KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Providers, Patients Face Budget Squeeze

Local newspapers report on health care issues in Delaware, Lousiana and Hawaii.

In Delaware, The News Journal reports on a a Medicaid-related agreement regarding the state and prescription drug costs: "Walgreen Co. has reached an agreement in principle with Delaware that would keep the pharmacy chain filling Medicaid prescriptions and maintain a cut in state payments needed to balance the state's current budget, state and company officials said Monday" (Nathans and Miller, 8/11).

In Louisiana, The Town Talk reports on the potential impact of Medicaid cuts: "It's too early to tell what effect recently passed state Medicaid cuts will have, local health officials say. But they are concerned. Starting last Tuesday, payments to health-care providers for taking care of Medicaid patients were reduced, in some cases by more than 6 percent. It's a move that is expected to save the state, but cost private health-care providers, close to $100 million in the coming year" (Matthews, 8/10). 

In Hawaii, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reports on state residents feeling the effects of a widening drug coverage gap: "Hawaii had the nation's largest percentage of Medicare beneficiaries falling into the so-called "doughnut hole" in Part D prescription drug coverage in 2007, leaving thousands of residents paying for all of their medicine, according to the AARP. More than one-third -- 36 percent -- of isle residents enrolled in the Medicare drug program hit the coverage gap" (Altonn, 8/10).

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