State highlights: Controversial Pa. Health Secretary quits; Kansas court decision on malpractice cap expected today

Published on October 6, 2012 at 8:05 AM · No Comments

News outlets report on a variety of health care topics in Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Oregon.

The Philadelphia Inquirer: Pennsylvania Health Secretary Avila Quits Corbett Cabinet
Pennsylvania Health Secretary Eli N. Avila, who became known in the Capitol for a dispute over an egg sandwich and other episodes, has quit his $146,500-a-year post in Gov. Corbett's cabinet. The governor announced the departure Thursday in a news release that said Avila, 52, was leaving to pursue "other interests" and was looking forward to spending more time with his family in New York (Couloumbis, 10/5).

Kansas Health Institute News: Court To Issue Long-Awaited Decision On Medical Malpractice Cap
Court officials today said the Kansas Supreme Court will issue (Friday) its long-awaited decision in a case challenging the constitutionality of a law capping the amount of jury awards to people harmed by medical malpractice.  Justices first heard the case of Miller v. Johnson in October 2009 and took the unusual step of rehearing it again in February 2011. At issue is a 25-year-old state law that limits damage awards for pain and suffering to no more than $250,000 (10/4).

Georgia Health News: Building Health Communities-;For A Lifetime
By 2030, one of every five people in metro Atlanta will be 60 or older. It's a statistic that has helped spark an initiative by the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) to bring more housing and transportation options – and healthy lifestyle features – to area communities. The goal is to make it possible for individuals to "age in place"' – to stay in their communities throughout their lifetimes if they so desire (Miller, 10/4).

Chicago Sun-Times: Emergency Room Wait Times Down At Cook County Hospital
A trip to Stroger Hospital's ER might be a little less painful, now that staff there have cut the average wait time to see a doctor by about one third. In 2011, the average wait used to be nearly 3 hours, but this year it's down to almost 2 hours, according to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's office (Esposito and Dudek, 10/5).

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