West News

Wash. gets tentative OK for 'accountable health communities' waiver

By Virgil Dickson  |  October 22, 2016

The CMS has granted Washington state preliminary approval to overhaul its Medicaid program. As part of the five-year waiver, for which it will receive $1.5 billion in federal funding, the state will launch delivery-system reform initiatives, leverage partnerships between providers and social groups and expand options for long-term services and supports.

ACLU can intervene in Utah drug database access lawsuit

By Erica Teichert  |  October 15, 2016

A federal judge in Utah ruled that the American Civil Liberties Union could intervene in the Drug Enforcement Administration's attempt to sift through Utah's prescription drug database without obtaining a search warrant. Under Utah law, enforcement agencies need a warrant—not a subpoena, as the DEA has requested—before they can search the sensitive information.

Ascension sells hospitals in Idaho, Washington state

By Dave Barkholz  |  October 01, 2016

Ascension will sell hospitals in Idaho and Washington state to the for-profit hospital company created this summer through the merger of RegionalCare and Capella Healthcare.

Prime challenges feds on whistle-blower lawsuit

Prime challenges feds on whistle-blower lawsuit

By Erica Teichert  |  September 10, 2016

The DOJ alleged in June that the Ontario, Calif.-based health system had a “culture” that pressures its physicians to admit Medicare beneficiaries to 14 of its hospitals for inpatient stays when they should be on shorter outpatient observation visits, and those billings are false Medicare claims.

It's a struggle to find docs under Calif. aid-in-dying law

It's a struggle to find docs under Calif. aid-in-dying law

By Harris Meyer  |  August 20, 2016

A San Diego woman's harrowing account of her aunt's death last month under California's new physician aid-in-dying law suggests that healthcare providers still have a long way to go to make the process work smoothly for terminally ill patients.

Border hospitals advised of rights involving body-cavity searches

By Steven Ross Johnson  |  July 30, 2016

The American Civil Liberties Union sent letters to healthcare systems last week that operate 110 hospitals in California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas advising them of their rights when confronted by federal agents requesting they perform body-cavity searches.

Calif. to get nearly $2B in uncompensated-care funds

By Virgil Dickson  |  July 23, 2016

For the next four years, California's public hospitals will collectively receive up to $472 million annually to cover hospital visits for the uninsured as part of a waiver meant to reform the state's Medicaid program.

California OKs Aetna deal, but will Anthem merger be nixed?

California OKs Aetna deal, but will Anthem merger be nixed?

By Bob Herman  |  June 25, 2016

Aetna's acquisition of Humana is creeping toward the finish line, getting an approval early last week from one of California's health insurance regulating bodies. The insurer's approval process stands in stark contrast to Anthem's purchase of Cigna Corp.

Ore. hospitalist union plans picket in quest for contract

By Dave Barkholz  |  June 11, 2016

Unionized hospitalists at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend plan a one-day picket this month, an action that management calls surprising given progress toward the group's first contract.

Patients can't access records after N.M. clinics close

By Modern Healthcare  |  June 04, 2016

The former patients of a chain of New Mexico clinics that filed for bankruptcy are having trouble accessing their medical records, and legal experts say consumers may have little recourse.

Arizona court rules hospitals can file some Medicaid liens

By Modern Healthcare  |  May 28, 2016

The Arizona Supreme Court has ruled that hospitals can go after lawsuit settlements to get additional reimbursement for the costs of providing care for some patients covered by the state's Medicaid program.

California Gov. Jerry Brown preserves Medi-Cal funds in budget cuts

California Gov. Jerry Brown preserves Medi-Cal funds in budget cuts

By Beth Kutscher  |  May 21, 2016

California Gov. Jerry Brown trimmed the state's proposed budget for fiscal 2017 after projecting a decrease in tax revenue for the coming year, but he awarded more money for value-based payment initiatives and behavioral health programs.

Arizona joins rest of nation with children's health plan

By Associated Press  |  May 14, 2016

Arizona has joined the 49 other states that offer a federal health insurance program for low-income children after backers of the plan pushed it through the state Legislature earlier this month and Republican Gov. Doug Ducey signed it into law.

Tainted scopes suspected in California deaths

Tainted scopes suspected in California deaths

By Aurora Aguilar  |  May 07, 2016

At least three patients at a Southern California hospital died last year in a bacterial outbreak suspected to be related to tainted medical scopes made by Olympus Corp.

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