard way (Cauthon, 9/24).

Kansas Health Institute News: KanCare To Allow Self-Directed Care
Under KanCare, frail elders and the physically disabled will continue to have a say in who cares for them in their home. ... In recent weeks, advocates for the disabled have wondered if the processes for choosing a caregiver would be taken over by the KanCare managed care companies. ... KanCare is Gov. Sam Brownback’s plan for letting three insurance companies – UnitedHealthcare, Amerigroup, and Sunflower -- manage virtually all of the state’s $2.9 billion Medicaid program (Ranney, 9/24).

The Lund Report: CCOs Braced To Deal With Information-Sharing Hurdles
Technology-based information sharing and data gathering will be key tools for Oregon's newly minted coordinated care organizations (CCOs) as they work to improve the health of the state's vulnerable population while reducing costs. Anticipating the challenges of information sharing, representatives of the partners who make up Health Share Oregon -- Portland area’s largest CCO -- formed a technology committee that meets several times a month to discuss the road ahead (Rubin, 9/24).

Richmond Times-Dispatch: McDonnell Expects To Review Abortion Clinic Rules Within 2 Months
Gov. Bob McDonnell said he expects the state's abortion clinic regulations to reach his desk for review in the next couple of months and that his goal is to "simply see ... do they follow the law or not?" ... He disagreed with the contention by critics that the proposed regulations, which require current abortion clinics in Virginia to be regulated like new hospitals, could put the facilities out of business (Meola, 9/24).

Georgia Health News: Lighthouse Helps Low-Income Georgians Hear And See Better 
Winda and Tim Perdue ran into rough times when the economy faltered a few years ago. … About a year ago, the Douglasville couple were referred to Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation, a Chamblee-based nonprofit organization that helps uninsured, low-income Georgians get new glasses at a very low price. … Nearly one-fifth of all Georgians live in poverty, and a similar number have no health insurance. For many poor adults, regular medical care can be difficult to afford, and eyeglasses and hearing aids can seem almost like luxuries (Miller, 9/24).

California Healthline: Can Health Policy Contribute To Drop In Crime Rate?
We asked experts to explain: Can realignment of county and state health care responsibilities help improve public safety and reduce crime either in the short term or long term? How? Does the Affordable Care Act offer opportunities to make changes that could contribute to increased public safety and/or a reduction in crime in California? How? We got responses from: Lenore Anderson, Director, Californians for Safety and Justice, Nadine Burke-Harris, Founder, CEO, Center for Youth Wellness, Jessica Cruz, Executive director, National Alliance on Mental Illness California (9/24).

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