Health Care

One County’s Choice to Use Opioid Funds to Pay Off Debt

Greene County, Tennessee, so far has received more than $2.7 million from regional and national settlements with opioid manufacturers and distributors. But most of the money is not going to help people and families harmed by addiction.

Mental Health Statistics Reveal a Crisis in America

County officials are asking Congress for more funding and to change a pair of Medicaid rules that will allow governments to provide more mental health services.

The Fight to Reverse Increasing Maternal Mortality Rates

The U.S. has some of the highest mortality rates in the world. A study in North Carolina found approaches that are making a difference.

How to Ensure Millions of Children Don’t Lose Medicaid Coverage Erroneously

COMMENTARY | More than 5 million children could lose their Medicaid benefits during the public health emergency’s Medicaid “unwinding.” The U.S. has the data and experience to prevent this.

Community Paramedics Don’t Wait for an Emergency to Visit Rural Patients at Home

Community paramedicine is expanding nationwide, including in rural areas, as health care providers, insurers and state governments recognize its potential to improve health and save money.

Millions of Kids Could Lose Health Coverage as States Purge Medicaid Rolls

Experts warn that states could sever as many as 15 million Americans, including 7 million children, from the health coverage they relied on through the pandemic.

New Executive Order Could Expand Access to Child Care and Long-Term Care

The order, signed Tuesday, comes after the president was unable to get through Congress a $400 billion package in 2021 that would have transformed the nation’s caregiving infrastructure. 

Fight Between States Could Determine Fate of Abortion Pills

A tangle of lawsuits has prohibited, protected and limited access to a common medication for abortion. While long-term decisions have yet to be made, some states are planning ahead. Plus, more news to use from around the country in this week's State and Local Roundup.

Special Medicaid Funds Prompt Oversight Concerns

More than 35 states use an under-the-radar federal funding mechanism to boost payments for hospitals and other providers under Medicaid. But watchdogs say sparse oversight makes it hard to tell if the “directed payments” program is meeting its goals.

As More Republican States Consider Expanding Medicaid, the GOP House Proposes Gutting it

Republicans in Congress want to reduce federal spending on Medicaid, arguing it has grown too much.

Could the Feds Save States Money on Prescription Drugs?

A proposal in President Biden’s 2024 budget claims it could save billions, but not everyone is so sure.

Prescription for Housing? California Wants Medicaid to Cover 6 Months of Rent

Gov. Gavin Newsom is making a bold push for Medicaid health plans to provide more housing support. He argues it’s cheaper to pay for rent than to allow homeless people to fall into crisis, which requires costly care in hospitals, nursing homes and jails.

Mobile Clinics Really Got Rolling in the Pandemic. A New Law Will Help Them Cast a Wider Safety Net.

Mobile clinics that provided covid-19 testing and vaccines at the peak of the pandemic are now being used to provide a range of health services in hard-to-reach communities. A law passed late last year allows qualified health care centers to use federal grants to expand the fleets.

Medicaid Expansion Narrowed Racial Gaps in Hospitalization

COMMENTARY | Expanding Medicaid eligibility reduced Black-white disparities in preventable hospitalizations and ER visits by 10% or more, a new study shows.

Here’s What’s In Biden’s Budget Plan for State and Local Governments

The administration, among other things, wants to dramatically increase funding for housing and restore the child tax credit.

Idaho Dropped Thousands From Medicaid in the Pandemic’s First Years

The removals, detailed in emails between state and federal health officials, hinged on disagreements over how states could disenroll people during the public health emergency. Consumer advocates fear the alleged violation signals the mess to come on April 1, when the pandemic-era Medicaid coverage mandate ends.

California Dangles Bonuses for Nursing Homes That Add Staff

Rather than simply reward top-performing facilities, the state’s Medicaid program will hand bonuses to nursing homes — even low-rated ones — for hiring more workers and reducing staff turnover.

Texas Town Tries a New Model for Saving Rural Health Care

Federal pandemic aid that has helped many rural hospitals stave off collapse is rapidly drying up.

States Strive to Reverse Shortage of Paramedics, EMTs

Two-thirds of states considered legislation last year related to emergency medical workers.

End Nears for Covid Public Health Emergency

But expansions of key safety net programs that involve states are no longer tied to the directive and are already set to wind down.