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New book offers advice on how to meet contraceptive needs of women with chronic medical problems

New book offers advice on how to meet contraceptive needs of women with chronic medical problems

Women with chronic medical conditions can be at higher risk for complications during pregnancy and therefore require specialized preconception and contraceptive care and counseling. However, many medical providers are hesitant to prescribe contraception to these women due to concerns about the safety of various contraceptives with co-existing medical disorders. [More]
State highlights: Calif. health insurers and contraception coverage; Alaska sues Xerox over Medicaid payment systems

State highlights: Calif. health insurers and contraception coverage; Alaska sues Xerox over Medicaid payment systems

Health insurance policies in California will have to cover all federally approved contraceptives for women by 2016 without charging co-payments under legislation signed this week by Gov. Jerry Brown, countering trends in other states and the U.S. Supreme Court. The bill, SB1053 by Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, expands state laws that required coverage for most birth-control drugs and devices approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The new law mandates coverage for all FDA-approved contraception, prohibits co-payments and includes managed-care Medi-Cal plans, which are not expressly covered by current laws (Egelko, 9/27). [More]
State highlights: Calif. gov. vetoes bill limiting Medi-Cal estate recovery, signs birth control, inmate bills

State highlights: Calif. gov. vetoes bill limiting Medi-Cal estate recovery, signs birth control, inmate bills

In a blow to tens of thousands of low-income Californians newly enrolled in Medi-Cal under a provision in the Affordable Care Act, Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday vetoed a bill that would have limited the state's seizure of assets from their estates after they die -- a legal wrinkle that most only discovered after they had signed up for the health care plan for the poor (Seipel, 9/25). [More]
State highlights: Calif. gov. signs rural telehealth bill; Louisiana's ex-health secretary indicted

State highlights: Calif. gov. signs rural telehealth bill; Louisiana's ex-health secretary indicted

States around the country are taking advantage of a once little-used policy that allows them to bill Medicaid for the healthcare expenses of prisoners who leave a correctional institution for treatment. Since 1997, states have been allowed to bill Medicaid for the care of inmates who required treatment at a hospital or nursing facility for longer than 24 hours. The provision has drawn new attention this year as millions of Americans, including those serving time in correctional institutions, have become newly eligible for Medicaid under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Dickson, 9/23). [More]
Despite FDA warning, many gynecologists still using controversial surgical tool

Despite FDA warning, many gynecologists still using controversial surgical tool

Federal officials warned in April that the tool, called a morcellator, can spread undetected cancer. [More]

Many see health law coverage as affordable, survey finds

That's most true among low-income consumers who receive subsidies to help pay their premiums, according to the Commonwealth Fund survey. [More]
Research roundup: Prevention services for seniors; drug shortages

Research roundup: Prevention services for seniors; drug shortages

This policy brief reports the findings of a systematic review conducted by the Community Health Innovations in Prevention for Seniors (CHIPS) project. ... Clinical preventive services such as colorectal cancer screening and pneumococcal immunization can help reduce rates of premature death and disability. Yet, many older adults are not receiving the full set of clinical preventive services that have been proven effective and are considered "high value" in terms of their costs per life saved. Rates are particularly low among racial and ethnic minority older adults compared to national goals. [More]
Missouri sets 72-hour wait for women seeking abortions

Missouri sets 72-hour wait for women seeking abortions

The Republican-controlled legislature overrode Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's veto to enact one of the most stringent waiting periods in the nation that includes no exception for cases of rape or incest. [More]
USFDA clears Caya- contoured diaphragm for marketing in the United States

USFDA clears Caya- contoured diaphragm for marketing in the United States

The United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) has cleared the Caya- contoured diaphragm for marketing in the United States, bringing women one step closer to a new option for safe and effective non-hormonal contraception. [More]
State highlights: Officials say Medi-Cal autism coverage details still emerging; Ill. Attorney General presses for video cameras in nursing homes

State highlights: Officials say Medi-Cal autism coverage details still emerging; Ill. Attorney General presses for video cameras in nursing homes

At the first stakeholder meeting last week to review California's new autism Medi-Cal coverage, state health officials said many details have yet to be worked out. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program. [More]

Over-the-counter birth control issue finds its way into midterm election debates

Some Republican Senate candidates have expressed support for allowing certain types of contraception to be sold without a prescription. Critics say it is part of a strategy to "muddy the waters" regarding the Hobby Lobby case. [More]
First Edition: September 3, 2014

First Edition: September 3, 2014

Today's headlines include reports about how insurers and consumers are bracing for round two as the health law's online insurance marketplaces prepare for open enrollment season. [More]
Who is exempt from health law's mandate to have insurance?

Who is exempt from health law's mandate to have insurance?

The Miami Herald looks at the religious groups that pool their money to pay medical expenses and whose members are therefore exempt from the law's requirement to carry insurance. [More]

Some nonprofits opposing contraceptive coverage appear unswayed by new rule

Catholic bishops and other conservative groups suggest the accommodations do not satisfy their concerns. [More]
First Edition: August 25, 2014

First Edition: August 25, 2014

Today's early morning highlights from the major news organizations include reports on Medicare ratings of nursing homes, the growing demand for home-health aides and accounts of the Obama administration's new contraception coverage rules. [More]

Religious employers are offered fix on birth control coverage

News outlets report that the regulations, expected to be published later today, will allow religious nonprofits -- and perhaps later religious business owners -- to notify the government that they object to providing contraception coverage. Federal officials would then arrange for the workers' insurance. [More]
First Edition: August 22, 2014

First Edition: August 22, 2014

Kaiser Health News consumer columnist Michelle Andrews writes: "How much leeway do employers and insurers have in deciding whether they'll cover contraceptives without charge and in determining which methods make the cut? Not much, as it turns out, but that hasn't stopped some from trying. Kaiser Health News readers still write in regularly describing battles they're waging to get the birth control coverage they're entitled to" (Andrews, 8/22). [More]
Standard Days Method: A highly effective fertility awareness-based family planning method

Standard Days Method: A highly effective fertility awareness-based family planning method

There is no guarantee that a successful pilot program introducing a health innovation can be expanded successfully to the national, regional, state or even metropolitan level because scaling up is typically complex and difficult. [More]
Women could benefit from Affordable Care Act's mandate for contraceptive coverage

Women could benefit from Affordable Care Act's mandate for contraceptive coverage

Women could benefit greatly from the Affordable Care Act's mandate for contraceptive coverage, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers. [More]
Viewpoints: Va. GOP's 'Medicaid charade'; Paul Ryan's health Rx for poverty; giving the sick unapproved drugs

Viewpoints: Va. GOP's 'Medicaid charade'; Paul Ryan's health Rx for poverty; giving the sick unapproved drugs

Virginia lawmakers will convene in a special session next month to address the question of expanding Medicaid and, more broadly, the fact that hundreds of thousands of poor and disabled people in the state have no health insurance coverage. Democrats and some moderate Republicans have advanced a variety of ideas to tackle that problem. Conservative Republicans, who control the legislature in Richmond, have rejected those solutions while proposing no alternative. Does the GOP intend for the special session to be anything more than a charade at taxpayers' expense? (8/15). [More]