Weekly Dose of Health News March 31 – April 4, 2014

Weekly Dose of Health News March 31 – April 4, 2014

 This week’s Dose is chock-full of news items and leads with a summary of health-related items found in the recently adopted FY2014-15 NYS Budget.

Some health-related items that were contained in the final budget are:

  • A Basic Health Plan, which is a Medicaid expansion for non-citizens and others with incomes under 200% of the federal poverty level;
  • Consumer protections for coverage of out of network health services and ‘surprise billing’ for out of network care;
  • Plans to allocate spending of the Medicaid waiver funds which will remain largely under the control of the Governor;
  • $1.2 billion in capital funds for health care restructuring and to expand primary care services;
  • A statewide voluntary health information/electronic health records network called SHIN-NY;
  • New funds for opioid prevention and education;
  • Restoration of patient protections in the Medicaid pharmacy program;
  • Restoration of funds for the state’s Spinal Cord Injury Research Program; and
  • A legislative proposal to register out of state compounding pharmacies.

Read about this New York-based start-up health insurer.

Read here for an update on the federal prescription drug track and trace system designed to protect consumers from counterfeit and contaminated drugs.

Two new studies link vitamin D levels to the incidence of diseases affecting the cardiovascular system, bone health and the incidence of cancer.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is set to announce a push to have police office across the state to carry naloxone kits, which is an effective antidote to opioid overdose.

The New York Times writes about the final state budget provision that is designed to limit surprise health bills for consumers who receive out of network health care.

There are divisions emerging on the federal Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, largely over a provision regarding involuntary treatment.

The United Hospital Fund’s Medicaid Institute released this report on long term care elderly and the shift to Medicaid managed care.

Here’s an article from the LA Times on the ongoing debate over mammograms.

The NY State of Health reports that more than 865,000 enrolled in the state’s health exchange.

The FDA approved a new device that delivers the opioid antidote Nalosxone for opioid overdose.