News outlets report on health care developments in Colorado, Florida, Illinios, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
The Associated Press/Washington Post: NH Hospital In Hepatitis C Outbreak Ordered To Give State Broad Access To Patient Records
A New Hampshire judge says a hospital tied to a hepatitis C outbreak must grant public health officials broad access to patient records. Exeter Hospital had argued it would be violating state and federal law if it provided unfettered access to its records system. But a Merrimack County Superior Court judge on Thursday sided with the state (11/1).
Chicago Sun-Times: Whistleblower Suit Accuses Northwestern University, Northwestern Memorial Hospital Of Defrauding Government
A whistleblower lawsuit recently unveiled in U.S. District Court accuses Northwestern University and Northwestern Memorial Hospital of defrauding the federal government by double-billing for patient care. Filed in November 2010, the suit had remained sealed until July, when federal prosecutors who had been reviewing its claims declined to add the U.S. government as a plaintiff. Former employee Audra Soulias, 36, alleges in the suit that the university and hospital violated the False Claims Act by collecting reimbursement from both Medicare and the National Institutes of Health for the same patients (Ihejirika, 11/1).
The Associated Press: Maine Governor Sees 'Games' Over Medicaid Cuts
Gov. Paul LePage said Thursday the federal government is playing "political games" over cutbacks his administration is seeking in the state's Medicaid program, or MaineCare. LePage said the federal Department of Health and Human Services has once again extended its time frame to decide whether to approve waivers for MaineCare reductions that were approved by the Legislature earlier this year (11/1).
The Associated Press: CO Budget Plan Focuses On Investments, Not Cuts
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper's budget proposal released Thursday includes more funding for education, more Medicaid spending, and pay increases for state employees for the first time in five years. The Democratic governor's budget plan represents something the state hasn't seen in years: no major cuts (Moreno, 11/1).
The Denver Post: Harsh New Spotlight On Colorado Health Prices Promises Change
The actual price tag for an MRI on your knee could be only $297 if you and your insurance company do enough bargain-hunting. But the bill for the same service is as high as $1,261, more than four times as much, at another top metro-area MRI provider, according to a powerful new database meant to shine a harsh spotlight on health-care price differences that can't be justified (Booth, 11/1).