KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

State Highlights: Poll Says N.C. Abortion Bill Hurting Governor Support

A selection of health policy stories from North Carolina, California and Virginia.

Politico: North Carolina Abortion Bill Hurts Gov. Pat McCrory, Poll Finds
There's little support for a controversial abortion bill in North Carolina, and voters are directing some of their anger at Gov. Pat McCrory, a new poll on Tuesday shows. Only 34 percent of voters support the abortion measure, which would bar so-called sex-selective abortions and impose additional regulations on abortion clinics, while 47 percent oppose it, the Public Policy Polling found. And 80 percent of voters disapprove of how the bill was brought to the floor and passed -- it was attached to unrelated motorcycle safety legislation (Gold, 7/16).

Los Angeles Times: California Hospital Workers Get Training In Surviving Shootings
Between 2000 and 2011, there were 91 shootings inside U.S. hospitals, and another 63 outside on hospital grounds, according to a Johns Hopkins study. Emergency departments were the most common site of hospital shootings, and hospital employees accounted for 20 percent of those killed or injured. The study, published last year in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, was one of the catalysts for workshops that the California Hospital Assn. began offering to help medical workers prepare for the worst: a shooter in the workplace (Susman, 7/16).

The Washington Post: Ad Targets Cuccinelli On Medicare, Social Security
The Democratic Party of Virginia released a new television ad Tuesday that focuses on Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli II's criticism of Medicare and Social Security. The 30-second spot, titled "Peggy," features a senior citizen from the suburban Richmond swing territory of Henrico County (Vozzella, 7/16).

KQED/State Of Health: California Bill Would Lift Restrictions On Egg Donation
A bill awaiting Gov. Brown's signature would end a decade-old disparity in California law regarding egg donation. Under current law, it is legal to pay a woman who provides her eggs, called oocytes, to a couple going through in-vitro fertilization. But there is a ban on paying the same woman for the same eggs if they are to be used in medical research. AB 926, a bill by Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla (D-Concord), would lift that ban on payment for research oocytes. Bonilla said the bill will create equity in the field of medical research compensation (Korry, 7/16).

Los Angeles Times: Health Care Law May Close Gaps In Mental Health Coverage
A disjointed financing system for mental health services in California has led to gaps in care, but the national health care law is expected to help close some of those holes, according to new research by the California HealthCare Foundation. Half of the state's adults and two-thirds of the adolescents with mental health issues aren't receiving treatment, according to the study (Gorman, 7/17).

California Healthline: S.F. Alzheimer’s Pilot Results Released
Pilot project results from California were presented yesterday at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Boston. A six-month coordinated care study involving Alzheimer's patients and their caregivers based in San Francisco yielded impressive reductions in use of emergency department services along with other care improvements. "Emergency room services were significantly reduced, almost cut in half," said Elizabeth Edgerly, chief program officer for Alzheimer's Association of Northern California. "It was at about 40 percent.” The reduction in emergency care indicates not only that patients are getting better care, but also that the project has the potential to save a lot of money, Edgerly said (Gorn, 7/16).

Los Angeles Times: USC Buys Verdugo Hills Hospital In Glendale
The University of Southern California has purchased Verdugo Hills Hospital in Glendale, one of numerous mergers occurring around the country as hospitals prepare for the national health care overhaul. Keck Medicine of USC, which already had two hospitals, a medical school, a physician group and numerous clinics, wanted to expand its reach into the foothill communities and add an emergency room to its network. For its part, Verdugo Hills, a community hospital, wanted to become more competitive and gain access to the expertise and specialized services offered through USC (Gorman, 7/16).

North Carolina Health News: Health Care Advocates Examine Tax Plan, Wait For Budget
Members of the North Carolina Hospital Association breathed a collective sigh of relief as Republicans lawmakers rolled out their budget plan on Monday afternoon. The tax plan agreed upon by Gov. Pat McCrory, Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis restored a sales tax refund for not-for-profit organizations. Several hospitals are the largest not-for-profits in the state and would have lost tens of millions of dollars in tax refunds under plans proposed by the Senate (Hoban, 7/17).

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