State highlights: Calif. opens new prison mental health facility; Vt. Senate approves assisted-death bill

Published on February 16, 2013 at 4:01 AM · No Comments

A selection of health policy news from California, Vermont, Minnesota and Kansas.

The Associated Press: California Opens $24M Prison Mental Health Center
California prison officials are opening a $24 million treatment center for mentally ill inmates as they urge a federal judge to end his oversight of the state's correctional system. The 44,000-square-foot building at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville opened Thursday. It includes rooms where inmates will undergo outpatient therapy, as well as offices for therapists (Thompson, 2/14).

The Associated Press: Vermont Senate Approves Assisted Death Bill
The Vermont Senate on Thursday passed a stripped-down version of a bill that would let doctors help terminally ill patients die, relieving health workers and family members of criminal or civil liability but removing several patient protections that were in the original version of the bill. The final vote was 22-8 (Gram, 2/15).

MPR: Mayo Expansion Bill Eases Past 1st Capitol Hurdle
A bill that would finance redevelopment around the Mayo Clinic's proposed expansion in Rochester is starting to move through the Legislature. The House Jobs and Economic Development Committee approved the measure easily Thursday, but the bill's financing plan is expected to face some much tougher questions soon. Members of the committee spent most of their time praising the bill and the Mayo Clinic's promise to invest in Rochester. Clinic officials again emphasized their promise to spend $3 billion to expand in Minnesota (Scheck, 2/14).

Kansas Health Institute: Effort Underway To Link Safety Net Clinics With Health Information Exchanges
Regional healthcare officials say they are close to hiring a consultant to assist safety net providers establish a computer network aimed at providing better care while reducing costs. Officials with the Regional Health Care Initiative (RHCI) are conducting final interviews with three companies that could help the safety net providers connect to patient-record-sharing networks known as health information exchanges (Sherry, 2/14).

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