Weekly Dose of Health News May 26-30, 2014

Weekly Dose of Health News May 26 – 30 2014


This week’s Dose presents links to a trove of assorted articles from recent legislative developments on medical marijuana, to a report on the state senate’s hearings on heroin and opioid addiction and the increasing availability of Narcan, to discussions of Medicaid premiums, to the breaking news on the resignation of Veterans Affairs Chief, Eric Shinseki.


Plus please note the last item is an invitation from HLC  & shared by NY Health Works, to a special national tele-town hall on CMS’s Release of Final Part D Rule.



The availability of Narcan, and antidote for opioid overdose, is becoming more widespread.


Read here about a new study that confirms the benefits of exercise as people age.


The Assembly passed their medical marijuana bill this week, for the seventh time.


A new health care service is emerging in New York City – medical clinics for men.


The New York Times writes about the busiest emergency room in New York City.  Lincoln Hospital is located in an underserved area of the Bronx, and cares for every patient that comes through their door, regardless of ability to pay.


This article discusses a new study that finds that Medicaid premiums cause recipients to drop out of the program.


This week, the New York State Senate released a report and recommendations on heroin and opioid addiction.


The New York State Behavioral Health Services Advisory Council is scheduled to meet on June 5 from 12-2:30 at three locations including the Albany.


The Urban Institute has released a report on narrow provider networks in new health plans.


A new study finds that ticks may have carried Lyme Disease as far back as 15 million years ago.


The Veterans Affairs Chief, Eric Shinseki, resigned this week as the Secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department due to problems at VA medical facilities.


The Food and Drug Administration issued a black box warning on the use of tanning beds and has recommended that persons under age 18 not use the devices.


The New York State Department of Health has created a new DSRIP (Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Program) webinars and presentations website and has announced three new webinars.  The Department has also released new videos that provide background on DSRIP.


New York Health Works would like to share the following invitation from the Healthcare Leadership Council (HLC) to a  Tele-Town Hall:

National Tele-Town Hall

CMS Releases Final Part D Rule

Thursday, June 5, 2014
2:00 p.m. ET

The Honorable Kyrsten Sinema (D/AZ-09)
Mary R. Grealy, President, Healthcare Leadership Council

Participant Dial-In: 888-606-5927
Passcode: MEDICARE


Earlier this year the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed major changes to the Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medicare prescription drug programs. In March, CMS Administrator Tavenner informed Congress that CMS would not move forward with several provisions of the proposed rule governing Medicare Part D. On May 19, CMS finalized several provisions related to consumer protections, antifraud provisions, and transparency.

In April, CMS issued the 2015 rate announcement and final call letter for the MA and Part D programs.  CMS said rates for MA will rise by 0.4 percent in 2015, rather than drop by 1.9 percent as estimated in an advance notice in February.  

Please join us to hear the latest on both the Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug programs.


If you have question or comments, please contact Debbie Witchey at [email protected]

To follow the conversation on twitter, follow hashtag – #MedicareToday