State roundup: N.C.'s mental health housing issues

Published on September 11, 2012 at 5:46 AM · No Comments

A selection of stories about health care from California, Georgia, Kansas, Massachusetts and North Carolina.

Boston Globe: Medical Debt Still Problem in Mass.
Temporary lapses in insurance coverage and increasingly common plans with high deductibles and copayments have contributed to medical debt, leaving some people struggling to pay bills for hospitals, doctors, and ambulance companies. Rising health costs and the recession also probably played a role. Although the law has failed to cut medical debt, some analysts say it may have prevented an increase in Massachusetts (Conaboy, 9/10).

The Boston Globe: With Profits Down, Future Of Mass. Hospitals Questioned
As they brace for an era of shrinking government funds and mounting pressure to cut prices for medical services, Massachusetts hospitals face growing financial strains. Two dozen -; more than a third of the state's total -; lost money last year, including rural community hospitals, urban safety net hospitals, and even affiliates of renowned academic medical centers, according to a new report from the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy (Weisman, 9/8).

The Associated Press/KGO: Dozens Of San Francisco Restaurants Charge Customers For Employee Healthcare, Don't Spend It
Restaurants and other businesses in this food-loving tourist mecca collected almost $14 million ... in extra fees last year from their patrons, as they sought to comply with the progressive city's landmark universal health-care ordinance. But an Associated Press analysis of records showed that roughly 40 percent of that money hasn't been spent on their workers' health care (9/8).

Kansas Health Institute News: State Launches Medicaid, HealthWave Application Portal
State officials today unveiled an online portal designed to help low-income Kansans apply for Medicaid and HealthWave. "While we still have the paper application method available, Kansans can now apply for medical assistance online in a paperless system that will greatly streamline this process," Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Dr. Robert Moser said ... The online portal also is meant to let applicants know if they're likely eligible for Medicaid or HealthWave (9/7).

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