State Highlights: Committee To Handle Iowa’s Medicaid System Hasn’t Met This Year; N.H. Takes Steps To Improve Mental Health Services

Media outlets report on news from Iowa, New Hampshire, Texas, Georgia, Maryland, California, Washington, Florida and Ohio.


New Hampshire Times Union:
Dave Solomon’s State House Dome: DHHS Chief Says Progress Is Made On Mental Health 


The first step in creating more mental health beds to ease the shortage across the state was the easy part. The Legislature approved a $20 million investment and the Department of Health and Human Services issued a request for proposals from health care providers. Now comes the hard part – getting those health care providers to respond. The request for proposals was issued by June 30 and the initial deadline came and went without adequate responses. (Solomon, 8/20)


Politico Pro:
Texas Effort To Replace Planned Parenthood Falls Short Of Goal


Texas last year embarked on a risky experiment as part of an effort to increase access to family planning services without Planned Parenthood and other high-volume clinics that perform abortions. The state handed anti-abortion activist Carol Everett nearly $7 million in contracts to rebuild a network of clinics and medical practices decimated by budget cuts and a ban on state funds for abortion providers.Earlier this year, the state concluded the experiment didn’t work. (Rayasam, 8/18)


Georgia Health News:
Single Mom ‘Fighting So Hard’ For Medically Fragile Child


Sarah Allen, a single mom, spends her days and nights caring for her son, Aidan. Born premature with a malformed brain, Aidan, now 3, has multiple health conditions. They include cerebral palsy, epilepsy, obstructive sleep apnea and cortical visual impairment. He also has enlarged ventricles, scarring on his brain, and a mild form of microcephaly. … Her son is covered by Medicaid. Though the program has covered the frequent hospital and doctor visits, Allen is fighting Medicaid over the number of hours that it will pay to cover a nurse’s visits to the home to help with caregiving. But Allen, 31, has other worries. She’s facing the prospect of being homeless this fall. And not for the first time. (Miller, 8/17)


The Baltimore Sun:
State Health Officials Monitor Uptick In Whooping Cough Cases, Encourage Continued Immunization 


Maryland public health officials, monitoring an uptick in the number of whooping cough cases, are urging parents to make sure children are immunized against the highly contagious respiratory infection as the school year draws near. The number of confirmed or probable whooping cough cases increased 15 percent in the first six months of this year, compared to 2016, according to the Maryland Department of Health. (Richman, 8/18)


San Francisco Chronicle:
Reforms Lagging At Troubled San Joaquin County Foster Care Shelter


Questionable arrests and poor supervision of traumatized children have continued at a foster care shelter in San Joaquin County, months after county leaders pledged new training and policies would fix conditions that led to hundreds of youth being booked at the local juvenile hall for minor misbehavior. In June, state officials found mental health services lacking for a boy who attempted to hang himself twice in one week at the Mary Graham Children’s Shelter outside Stockton. (de Sa, Dizikes and Palomino, 8/20)


Los Angeles Times:
L.A. Warns Homebuilders, But Not Residents, Of Traffic Pollution Health Risks


For five years, Los Angeles has been issuing health advisories to housing developers, warning of the dangers of building near freeways. But when the city moved to alert residents as well, officials rejected it. Planning commissioners axed a provision to require traffic pollution signs on some new, multifamily developments from an environmental ordinance on the grounds that it would burden developers and hurt market values. (Barboza, 8/20)


Seattle Times:
Pivot Health Works As Matchmaker With Health Care Job Board 


Pivot Health’s online job board, which helps health-care companies find suitable employees, has one big thing in common with dating apps. The downtown Seattle startup designed its technology to get a sense of both job seekers’ and companies’ values and characteristics, to try to make the perfect match. (Lerman, 8/20)


Miami Herald:
Debauchery, Abuse At Florida Youth Program Leads To 3 Arrests


Some of the youth workers were having sex with the underage boys in their care. … But if conditions at the Highlands Youth Academy in Avon Park were not exactly conducive to the rehabilitation of delinquent youths, state juvenile justice administrators were doing little to turn things around. (Marbin Miller, 8/18)


Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Styx Concert To Stream Over Internet-Ready Hearing Aids Via Cellphone Technology


On Tuesday night, the lights will go down when Tommy Shaw and the rest of Styx step out onto the stage at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey, as a few thousand fans will rise to their collective feet, cellphone lights ablaze in lieu of the outdated cigarette lighters. At the same time, hundreds of thousands across the United States – likely many who wielded those lighters in the 1970s – will turn up their internet-capable hearing aids to tune in from their own living rooms.For the first time, using internet connectivity and their iPhones, those who wear the new Oticon Opn hearing aid will be able to stream the show . . . through those hearing aids. (Yarborough, 8/20)


Los Angeles Times:
Burbank Unified Renews Contract For Mental Health And Wellness Centers


The mental health and wellness program in the Burbank Unified School District will continue at least another year after the school board renewed the district’s contract with the Family Service Agency of Burbank, a local nonprofit agency, on Thursday. Wellness centers at John Burroughs and Burbank high schools provide a supportive environment, where students can walk in to share their thoughts and feelings with counselors from the Family Service Agency. (Vega, 8/18)


The Baltimore Sun:
Baltimore Day Care Remains Closed Following Death Of 8-Month-Old 


Following the death of an infant in May, the Rocket Tiers Learning Center in Baltimore remains under emergency suspension as the Maryland State Department of Education investigates whether the facility is safe for children. The center had appealed the suspension, but it was recently upheld after Administrative Law Judge David Hofstetter determined that further investigation was necessary to “ensure the health, safety, or welfare of children in the Center,” according to appeal documents from the Department of Education obtained by The Baltimore Sun. (Brice-Saddler, 8/18)


This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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