KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

State Watch: Virginia’s Pharmacy For Mentally Ill, Michigan Dental Care Lawsuit, Rhode Island Insurers

In today's state watch, Virginia plans to close a pharmacy for the mentally ill, Medicaid patients in Michigan are suing over dental care and Rhode Island reports that insurers remain relatively healthy.

The Washington Post: "Virginia is eliminating its statewide pharmacy for the mentally ill, which obtained discounted drugs and distributed them through local mental health boards rather than commercial drugstores, as part of its effort to reduce spending in tough budget times." (Jackman, 10/30).

The Detroit Free Press: "A decision made earlier this year to end state support for dental services under Michigan's Medicaid program is being challenged in a federal class action, a lawyer representing patients said Thursday. Lansing lawyer Gary Gordon said state officials acted improperly when they cut off reimbursements for 400,000 Medicaid patients as the state budget picture worsened in July" (Bell, 10/29).

The Providence Journal: Rhode Island's "three health insurers saw their financial health deteriorate in 2008, but compared with their counterparts elsewhere in New England they remained relatively well off, according to a new report. Profitability for the three companies declined overall from 4.2 percent to 2.6 percent while their combined surpluses dipped 2 percent, the report of the state Health Insurance Commissioner found" (Salit, 10/30).

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