State roundup: Colo. reports 'record' number of Medicaid recipients; Hollywood nursing home stymied by Congress?

A selection of health care stories from Connecticut, California, Colorado, Texas and New York.

Denver Post: Medicaid Clients In Colorado At "All-Time Historical High" In November
Nearly 615,000 Coloradans were on Medicaid in November, by far a record high, officials said Wednesday, attributing the vast bulk of the growth to economic hard times rather than recent eligibility expansions. ... the 614,146 Coloradans enrolled in Medicaid in November represented a 57.7 percent increase over January 2007. ... roughly 13 percent of all Coloradans are covered by state health-insurance programs (Hoover and Painter, 1/5).

The Associated Press: NY Gov. Cuomo Sets Aggressive Agenda For 2nd Year
Gov. Andrew Cuomo advocated several measures to help the poor and dispossessed such as better access to food stamps, new offices to protect tenants' rights and help homeowners avoid foreclosure, establishing a health insurance exchange and improving care for disabled adults (1/5).

The Sacramento Bee: Federal Funds To Help Counties' Health Programs For Low-Income Residents
Thousands of the north state's rural poor, including residents of the greater Sacramento area, will be able to access medical care in 2012 after more than 30 counties received federal approval and funding to expand their indigent health coverage. The County Medical Services Program, or CMSP, a group of 34 mostly north state counties, received the green light to cover an additional 30,000 uninsured, low-income adults through Path2Health, a new indigent care program that launched Jan. 1 (Smith, 1/5).

The Fiscal Times: McAllen, Texas: Big Turnaround For Hard-Hit City
The public image of McAllen, Texas, took a severe beating in 2009 when The New Yorker revealed the city had the highest health care costs in the nation. ... Now, McAllen, which borders Mexico, finally has something to cheer about. ... McAllen's recent growth was in part due to its vibrant – some would say overly vibrant – health care sector, local officials admitted (Goozner, 1/5).

The Miami Herald: State Commission Recommends Major Changes In Florida Public Hospitals
[I]t's unclear how quickly the Legislature will act on the group's recommendations. On Wednesday, healthcare experts were still digesting the 42-page report released Tuesday by the Commission on Review of Taxpayer Funded Hospital Districts, which recommended fundamental changes in the North and South Broward Hospital Districts and took a swipe at the high costs of Jackson Health System. The commission also recommended major Medicaid alterations that could be felt by all hospitals in the state (Dorschner, 1/4).

The Connecticut Mirror: Blumenthal Targets Drug Shortages, "Gray Market" Hoarding
Treatment for Susan Block's ovarian cancer required doctors, drugs and, critically, the intervention of a U.S. senator. The West Hartford woman was two days away from her fourth course of chemotherapy this summer when she learned that the drug was not available, causing her to miss the treatment. ... On Wednesday, Block -- now healthy and back to her active life -- and [Sen. Richard] Blumenthal spoke of the need for a broader solution to drug shortages (Levin Becker, 1/4).

Los Angeles Times: Motion Picture Home Plans Hit A Snag On Capitol Hill
After months of negotiations, the Motion Picture & Television Fund is close to finalizing a deal with Kindred Healthcare of Louisville, Ky., to invest in and provide long-term acute care services at the Woodland Hills complex that includes the nursing home. … But the signing of the deal, which was originally expected to be completed by the end of 2011, has been delayed by uncertainty over whether Congress will extend a moratorium on the building of long-term acute care facilities (Verrier, 1/4).


http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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