Florida Hospital Association opposes cuts to Medicaid funds

The concern is that budget proposals that cut about $300 million for an “intensive care fund” will affect the most vulnerable patient lots, reports WUSF. Meanwhile, Axios notes results from a FAIR Health study showing the cost of an ambulance ride has “skyrocketed” over the past five years.

WUSF Public Media: Hospital Leaders Slam State Proposals to Cut Medicaid Funds

Hospital leaders are expressing concern over state House and Senate budget proposals that would cut funding for hospitals that treat the most vulnerable patients. The budgets of both chambers would eliminate about $300 million for what is known as the “critical care fund.” This money is being used to provide automatic rate improvements to a group of safety net hospitals in the state that treat large numbers of Medicaid patients, which include the elderly, children, low-income families and people The House also recommended cutting state Medicaid reimbursement to all hospitals by $100 million, which is matched by federal funds, and diverting that money instead to higher education. to train future nurses. (Colombini, 2/18)

Axios: Ambulance rides are getting much more expensive

The cost of an ambulance ride has skyrocketed over the past five years, according to a report by FAIR Health, first shared with Axios. Patients generally have little choice over their ambulance provider and often find themselves having to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars. According to FAIR Health’s analysis, most ambulance rides charged insurers for “advanced life support.” The average payment from private insurers for these trips jumped 56% between 2017 and 2020, from $486 to $758. (Reed, 02/22)

Billings Gazette: Jury returns $36.5 million verdict against insurance company in Bellwether Libby asbestos case

For more than two decades, Libby’s asbestos victims have waited. Meanwhile, they saw The WR Grace Co., a longtime mine owner who poisoned scores of workers and their families and spewed so much toxic dust into the air that the entire town of Libby was in danger, state bankruptcy. (Cumber, 02/21)

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WFSU: Federal court rules requiring license to give dietary advice does not violate free speech rights

A federal appeals court has upheld the constitutionality of a Florida law that prohibits unauthorized people from giving dietary advice, rejecting arguments that it violates First Amendment rights. A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the challenge filed by Heather Kokesch Del Castillo, who was cited by the Florida Department of Health in 2017 for being paid to provide dietary advice without being a registered dietitian or nutritionist. . Del Castillo ran what the ruling described as a “health coaching business,” which included dietary advice to clients. After receiving a complaint from a registered dietitian and investigating, the Department of Health alleged that Del Castillo violated a law known as the Dietetics and Nutrition Practice Act. (2/21)

Bloomberg: Karex sees growing demand for condoms as Covid restrictions ease

The world’s biggest producer of condoms has said it expects demand for its products to rise as expanding vaccination coverage prompts governments to ease social distancing rules. “As vaccination rates rise around the world, more economies continue to ease restrictions and societies begin to adjust to post-pandemic life,” Malaysian company Karex Bhd said on Monday. in a note accompanying its results. (Ngui, 02/21)

In Health Staffing News —

11alive.com: Travel nurses are getting more expensive for hospitals during the pandemic

Traveling nurses were a lifeline to hospitals at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic for overwhelmed hospitals across the country, but two years later, rising costs are having a ripple effect. “I often wonder where all the nurses have gone? Jody Leonard, a registered nurse with nearly 25 years of experience, said. “Most hospitals are doing what they have to do to put staff in place. Because without nurses, the hospital cannot function. (Lucas, 02/21)

AP: UNMC receives $2.2 million grant to address nursing burnout

The University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing has received a $2.2 million federal grant to address state nurse burnout as the coronavirus pandemic drags on for a third year. The three-year grant is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services, the Omaha World-Herald reported. It’s part of an estimated $103 million in coronavirus relief funding to reduce burnout and promote mental health among healthcare workers nationwide. (2/21)

Anchorage Daily News: Plan to add Alaska spots at WWAMI Medical School wins support, but administrators say there’s no quick way to get there

