VHHA will update Newsclips each weekday with relevant national and statewide health care news. Click on a headline below to view the article on that news organization's website. Please note that access to some articles will require registration on that website, most of which are free. If you have items of particular interest you would like to see posted here, please contact VHHA.

January 16, 2019


Medicaid expansion costs raise new questions about hospital tax
(Richmond Times-Dispatch – January 15, 2019)

A tax on hospital revenue to pay for Virginia’s share of the cost of expanding its Medicaid program might not cover the expense of administering a state proposal for a work requirement and other conditions for people who receive health care benefits under the program.

Carilion Clinic offering scholarships for LPNs to become RNs
(WSLS – January 15, 2019)

Carilion Clinic is helping to send employees back to school, including nurses who want to take their medical career a step further. Carilion has added two new scholarships for licensed practical nurses who want to go back to school to become registered nurses. Scholarships were just given to the first two recipients.

Sentara Healthcare names senior official
(Virginia Business – January 15, 2019)

Norfolk-based Sentara Healthcare has named Dr. David James president of its medical groups and ambulatory services, a new position. In this role, he will lead Sentara’s four medical groups and its ambulatory services division. James previously was senior vice president and CEO of Memorial Hermann Medical Group and Post-Acute Services in Houston.

Med Beat: How Virginia defines essential health services
(The Roanoke Times – January 15, 2019)

The Lee County Hospital Authority on Monday said it plans on Feb. 1 to close on a deal that will end its partnership with the firm selected to reopen its hospital. The terms are being kept confidential. Here's a link to Sunday's story  on how the deal came to be and then how it fell apart.

Sentara awards $50,000 challenge grant to Dumfries non-profit
(What’s Up Prince William – January 15, 2019)

Fifty years ago, Action in Community Through Service (ACTS) opened its doors to county residents who are in need. Since its foundation, it has grown to offer several services, including a thrift store and a helpline. To celebrate the Dumfries-based non-profit’s anniversary, the Sentara Foundation is offering a challenge grant.

Life in Hampton Roads survey shows highest percentage of poor health respondents in the past five years
(Southside Daily – January 16, 2019)

The health of Hampton Roads residents is vital to ensuring that the community thrives. The 2018 Life in Hampton Roads survey asked residents about their general health, certain health conditions, health insurance and other health-related questions. Many of these questions were developed by the Virginia Beach Department of Public Health and its partners.

Opioid-exposed babies face struggles
(The Winchester Star – January 16, 2019) METERED PAYWALL

When Allison Lowery told her 2-year-old son to stop playing with a toy screwdriver temporarily, he screamed. He threw other toys in anger, and, at one point, he laid on the ground and banged his head several times against the floor. “One of the issues with substance exposure,” the 29-year-old Stephens City mother said about the behavior before she took her son to his room to calm him down.

Richmond woman featured on VICE News Tonight about placing high-risk organs from opioid overdose patients
(Richmond Times-Dispatch – January 15, 2019)

VICE News Tonight reports from Richmond in a story about understanding the process of placing "high-risk organs" from opioid overdose patients. The episode follows the journey of one "high-risk organ" transplant from an overdose victim in Kentucky to a recipient in Richmond.


Trump administration sued over new Kentucky Medicaid work requirements
(The Hill – January 15, 2019)

More than a dozen Medicaid beneficiaries in Kentucky have filed another lawsuit against the Trump administration over its re-approval of the state’s controversial Medicaid waiver. The lawsuit comes after a federal judge in June blocked Kentucky’s efforts to impose work requirements and premiums on beneficiaries days before the waiver was set to go into effect.

Massachusetts will ask Medicaid patients about quality of care
(Boston Globe – January 14, 2019) METERED PAYWALL

Privately insured patients have been asked to rate their medical providers for years. Now, for the first time, Massachusetts is seeking the opinions of thousands of Medicaid recipients about their experiences in the doctor’s office.


Recent Trends in Hospital Drug Spending and Manufacturer Shortages
(AHA – January 15, 2019)

The cost of and access to prescription drugs are major concerns for hospitals and health systems. Continued rising drug prices, as well as shortages for many critical medications, are disrupting patient care and straining hospitals’ budgets and operations.

Patient advocates' role expands to meet healthcare's increasingly complex demands
(Modern Healthcare – January 12, 2019) METERED PAYWALL

Leticia Solis, a health educator with federally qualified health network AltaMed Health Services Corp., said some of her first experiences with the healthcare system began during her childhood when she was trying to find her parents the appropriate help for their chronic diseases.

Microsoft and Walgreens pair up amid fierce competition to deliver digital health care
(STAT News – January 15, 2019)

Microsoft has struck a deal with Walgreens to build digital health tools for pharmacy customers that will include efforts to use artificial intelligence to deliver stepped-up telehealth, improve medication adherence, and reduce emergency room visits.

A Device That Gives Parents of Stillborn Babies Time to Say Goodbye
(The New York Times – January 14, 2019) METERED PAYWALL

The death of a child is nearly always devastating and typically followed by an outpouring of support while parents mourn. But when a baby dies before it is born or shortly thereafter, parents are often alone in a hospital with a limited source of comfort and little, if any, opportunity to say goodbye to the baby — or babies.


Insurers say shutdown delays benefit plan design
(Modern Healthcare – January 15, 2019) METERED PAYWALL

Small insurer groups want the CMS to provide informal guidance on how they should craft plans for the 2020 Affordable Care Act exchanges because the official proposed rule is delayed due to the government shutdown.

Administrative burdens are blocking access to health insurance
(STAT News – January 15, 2019)

Despite a relentless eight-year Republican campaign to repeal the Affordable Care Act, it remains largely intact. Through it, nearly 20 million Americans gained health insurance. Many others benefited from new protections, such as ensuring that people can’t be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions and the elimination of limits on lifetime benefits that has protected thousands of vulnerable Americans from bankruptcy.

Verma: Helping states develop innovative alternatives to Obamacare
(The Washington Times – January 15, 2019)

No matter what you think about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — whether you supported President Obama’s signature health care law or opposed it — the facts show that individual health insurance markets across the country have been struggling. Health insurance premiums have more than doubled in states using HealthCare.gov between 2013 and 2017.