As part of the state budget, Gov. Mike Dunleavy has proposed opening the medical school’s regional program that serves Alaskans to 10 additional Alaskan students each year — from 20 students to 30 at the place – from this year’s incoming class. University partners say they’re glad to see funding earmarked for the state’s WWAMI program and that increasing class sizes could be a good thing: The pandemic has highlighted the need for more doctors in Alaska, and the program has a proven track record of training and retaining a significant proportion of the state’s physicians. (Berman, 02/21)

Albuquerque Journal: Nursing 911: Worker Shortages Require Expanded Training Capacity

New Mexico’s intensive care units are operating beyond capacity. Hundred-day hospital stays are almost commonplace today, but were unheard of before 2020. Nurses, aging with our American population, are retiring. As the demand for health care services increases, the shortage of registered nurses is getting worse. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the nursing shortage by increasing the number of patients entering the healthcare system and skewing the patient-nurse ratio into risky territory. (Lee, 02/21)

Politico: Rural hospitals avoid mass exodus of workers to vaccination mandate

Rural hospital officials who expected Covid vaccine mandates to cause a staffing crisis are facing a pleasant surprise: Religious exemptions and education efforts for the hesitant are keeping nearly all health care workers at work. work. Nearly two dozen rural hospital officials and state hospital association executives told POLITICO they only lost a fraction of their staff to the federal health care requirement. vaccination, which required health workers in all states except Texas to receive at least one shot of the vaccine last week. . (Messerly, 02/22)

C-HIT.ORG: Growing need for behavioral health care for children strains school social workers

On paper, the role of the social worker in K-12 public schools is simple: to support a group of students with special needs to thrive in an often difficult school environment. But ask any social worker employed in a public school these days, and they’re likely to tell you a much different story. For social worker Jara Rijs, who works at Windham Center School, where more than half of her K-5 students qualify for a subsidized lunch, job responsibilities go far beyond the job description , especially since the pandemic hit. (Heubeck, 2/19)

San Diego Union-Tribune: Will COVID-19 long-haul push the ambulatory medical system to breaking point?

Carolina Nieto of Escondido and Julio Lara of Valley Center became the newest patients in Sharp HealthCare’s COVID-19 recovery program on Friday, meeting with rehabilitation specialists about the persistent symptoms they have suffered since 2021. Nieto, 63, arrived still pulling a tank of oxygen plus more than a year after the virus hospitalized her for 15 days. She continues to struggle with multiple symptoms of COVID-19, including short-term memory and exhaustion when trying to walk more than a few steps at a time. (Sisson, 02/21)

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KHN: ‘Injections, injections, injections’: troubling questions follow closure of sprawling chain of pain clinics

On May 13 of last year, the cell phones of thousands of California residents receiving treatment for chronic pain lit up with a terse text message: “Due to unforeseen circumstances, Lags Medical Centers will be closing effective May 19. 2021”. Within days, Lags Medical, a vast network of private pain clinics serving more than 20,000 patients in the state’s Central Valley and Central Coast, would close. His patients, mostly working-class people relying on government-sponsored insurance, were left without immediate access to their medical records or to other doctors. Many patients relied on opioids to manage pain from a debilitating illness or injury, according to shutdown alerts that state health officials emailed area doctors. They were discharged with a final 30-day prescription and no clear pathway to manage the agony – either because of their underlying conditions or the physical dependence that accompanies long-term painkiller use – a once this prescription is exhausted. (Maria Barry-Jester and Gold, 2/22)

KHN: Journalists Examine Penalties and Issues of Hospitals Rifting Medicaid Rx Program

California Healthline political correspondent Samantha Young explained on Feb. 15 how Medi-Cal patients were struggling to get their prescription drugs on KCRW’s “Press Play.” Acting Southern Bureau Editor Andy Miller discussed Medicare sanctions for Georgia hospitals on Georgia Public Broadcasting’s “Lawmakers” show on Feb. 10. (2/19)

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

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